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Small slopes with a big mission

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Posted at 6:56 PM, Nov 18, 2020

CUCHARA — Huerfano county is bustling with business in the summer months, but doesn't see much traffic come winter time.

Cuchara Mountain Park is hoping that their new ski lift will change that.

"It helps the community. It helps the county, and now with people deserting big cities in droves, they'll have some place to come," said Mike Moore, Treasurer of the Cuchara Foundation.

The Cuchara Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that's partnering with the county to bring this land back to life. The slopes on Cuchara Mountain Park haven't been up and running for the public since 2001. The foundation purchased the land back in 2017, making them the sixth owner since the slopes closed. Others have tried to reopen the mountain, but found themselves unsuccessful.

"We've tried everything to revive it," said Moore "A nonprofit just turned out to be the only way that we could make it work and make it part of the county."

The foundation is adamant about keeping the operation small with cheap lift tickets and slopes that children in the area can learn on, since they haven't had a lift this close by in their lifetimes.

Moore is tired of large corporation prioritizing income over customers. He says this operation "seems to make it more fun than being out there, trying to make millions of dollars."

The ski lift was originally meant to open by Christmas to drive visitors there for the holidays, but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Now, they hope to have the lift running by the end of January.