Winter Park Ski Train sells out in four hours
WINTER PARK — Consider it the “Train of Dreams” — operate it, and they will come.
Amtrak and Winter Park Resort announced shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday that they will operate a second Winter Park Express excursion train on March 15, taking passengers and their ski gear by train from Denver Union Station directly to the resort that morning — then back to Denver that evening — in celebration of the resort’s 75th anniversary.
By 1 p.m., the train was sold out and more than 450 skiers had secured their tickets to Winter Park.
The first ski excursion train, scheduled for March 14, sold out in 10 hours, which prompted the decision to offer the second train.
“The strong response from Denver-area customers, filling two seven-car Amtrak trains carrying more 450 passengers, will certainly be a consideration by Amtrak and the resort for next ski season,” according to a prepared statement released by Winter Park Resort on Tuesday afternoon.
For each round-trip adult railfare of $75, passengers will avoid traffic on I-70 and US Highway 40 and receive a $15 gift voucher for use in resort restaurants and retail stores, with discounted lift tickets available in advance by calling the resort at 888-923-7275.
The Winter Park Express will depart Denver at 7 a.m. and arrive at the resort at 9 a.m., leaving Winter Park at 4:15 p.m. to return to Denver at 6:15 p.m.
“The strong customer response for the Saturday (March 14) trip and the availability of the railcars and locomotives led Amtrak and the resort to make a second ski excursion train run that Sunday (March 15),” said Mark Murphy, the Chicago-based Amtrak general manager responsible for the excursion. “Thanks to Union Pacific railroad for allowing Amtrak to make a second round-trip that weekend.”
“Amtrak adding another train on Sunday is a clear response to the incredible enthusiasm people have for direct train service from Denver to Winter Park Resort,” said Gary DeFrange, Winter Park Resort president and COO. “Most of all, it’s an exciting illustration of the momentum this excursion has generated in such a short period of time. We share the public’s passion for this train as well as its hope for regular rail service in the future.”
A spokesman said last week that Amtrak would be gauging response to the first promotional ski train to evaluate “what might be done next season.”
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Rep. Joe Neguse is pushing to improve access and funding for public lands in Colorado and around the country.