T-Bar convo with Breck COO

John Copeland is wrapping up his very first year as COO at Breckenridge Ski Resort. On a perfectly sunny spring day, he took time away from running the mountain to ride the T-Bar with Krystal 93 news director Phil Lindeman. 

Krystal 93: Remind folks where you came from and a little on your background before you came to Breck. 

Jon Copeland: I spent 20-plus years in resort operations in Lake Tahoe. A couple of various resorts, from Mammoth to Kirkwood. I came to Breck in 2019 to oversee skier services, and then quickly moved into the vice president of mountain operations. And now I have this amazing role overseeing this amazing resort  

K93: When you think about the trajectory of your career, what’s kept you in the ski industry for as long as you have?  

JC: I love skiing and riding. I love sharing that passion with other people, whether that’s my employees, people I work with, people I work for, our guests that come here. I think it’s one of the coolest things ever. I remember my very first day on snow, and that feeling is something that I hope everybody gets to enjoy. 

K93: What are some lessons you learned this first year? Things you love, things you didn’t love about the COO job. 

JC: It’s been great, right? There’s never a winter that doesn’t come without its challenges. And I think, first and foremost, I’m just super proud of the team here at Breck and how they’ve adapted and reacted all year. It’s been phenomenal to be a part of and watch.  

But also a lot of wins. We opened 5-Chair to start the year, which is amazing. We had our challenges with our snow and weather, and our team got super creative and adapted to that. And then kicking things off, like a plastic-ban pilot at Pioneer Crossing to partner with the town. Just a lot of exciting things happening and couldn’t be more proud of the team. 

K93: It’s almost 55 degrees and slushy right now. What’s the best part of spring skiing? 

JC: Sun, sun, sun and corn (snow). 

K93: What’s the worst part? 

JC: Closing day. It’s just brutal to know that it’s over and you gotta wait another four or five, six months until you do it again. 

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K93:  Will Breck make it to Memorial Day this season? 

JC: Depends on snowpack. Mother Nature kind of holds those cards for how long we’re going to go, but we’re going to give it our best to ski and ride as long as we can into May.