Winter Park Resort reports Thanksgiving weekend was on par with 2007 |

Winter Park Resort reports Thanksgiving weekend was on par with 2007

Will Bublitz
Grand County, Colorado

The long Thanksgiving weekend was reportedly a good one at Winter Park Resort.

Although the resort did not release actual skier numbers for the four-day holiday weekend, Winter Park Resort officials said they are pleased with the results for Thanksgiving, which traditionally serves as an indicator of how well a ski season might go.

“Our skier numbers were comparable to Thanksgiving weekend last year,” said Jennifer deBerge, the resort’s communications coordinator. “But that was as expected because we had a similar amount of terrain open this year as we did a year ago at this time.”

Prior to the start of the holiday midweek last week, the resort had only a few trails open, primarily with manmade snow.

But to the delight of both the resort and its skiers, a snowstorm swept through the region over the holiday weekend and dumped several inches of fresh snow on Winter Park’s slopes.

“Getting that new snow was definitely exciting,” deBerge said. “It generated a lot of interest in skiers and snowboarders along the Front Range. That fresh snow got people pumped up for skiing and helped make Thanksgiving weekend a great start to our new season here at Winter Park Resort.”

Another hopeful sign for business this season at the resort was the volume of retail sales that took place over the weekend at the resort’s base area.

“The people were out there shopping,” deBerge said. “Our four retail outlets in the Zephyr Mountain Lodge, including West Portal Outfitters and the Mountain Adventure Center, saw quite a bit of business. Customers were buying all sorts of equipment and clothing, and having their ski gear tuned up.

“That’s a good indication that people are excited about the ski season,” deBerge said.

Also during the weekend, deBerge said that lots of resort guests rode the gondolas on the Zephyr Express lift to the Sunspot restaurant atop Winter Park Mountain to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.

“There were also non-skiing guests who took the gondolas up to Sunspot over the weekend,” she said. “It’s a great way to get up the mountain, hang out at Sunspot and enjoy the view.”

With more snow in the forecast this week, the local resort hopes to open even more terrain.

Currently, Winter Park has about 60 acres open. Its list of open trails include: Lower Hughes, Bill Wilson’s Way, Larry Sale, Parkway, Porcupine, Sorensen Park and Village Way.

The resort also has six chairlifts operating, including: Arrow, Zephyr Express, Gemini Express, Meteor, Mt. Maury and Spirit.

Plans are to hold the grand opening of the resort’s new Village Cabriolet gondola lift on Friday. Details will be announced later this week.

“We doing testing on the Cabriolet this Tuesday to have it certified and ready for operation,” deBerge said. “We should be ready to open it this Friday.”

The Cabriolet is not a chairlift but a gondola designed to carry skiers to and from the parking area at the Vintage Hotel to the resort’s new commercial area called the Village. From the Village, it is a short walk to the base area and the Zephyr Express, the resort’s main chairlift.

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