Winter Park Resort embraces the ‘unlesson’
An expansion of Winter Park Resort’s Adventure Concierge program hopes to introduce more people to what makes the resort special.
Anyone can enjoy a day of skiing and riding at Winter Park Resort, but many people don’t know where to look for a good snow stash, why a run is named Cranmer or Mulligan’s Mile, or a number of other unique details about the resort.
This season Winter Park Resort is taking what it learned from the program’s pilot year and making its adventures more customizable and diversifying its offerings.
Guests can now enjoy guided night skiing, as well as evening snowshoeing, snowcat rides and Sno-Gos, which are ski bikes. Each adventure ranges from 90-120 minutes on the mountain.
“It will be a guided experience with headlamps, so not you’re traditional night skiing and riding experiences,” said Mark Adamczyk, director of outdoor adventure for the resort.
Adamczyk said they wanted to ensure the resort’s offerings go beyond traditional skiing and riding by taking advantage of different ways to enjoy the mountains.
“We want to give people something else to do rather than sit at the base while their families are out skiing,” he said. “There’s something for everyone here and it doesn’t all have to be turbo.”
While there is no shortage of ways to get out in Winter Park, Adamczyk said the adventure concierge program stands out because of the guides and their knowledge of the Fraser Valley.
In an effort to take advantage of this, the new offerings, along with the original adventures, are embracing a less formal and more personal style that Adamczyk called an “unlesson.”
“In general, what we’re trying to do with this is talk to our guests … and really listen to them and give them the experience they want,” he said. “If someone just wants to go learn the mountain for a few hours, then we can teach them that.”
This move followed feedback from guests last year. The program saw steady growth month after month once people realized how flexible and unique the adventures could be.
Booking an adventure works similarly to booking a lesson, except guests can decide which guide they want to hang out with for the duration of the adventure. Adamczyk called it a kind of Match.com for guests and guides.
“The key to the whole experience is these really interesting, knowledgeable people,” he said of the guides. “That connection is what brings people back.”
He noted that the program is also perfect for visitors new to the Winter Park area because they can get to know the terrain quickly with help from an expert.
Adamczyk said the resort hopes to continue building on the program’s growth this year and become a hub of knowledge about outdoor recreation in the valley.
“We really want to be a resource for people to stop in … and give people good resources to enjoy, not just at the resort but the whole valley,” he said.
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