Winter Park Resort Opening Day
Visit Winter Park
Welcome to Winter:
Winter Park Resort opens for the 2017-2018 season
By: Tyler Macleod
It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year.
And no, despite the influx of holiday commercials and even the decorations already strewn up about town, we’re not talking about that time of year quite yet. We’re, of course, talking about ski season.
With a line of skiers and snowboarders awaiting the much-anticipated first chair, Winter Park Resort officially opened for the 2017-18 season at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning beneath clear blue skies.
Even with the recent dry weather and warm temperatures, the resort’s snowmakers worked around the clock to ensure another successful opening for the ski area. And despite only a few lifts and runs open – four trails to be exact – skiers and snowboarders eagerly took advantage of the accessible terrain to brush off the rust and break in the new equipment.
With many skiers and riders clad in costumes and retro ski gear, opening day at Winter Park Resort proved to be yet another fun-filled celebration to kick off the long ski season ahead. While some took to the Gemini lift for some casual turns or even some deep carves beneath the midday sun, others took advantage of the early-season terrain park located in Sorensen Park. With 11 features ranging from handrails to boxes, the park crew made sure to appease skiers and riders of all ability levels, while utilizing the easy accessibility provided by Sorensen Park’s platter-style tow rope.
And when their legs started to show some early-season fatigue, skiers found solace in the dollar-priced beers offered by Winter Park Resort’s Derailer bar, where –because of the clear skies and mild temperature – skiers could sit and watch from the patio as fellow riders cruised down the Parkway trail beneath the Gemini lift.
This season marks the 78th year of operation for Winter Park Resort, and with new management taking over the ski area’s operations, there is plenty of excitement and anticipation for what the future has in store. Recently, a new partnership between Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners acquired a number of ski resorts through the purchase of Intrawest – the company that previously managed Winter Park Resort, in addition to owning nearby Steamboat Resort among others.
But for now, it seems as though skiers and riders are simply looking forward to more snow – and hopefully more open terrain – in the immediate future. With a major storm forecasted later this week, perhaps an early holiday gift of powder isn’t out of the question. Welcome to winter. We hope to see you out there!
An East Coast transplant, Tyler grew up just north of Baltimore, Md., where he studied Journalism and New Media at nearby Towson University. He moved to Grand County in the fall of 2011, and aside from a brief stint in Bozeman, Mont., has called the Fraser Valley home ever since. Currently, he is a freelance writer and photographer who spends the majority of his free time snowboarding, cycling, and hanging out at the local skatepark. Tyler recently became an owner-partner of Visit Winter Park Magazine and heads up writing and sales.