Winter Park Resort opens season strong with most snow in a decade (with video)
Kicking off ski season at Winter Park Resort with the first chair up the mountain, and the first run down, was one of Granby resident Carlos Galindo’s goals. And in an effort to make it happen, he camped out overnight at the resort.
“Last year there were six people in front of me, so this year I said I’m not taking the chance, I’m just camping out,” he said. “(From) 6 p.m. until this morning, I think I packed everything up at 7 a.m. (…) 75 days on the mountain, that’s my goal.”
Winter Park Resort celebrated opening day Wednesday morning with the ceremonial first chair taking off at 9 a.m. Around 50 people lined up before then to get in the first runs of the season, but the mountain quickly filled up as more skiers and riders trickled in.
This was just the start of the season, but director of public relations and communications for the resort Steve Hurlbert said it started strong.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Hurlbert said. “We’ve gotten 45.5 inches of snow, which is the most we’ve had for an opening day in 10 years, so ski conditions are great.”
The resort opened 55 acres of terrain, including eight trails and five lifts. Denver Broncos’ mascot Miles also joined the opening day celebration, taking photos with fans and riding on the first chair up the mountain.
The resort’s new 10-person gondola was not yet operational, but the new $4 million snowmaking systems was turned on to top off the 45.5 inches of snow the resort received in the past two weeks.
“The snow was great, nice and fast, great carving snow today,” said Fraser resident Karen Wilkie, who had skied down the mountain earlier that morning.
Riders and skiers coming down from the first runs of the season had positive reactions to the new improvements and opening day in general.
“I wanted to see how the new snowmaking machine worked out and it looks really good and conditions are really good,” said Bailey Olsen, from Branson, Mo. “I’m having a great time out here.”
Hurlbert said it’s a monumental year for the resort and he believes the improvements will enhance the ski season overall.
The Gondola is scheduled to open mid-December, but in the meantime the resort will continue opening terrain as conditions allow.
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