Photo courtesy of Winter Park Resort
On November 14th at 9 am, the lifts will begin turning on Winter Park Resort’s 80th season of operation. With nearly six feet of natural snow and a powerful new snowmaking system, it will most certainly be one of the best opening days in recent years.
On November 6th, resort staff were treated to an employee ski day, giving them a taste of the upcoming season. “Conditions were great for early season”, said one employee. “We got to ski Parkway (“aka” The Practice Hill), but with all the snowmaking they’ve done, it looked like Larry Sale and more terrain could open soon.”
Since Alterra assumed management of the resort last winter, a lot has been happening. With $28 million in capital improvements, the 2018-2019 season will see the opening of a brand new 10-person gondola, whisking riders from the base to the top of Winter Park in just five minutes. While still in construction, The Gondola, as it is so named, is planned to open mid-December.
The Village Plaza also had a makeover, with the addition of heated pavers in the walkways, a new firepit and stage. Original Timberline lift chairs have also been upcycled into swings placed across the plaza.
And then there’s the new snowmaking system. The resort added 40,000 feet of new pipe and new guns, increasing snowmaking capacity by three times. This will come in handy in seasons when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.
We’ve pulled our gear from the closet, tuned our boards and cannot wait for that first chair ride of the season. Hope to see you there!