Winter Park Resort Gondola opening is imminent
Winter Park Resort’s new 10-person gondola will open imminently, officials at the resort said Friday.
Steve Hurlbert, director of public relations and communications, said all of the cabins have been hung and are undergoing final rounds of testing.
“Right now we are doing acceptance testing and after that it should just be little stuff that we need to fix,” he said. “It’s a direct drive system, which is a lot more efficient than normal lifts, but it also means that it’s a lot more complex.”
The acceptance testing involves loading each cabin with around 1,200 pounds of ice in receptacles and running the gondola through all of its functions.
Once the testing and adjustments are complete, the resort will get its permit from the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board and it will be able to open the gondola to the public, Hurlbert explained.
While the resort does not currently have a set opening date, Hurlbert said there will be an opening event with specialty doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnuts and commemorative stickers, as well as a red ribbon on the first cabin up the mountain.
“It’s fitting that this is happening around the Christmastime because it’s that same sort of anticipation you have when you’re a kid and you see all the presents underneath the tree and they’re all wrapped and you just can’t wait to get in there and rip into them and see what they are,” he said. “It’s that exact same feeling.”
In honor of the new gondola, Winter Park Resort is currently selling a limited-edition, one-of-a-kind Patrón tequila. And with the addition of the new gondola, the resort will offer Sunspot Après and weekend gourmet dinners at Sunspot Lodge as part of its dining repertoire starting Jan. 3.
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With vaccine availability still limited statewide and nationwide, Grand County is seeing a different type of visitor this winter: the vaccine tourist.