Learn More About Winter Park Ski Resort and Nearby Granby Ranch
Winter Park history and mountain statistics. The Ski resort first opened for business in 1940 as a small ski resort with three trails. The ski resort really got a head start when in 1978, the city of Denver, became interested in developing a mountain park system to promote winter sports to tourists and residents. Development then began of Winter Park Resort and West Portal. Also, the town originally known as Hideaway Park located next door to the Winter Park ski area, was renamed as the town of Winter Park. After these changes business for the the town of Winter Park, Colorado and Winter Park Resort really took off as our community became known as a ski resort town.
Winter Park ski resort has become one of the main employers of Winter Park and the Fraser Valley with tourism as the primary economic force. Each year, Winter Park resort has close to one million visitors that hail from all over the world. Many visitors to Winter Park ski resort are season pass holders and come from the Front Range (what the local Winter Park population calls people that visit from the cities of Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs). Most everyone who visits the ski resort is drawn by the beauty of the Continental Divide and the Fraser Valley. Many skiers and snow boarders love the moguls on Mary Jane and the steep terrain of Vazquez Cirque. The city of Denver ran Winter Park Resort until ten years ago, when they hired Intrawest to manage the ski resort. Under Intrawest's management, the ski resort has seen a new base village develop that includes restaurants and retail, plus many on-mountain improvements with additional lifts, trails and snowmaking. A few of the stand out improvements include the Railyard Terrain Park, the Private Lesson building and the Panoramic Express at the Jane, which provides easy access to endless powder and super long tree runs.
Winter Park Resort Statistics
To date, Winter Park Resort receives an average of 29 feet of snow annually, has 3,060 total skiable acreage including off piste terrain at Vazquez Cirque and glade skiing. Winter Park Resort is comprised of four distinct areas: Winter Park Resort, Vasquez, Mary Jane and Vasquez Cirque. The ski resort has a total of 25 chair lifts that access beginner terrain, wide groomers, steep tree and mogul runs and high alpine terrain. This wide variety of terrain offers everyone that visits Winter Park ski resort the ability to find just the right area for their ski or snow level and needs.
Learn to Ski and Ride at Winter Park Resort
Winter Park ski resort has a strong reputation for ski-snowboard learning and development. Their ski and ride school is one of the finest with their children's ski lesson program and adult learn to ski and ride program. Students learn in a safe environment called Sorensen Park located at the base of Winter Park Resort. This beginner area features two magic carpets and a tow lift, students stay in this area until the entire class displays to the instructor their ability to move to a chair-lift. Once students have accomplished certain steps in the teaching paradigm, ski and snowboard instructors take the class up to Discovery Park, which is a fenced in area located mid mountain. This area features three chair-lifts and has plenty of varying terrain to keep students entertained while teaching them ski and snowboarding skills. Winter Park Resort has also taken the progression teaching approach to terrain parks. Visitors enjoy beginner terrain parks that progress as the skier or rider progresses to the next level. Most skiers and snow boarders want their end goal to be able to ride the Rail Yard Terrain Park.
Summer Activities at Winter Park Resort
In the summer, Winter Park Resort has historically had plenty of activities for families and individuals from miniature golf, the alpine slide, human maze, Disc golf, bouncy snow-cat, scenic chair-lift rides, mini zip line and the leaps and bounds bungee. Over the last few years, Winter Park Resort has gained the reputation of becoming one of the fastest growing bike parks in North America! In the old days, the mountain bike trails, were simply rocky trails that bikers climbed up or rode down. The resort only had one down hill course. Now, the trails have really changed with man made features like extra wide turns, smooth trails for speed, drops, jumps and bridges. One of the coolest sights is seeing a rider glide past you on the trail effortlessly riding these features as they fly through the air. Down hill bikers, new to the sport, can check out a bike and pad rental plus lesson during the week for almost half the normal weekend rate. If you want to get into the sport or just improve your down hill, be sure to check out this class!
Winter Park's Neighboring Resort | Granby Ranch
Open December, 2014 - March, 2015 (TBA)
Granby Ranch is a little known Colorado ski resort gem in Grand County. Granby Ranch is located in Granby and close to Winter Park ski resort. Many find this resort perfect for beginner skiers and snow boarders. The terrain is not as intimidating as Winter Park Resort and has all the amenities you would hope to expect from a larger ski resort. The base area has a large day lodge called the "Base Camp Lodge". This day lodge hosts Seven Trails Grill, Higher Grounds Coffee shop and a large dining hall for meals on the go. The ski shop is also located at Base Camp Lodge, making it easy to pick up rentals or purchase a forgotten item needed for the ski trip.
Families and groups not only like Granby Ranch Ski Resort because of the terrain but also like the size of the resort. This resort is just a bit smaller than Winter Park ski resort and is perfect for keeping the group from getting lost. All of the ski trails merge to one base area making it easy to meet each other for lunch or at the end of the day. A unique offering to this resort is night skiing. Not many Colorado ski resorts offer night skiing any more, it used to be a trend years ago, so be sure to try this out at least once. There is nothing like the feeling of the cool wind on your face as you slide down the hill, you feel as though you are going a million miles an hour! Plus what a great way to get in more skiing or snowboarding in while on your ski trip.
Granby Ranch does not shut down after the winter is over, but opens full swing in the summer for mountain biking, hiking, weddings and numerous summer events. The mountain bike park, Granby Ranch Bike Park, is gaining a reputation as an up and coming bike park hosting events such as the Sol Survivor Mountain States Cup and other mainstream bike events. Granby Ranch bike park staff members also offer downhill bike clinics teaching men, women and kids how to tackle the downhill terrain. Be sure to check out the pump course while you are there, this will be sure to get the adrenaline going and bring a big smile to your face! A bike shop is also located at the base for bike rentals and downhill gear. Be sure to check out the outdoor dining options after a hard day of play, the options will satisfy the entire family!
Winter Park Lodging Options Close to Winter Park Resort
Destinations West offers lodging close to Winter Park ski resort and Granby Ranch ski resort. Some of our lodging options include large homes that sleep up to 16 people and are a short drive to Granby Ranch. Other options are located in Old Town Winter Park within walking distance or a short shuttle ride to the base of Winter Park ski resort. We also have some homes that have views of Winter Park Resort, just a quick drive in your car will take you to the ski area.
For guests that are not too concerned about the proximity to the ski resorts but prefer a vacation rental that is easily accessible and centrally located, Destinations West has the perfect lodging options. For more information, please visit our lodging page or you may also send us an email and one of our staff will be in touch with you. To speak to someone about our vacation rentals, please call 800-545-9378, and one of our staff members will go over potential lodging options with you. We also have discounted lift tickets, please be sure to ask about our lift ticket rates.