Foundation laying ceremony brings Winter Park Resort project closer to delivering workforce housing

Winter Park Resort stakeholders leave their mark during the workforce housing foundation-laying ceremony.
Winter Park Resort/Courtesy Photo

Amid the region’s affordable housing crisis, Winter Park Resort is laying the groundwork for the town of Winter Park’s largest workforce housing project to date.

On Oct. 17, the more than 330-bed housing project took another step to completion when the resort hosted a foundation-laying ceremony to celebrate the progress they have made since the project broke ground this summer. Construction crews are currently working on excavating the foundation, with the project’s completion slated for fall 2023. Winter Park Resort, Alterra Mountain Company, and other project representatives were on hand during the event, literally, as they made handprints in freshly poured concrete.

“The Town of Winter Park is in full support of this workforce housing project. Throughout the planning process, the resort has thoughtfully ensured that the concept aligned with the town’s housing needs assessment and workforce housing strategy,” said Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos in a news release. “Collectively we believe that the ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of life for our workforce and residents. Winter Park Resort has checked that box by keeping the project within walking distance to jobs, public transportation and arguably the best outdoor recreation in the region.”

The Town of Winter Park, Alterra Mountain Company, Winter Park Resort, the Winter Park Recreational Association, Saunders Construction, the City of Denver and others collaborated to make the housing a reality.

It will include two buildings for nearly 400 employees and be located off U.S. Highway 40 near the Vintage Hotel. Employees heading to work or to recreate on their time off will be just minutes from the lifts.

Although Winter Park Resort currently offers limited workforce housing in town, this new project will give employees a chance to live in private accommodations right next door to where they work and play. The housing is geared toward seasonal workers, but is also available to year-round staff. Rather than multi-bed dorm-style rooms, the housing will include a mix of studio apartments, single-bedroom units and locked-off bedrooms. Kitchens and living rooms will be communal. The project is expected to use sustainable modular construction and be ready for future solar intallations.

“Winter Park has grown into a world-class destination, offering escape and adventure to thousands of people every year. But affordable housing in our community hasn’t kept up. As one of the largest employers in the area, we recognize the role we must play in improving our housing issues, and this project is a significant step in the right direction,” said Sky Foulkes, Winter Park Resort president. “Our employees are the lifeblood of our organization and community, and the key to our success, so we’re thrilled to be moving this project forward.”

Workforce housing will be available in time for next year’s ski season. During the high season, the resort employs about 1,000 staff members (including year-round and seasonal); that number drops nearly to half in the off-season.
Winter Park Resort/Courtesy Photo

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