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From: Davis Potts
Date: 10-03-2011 02:00:00 am

Subject: Winter Park Ski Resort


By Davis Potts

One of America's oldest ski areas, Winter Park Resort is perhaps best known for its close proximity to Denver. In fact, the resort, which is located just 65 miles from Denver, was until 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 opened in time for the 1939-40 ski season. Until 2009, a rail line from Denver known as the "ski train" shuttled Denver residents to the resort where many of them learned to ski for the first time.

Winter Park Ski Resort is located near the city of 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 are located is only a few miles away.

The area has a growing reputation as a year-round recreational area. Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular area for hiking, backpacking and camping. Local ski areas including nearby SolVista Basin operate during the summer to carry mountain bikers to the tops of mountain trails where they can 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 construct 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 separate 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 was accessible only by hiking from the top of 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 consist 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 into a much more well-rounded resort instead of just being a day ski area. New development includes hundreds of mountainside condos, new restaurants and renovated food service, a family swim center, miniature golf, a climbing wall and an alpine slide.

Winter Park is expected to continue its growth for the foreseeable future due to its easy 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 for people from around the world who want to enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities to be found in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Davis Potts is a marketing professional, avid skier and Colorado resident who works with leading providers of Winter Park Lodging.

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Seasonal Travel -    08-26-2011 15:20:00 pm
      Winter Skiing -    01-15-2011 02:00:00 am
            Winter Park Ski Resort - Davis Potts   10-03-2011 02:00:00 am


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