The 2018/19 winter season at Winter Park Resort promises to be a watershed moment in the history of the resort as well as the surrounding community with a host of exciting changes taking place. These additions will keep Winter Park among the top resorts in the world, preserving its storied past while also staying poised for future growth and success.
$30 million in capital improvements have been invested in the resort over the summer, the most at one time in the 78-year history of Winter Park. The centre piece of this investment is a new $21 million, 10-person gondola, which replaces the aged Zephyr Express and will increase uphill capacity to 3,600 guests per hour, whisking skiers/riders to The Lodge at Sunspot in a mere five minutes. The new gondola also features a revolutionary Direct Drive system, the first of its kind utilized in North America, which makes the new lift not only whisper-quiet, but much more energy efficient.
Winter Park’s 42-year old snowmaking system is also getting a much-needed $4 million overhaul, which includes the replacement of 45,000 linear feet of pipe, installation of high-efficiency compressors, the addition of 30 new electric pedestals, and an array of new state-of-the-art fan guns. Combined, these many upgrades will triple the amount of snow Winter Park can make under proper conditions, enabling Winter Park to ideally open more terrain more quickly.
The action isn’t confined solely to the mountain, as Winter Park has partnered with the Winter Park Village Company Master Association for a complete renovation of the Village Plaza located adjacent to the gondola. The new $2 million plaza will be a hub of base-area congregation, with an open, comfortable feel that is perfect for events, small concerts, or just socializing. The entire area is outfitted with over 30,000 square feet of snow-melt, making it easily accessible even with Winter Park’s 324” of annual snowfall.
Winter Park’s world-famous ski train, Amtrak’s Winter Park Express, is also back for a third season with more Friday operation dates and a new lounge car with floor-to-ceiling windows for enjoying the scenic 90 minute trip from Denver Union Station directly to the slopes of Winter Park Resort.