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Winter Park

+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.

[ Fri, 2009-11-20 11:04 ]
Opening Day at Winter Park 2009
Vail, Heavenly, Winter Park and Eldora all open this week

Thanksgiving Week is traditionally opening week for many ski resorts.

[ Thu, 2009-11-19 14:29 ]
Ski train to Winter Park
Ride from Denver to Winter Park in two hours -- with no headaches

The Winter Park Ski Train isn't exactly the speediest way to get to the slopes, but it's a fun one. Which would you rather do on your way to the ski hill -- sit in zero-to-60-to-zero traffic, or have a nice breakfast and read the paper? We'd prefer the latter, and we'd guess you would too. So when the train went kaput last year -- after former owner Anschutz Co. sold the line to a Canadian company -- we were a bit bummed out. No longer.

[ Thu, 2009-11-19 14:21 ]

‘Best locals’ mountain in 
Summit County.’

Read the full review

Utah conglomerate takes Colorado mountain off Intrawest's hands

After Colorado tried and failed to get a foothold in Utah, looks like Utah tried to get a foothold in Colorado -- and succeeded. Colorado's Vail Resorts attempted purchase of The Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, a few months back was a bust.

Legacy: Groomed for Success

Legacy: Groomed for Success

The “pilots” of early groomers steered risky contraptions of cutters and rollers, shown here at Winter Park, Colo., in the early ’60s.

The roller that paved the way—for better or worse—for easier turns, wider trails and tamer terrain.

As you enjoy your first runs this winter, remember that perfectly groomed morning corduroy wasn’t always so. Consistently good snow surfaces didn’t exist even 25 years ago. Slopes were typically pocked with hard bumps, icy patches, frozen crud and soil-stained ruts.

It wasn’t as if ski area operators weren’t trying to create easy-turning snow. In the 1930s and into the 1940s, they gave lift tickets to skiers willing to sidestep up the hill to pack down the slopes. A few operators used snowmobiles and snowcats to haul farm disc harrows and rollers over the snow.

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