Overview of Winter Park Ski Resort
Winter Park has been a Colorado institution for 70 years now. Originally Denverites used to jump on the ski train for the spectacular ride from the city centre to ski Winter Park. Nowadays they mostly drive up as it’s still one of the easiest ski areas to reach from the city.
Winter Park is still the only major ski area in Colorado that is publically owned, by the City and County of Denver, but for several years now it has been operated by the company behind Whistler and other successful resorts in North America including Winter Park’s neighbour Copper Mountain, Intrawest.
The ski resort is spread over four neighbouring ski areas including the original Winter Park slopes, Mary Jane, (including Parsenn Bowl), Vasquez Cirque, and Vasquez Ridge.
The ski area is one of the highest in the world and one of the largest in North America, covering more than 3000 hectares.
At the base of the slopes there used to be limited on-mountain accommodation and most resort guests stayed in the wider Fraser Valley below, in or near either the town of Winter Park just below the ski area, or the nearby town of Fraser. However a third option, The Village at Winter Park, has been growing over recent years right at the base of the lifts and is now officially complete. This new base is linked to the base of the slopes by the signature Intrawest open-topped cabriolet gondola lift.
Downtown Winter Park still has the majority of the facilities for dining and shopping however. It is located two miles (3.2 kilometers) from Winter Park Resort and offers a wide variety of activities also including bars, a cinema, activities and spas. A free shuttle bus circulates between the resort and the town all day and up to 10pm at night.