Winter Park Resort donates Zephyr Express chairs to Grand Foundation |

Winter Park Resort donates Zephyr Express chairs to Grand Foundation

Chairs from the Zephyr Express Chairlift after its deconstruction earlier this year.
Carl Frey/Winter Park Resort

Have you ever wanted to own your own little piece of Winter Park Resort? Well now’s your chance.

Winter Park Resort donated a number of old chairs and gondolas from the recently dismantled Zephyr Express Chairlift to the Grand Foundation. The foundation will sell the chairs, and use all of the profits to bolster The Groswold Endowment Fund.

“I think the story here is just how much Winter Park Resort is giving back to the community through doing this,” said Megan Ledin, executive director of the Grand Foundation. “Not only did they help us set fair prices, but 100 percent of the proceeds are going back out to the community.”

The Groswold Endowment Fund was started in 2016 at the bequest of the late Jerry Groswold, the founder of the Grand Foundation and former Winter Park Resort CEO, who provided $250,000 in seed money. Over the last 18 months, the foundation has been working to build the endowment up to $1 million so that it can begin awarding its dividends into the community. Now, that goal is within sight.

The resort donated 100 chairs from the lift, along with 14 gondolas. The foundation has already sold all of the gondolas for $1,500 apiece, as well as more than 60 chairs at $500 apiece. Once all of the chairs are sold, it will add up to more than $65,000 for the foundation, and finally put the Groswold Endowment Fund over the $1 million mark.

“This is what Jerry would want,” said Ledin. “He would want us to establish this endowment fund, which he helped to start before he passed away. We needed to reach $1 million to draw down from it, and with this money we’re going to exceed that.”

Once the mark is reached, the foundation will need to bring in a finance committee to analyze the fund, and find out what the returns will be on it. Ledin expects that the foundation will begin doling out grants from its appreciation in 2019, and that grants from the fund would likely operate via an annualized application process.

To purchase a chair visit and search for “Winter Park’s Zephyr Express.” The sale technically lasts until the end of August, but Ledin said she expects the last of the chairs to be sold within the next week or two.

“It all circles back to how much Jerry gave to this community, and continues to give with these kinds of efforts,” said Ledin. “With this endowment and this kind of connection to the ski area, it’s just huge. I like to see Jerry’s legacy living on, and I think this is a really awesome way to go about it.”

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