reliable snow, terrain separated by difficulty
Hard to get across mountain, boring runs, slow lifts for beginners
I love cruising well-manicured blue runs, so you would think I'd be in heaven at Copper, but it just doesn't do it for me (for several reasons). For starters, the runs are straightforward and uninteresting. Compared to Keystone or Vail, these runs just lack character. Also, it is painfully difficult to get across the mountain. If you wish to get from one side to the other, you'll inevitably end up on a side-hill road or awkwardly-cut trail.
The reason I can't rate Copper higher for families is that the main area for beginners is serviced by incredibly slow lifts. Why on earth do experts get some high-speed lifts but beginners' only option is to get on the old whip-around double? Does not make sense.
I don't want to be all negative, however, because Copper has its shining points. If you are an expert, I would imagine that the high alpine bowls are fantastic. (For intermediates, the bowls at Vail are far superior.) The snow conditions are immaculate, and they groom most everything green and blue, as well as several blacks, which is really nice. Also, except for the beginner terrain, the lifts are fast and the runs are long.
I might come here again, mostly because they often have cheap deals for lift tickets compared to surrounding resorts, but if I had the choice, I'd go to Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Winter Park, and Beaver Creek ahead of Copper Mountain.