Winter Park Resort is opening its new $100 million base village for its 69th ski season as a resort in 2008 / 2009.
The oldest ski resort in Colorado, Winter Park has had a reputation for wonderful skiing and had been popular with Colorado residents for decades, with many Coloradans learning to ski at Winter Park.
It is also known for having the most consistent snow year after year, but not for a happening village at the base. The town of Winter Park just 10 minutes drive or bus from the base area has had by far the majority of the bars, restaurants & shops until now. Winter Park town itself continues to thrive, but now Winter Park skiers have the additional benefit of a more robust village at the Winter Park base area.
Since being bought by Intrawest, millions have been invested in Winter Park Resort to turn the low key resort into a destination ski area. The new “village at Winter Park Resort” has 30,000 square foot of new shops, restaurants and accommodation, adjacent to the only true ski in ski out accommodation in Winter Park Resort of Zephyr Mountain Lodge. Restaurants include Cheeky Monk, a belgian bistro, specialising in Belgian beer, Lime Mexican restaurant and Pizza Peddlar. Ski gear and a T-shirt shop are just 2 of the new shops being added to the village this year. Some of the on mountain restaurants have also received up grades: Snoasis and the Club Car restaurant at Mary Jane have both had recent face lifts, so now skiers and boarders have a real choice of cuisine on the mountain or at the base area.
In the centre of the new village is an ice skating rink and there are free lessons each weekend. In Summer this turns into a scenic pond a great place for guests to sit & relax, enjoying the mountain views.
The new village cabriolet, an open air gondola, (sometimes called the bucket by the locals) takes skiers from the free car parks on the outskirts of the resort into the base village and provides a central gathering point in the village. The $5.6 million investment spans 1436 feet and delivers 2800 people an hour capacity. It's due to be completed for opening day 19 November, 2008. The new lift has the ability to hold guests, their equipment, wheelchairs and even mountain bikes in the Summer. Winter Park Resort plans to buy an extra 200 megawatts of renewable energy credits to operate the new cabriolet lift. A new enclosed car park has been built, for those who don't mind paying to park a little closer.
There has been a lot happening in Winter Park over the last few years even before the new village was built. The old summit lift was replaced by the Super Gauge 6 pack chairlift quickly delivering skiers from the base of Mary Jane to top. The new Panoramic Express ski lift reaches from bottom of the Sunnyside area to the top of Parsenn bowl and is the highest 6 pack in North America. The new Eagle Wind lift opened up previously difficult to access terrain and is mostly natural terrain with trees and fantastic powder, with fantastic new black runs. The new glading work off the Panormaic Express lift made the trees runs more open than previously. There black tree runs are now a little easier and accessible to more people, plus 2 beautiful new blue runs have been added Parry's Peak and Forever Eva, which have been extremely popular with guests.
After the development of the new village, Winter Park Resort has become a great place to dine and shop, as well as a place to enjoy the enhanced terrain, faster lifts and ever great snow conditions.
Helen Brown owner of Chalets USA (www.chalets-usa.co.uk), who provide ski holidays accommodation throughout Colorado, to their international guests, is excited about the new additions to Winter Park. “The new village will give people a more alpine experience with dining and shopping choices at the base of the mountain”. Due to the development of the village Helen has now added lodging at the Winter Park base area to her portfolio in Zephyr Mountain Lodge ski in, ski out apartments and Founders Pointe / Fraser Crossing 50 yards from the base area “Now our guests have the luxury of ski in, ski out accommodation with some restaurants nearby.”
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