One of America's oldest ski areas, Winter Park Resort is probably the best known for its close proximity to Denver. In fact, the resort, which is located just 65 miles from Denver, was recently owned and operated by the City of Denver. In 2002, Denver entered into an agreement with Intrawest, ULC to manage the resort.
Winter Park Ski Area opens in time for the 1939-40 ski season. Until 2009, a railway line from Denver known as the "ski train" shuttled Denver residents to the resort.
Winter Park Ski Resort Winter Park, Colorado . The city has a year-round population of just 662 as of the 2000 census, but the population swells during the ski season with seasonal residents, workers and tourists. In addition there are several small towns in close proximity around the Fraser Valley and Grand County where Winter Park is located. Granby, where Granby Ranch Resort and SolVista Basin Ski Resort is located only a few miles away.
The area is a growing reputation as an year-round recreational area. Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular area for hiking, backpacking and camping. Local ski areas including nearby SolVista Basin work during the summer to carry mountain bikers to the tops of mountain trails where they enjoy descending challenging terrain among beautiful rocky mountain scenery.
The area is also home to several golf courses, planned vacation home communities, fishing streams and summer music and culture festivals It has become a favorite location for Denver residents to build weekend vacation homes, but also provides a large inventory of vacation rentals including homes, cabins and condominiums.
Winter Park consists of three main peaks interconnected by lifts including Mary Jane and Vasquez Ridge . Only Mary Jane has a different base and is home to some of the resort's more challenging terrain including moguls, tree skiing and Parsenn Bowl.
Vasquez Cirque was a popular backcountry ski area and it was only Mary Jane , but is now serviced since 2006 by a new triple chair lift.
For beginner skiers, children or those who are afraid of heights, Winter Park provides a number of surface and conveyor lifts. These consists of rope tow lifts (where the skier is pulled up the surface of the slope by a handle attached to a rope) and three conveyor lifts (where the skier stands on a large conveyor belt).
Under Intrawest's management, Winter Park is being developed in a much more well-rounded resort than just being a day ski area. New developments include hundreds of mountainside condos, new restaurants and renovated food service, a family swimming center, miniature golf, a climbing wall and an alpine slide.
Winter Park is expected to continue its growth due to the foreseeable future access from a major metropolitan area and international airport and due to its beautiful scenery and favorable geography. It will continue to be a favorite vacation and recreation destination for Americans and people from around the world who want to enjoy the beauty and entertainment opportunities in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.