At the confluence of Tenmile and West Ten-mile creeks, John S. Wheeler established Wheeler in 1880. This mining district crossroads was restaked in 1972 as the Copper Mountain Ski Resort. Named for an old, low-yield copper mine, Copper Mountain has functional rather than stylized structures produced by in-house designers relying heavily on precast concrete that withstands extreme freeze-thaw cycles.
During the 1980s architectural diversity came with a new conference center, condominiums, an athletic club, a golf course, and a chapel (1976, Taniguchi and Associates), a Mineshaft Modern design combining a box and a modified A frame. Elsewhere on the grounds, an old barn and log cabin remind skiers and golfers of a very different lifestyle here a century ago.