+Local favorite with a neighborly feel.
- Village and town lacking in dining and après.
This year brings redemption for Winter Park. After scootching up just one rank last year, the resort jumped eight places to earn a spot in the Top 15. Looks like readers finally took notice of the $40 million in lifts, amenities and services added over the past decade. You still won’t find the dining or shopping that other Colorado resorts are known for, but there’s a sense of community here that you won’t find at those resorts either. Employees eagerly point you in the right direction or grab a wagon to haul your gear around the base— not because they have to, but because they want to. Complaints persist about a lacking après scene and the too-sleepy town of Winter Park, 10 minutes away. But then maybe all is as it should be. “People come to Winter Park to ski,” says one reader. “There’s very little show going on here.” —S.B.
Off-Mountain Restaurant » The Cheeky Monk, in the village, is the place for steamed mussels and 34 types of Belgian brews.
Family Activity » The indoor Grand Park Recreation Center, just outside town, has a 20-foot spiral waterslide, lazy river and climbing wall kids love.
What’s New» Sorensen Trail Bypass offers beginners an easier way down to the base; added features sweeten the progressive terrain park.