One of Colorado’s most established ski resorts is debuting some exciting upgrades in the 2018-19 ski season, and beyond. Parent organization Alterra Mountain Company has invested $28M in capital improvements to Winter Park Resort. Enhancements will be made throughout the resort’s territories, with several highly visible additions rolling out right away.
THE EAGERLY AWAITED GONDOLA
A brand new, 10-person gondola will spin beginning in mid-December, replacing the Zephyr Express high-speed quad lift on the mountain’s popular Winter Park territory. At a cost of approximately $16M, this Leitner-Poma of North America gondola was manufactured right in Western Colorado’s city of Grand Junction. The addition of a gondola of this size delivers benefits that include increased uphill capacity on the mountain, with up to 3,600 skiers and snowboarders riding per hour, and lift wait times reduced by up to fifteen minutes during peak season. With no new lifts added at Winter Park since 2007, the gondola’s arrival marks a new vision for this historic, seventy-five year old resort. The official name of the new gondola has yet to be released, but the buzz will no doubt begin after the opening on November 14th.
MOUNTAINTOP APRÈS – ON THE WAY
Shortly after the gondola makes its inaugural run up to the picturesque Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge, festive drinks and small bites will be available at what has traditionally been a lunch stop. Enjoy a winter sunset at nearly 11,000 feet; Mountaintop Après commences in January of 2019.
SNOWMAKING IS ON THE RISE
Despite this season already looking far more promising for winter storms than last, (come on, El Niño!) Winter Park has gotten wise. 27 of the 166 designated trails, or 313 of 1,212 skiable acres, will benefit from the $4M just spent on improvements that include overhauling the 42-year-old snowmaking system. On the heels of 2017-18’s infamously lighter amount of snowfall in the Southern Rockies, this enhancement arrives at the perfect time. Energy efficiency upgrades and pipe replacements will compliment new snowmaking guns strategically placed throughout the territories.
EAGLE WIND GETS PRUNED
The glades and even somewhat dense forest of Winter Park’s Eagle Wind territory have long been a favorite of folks who love kicking it swiftly between the pines. But in recent seasons more dead timber has been observed, for better or worse. It’s always fun to make a jump off a strategically fallen trunk. But too much can obstruct the trails. The resort has noticed too, and started conducting logging operations that cover 21 aces of Eagle Wind. Steady drops through pristine beauty are in this season’s forecast.
CHAIRLIFT SWINGS LIVEN UP THE NEW PLAZA
The Plaza at the Winter Park Village has always been a focal point for meeting friends and hanging out. It, too, has been given a fresh sprucing. New paver stones have been laid, concrete poured into place, and Timberline chairlift swings have been added, with a completion date scheduled for ten days ahead of the resort’s planned first chair. The grand opening day at Winter Park can close cozily by the fire pit in this lively new plaza space.
$200 RESORT CREDIT
The icing on top of all that’s new at Winter Park for the 2018-19 ski season is a $200 resort credit available when 4 nights of lodging are booked by November 10, 2018. Opt to stay at the landmark Vintage Hotel, ski-in/ski-out Zephyr Mountain Lodge, or beautiful Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe deluxe condos, then plan for an additional $200 worth of fun to spend across the resort. Ski lessons, extra gear or a mountaintop dinner – all are available with this added perk. But it will disappear like frost on a bluebird day if you don’t act fast!
Winter Park is clearly committed to continually delivering the great experience its reputation was built upon. Three quarters of a century and just getting started. This is one Colorado resort that stays fresh, year after year.