It's dog-eat-dog in the summertime for all of Colorado's mountain resorts, big and small. But at least one of the underdogs, Copper Mountain, took a dilemma by the horns this year by rolling out an entire season of special events, many of them new and decidedly different. Circus weekends, monster trucks, country-music stars: You name it, Copper's got it. "We're having a summer like we've never had before," says spokeswoman Lauren Pelletreau of the resort's unorthodox lineup. And this weekend, she crows, Copper will twang to life with Guitar Town, a unique festival of guitar-oriented concerts, contests and auctions designed to please the crowds -- a little live music, a little charity, a little American Idol. It has the flavor of a real fair for fans, featuring an auction of instruments signed by the likes of Jo Dee Messina, Brooks & Dunn, John Mayer, Wyclef Jean and others (to benefit Eric Clapton's Crossroads Foundation), as well as the Guitars on Fire competition, offering local ax-slingers a grand-prize trip to Nashville to audition for the William Morris Agency. You go, guitar-pickers!
On stage, the fest will host a powerhouse roster -- Buddy Guy, Eric Johnson, Lee Ritenour, Sonny Landreth, Larry Carlton and Robben Ford -- with an added attraction: A limited number of on-stage tickets will be available to fans for a $15 additional fee. Imagine being this close to Guy's polka-dotted Strat!
Tickets are $35 daily or $60 for both days ($8 daily for children, with ticket discounts offered for lodging guests); auction admission is $15, and a $20 fee is required to enter Guitars on Fire; call 1-866-841-2481 or visit www.coppercolorado.com.--Susan Froyd