Winter Park Resort, CO, Shares Masterplan to Become Colorado’s 3rd Largest Resort

Steven Agar | | Industry NewsIndustry News
winter park resort, colorado, master plan
Overview of the 2022 Master Development Plan.

Winter Park Resort, CO, just unveiled its 10-15 year masterplan for the future of the ski resort. The document, openly available to the public, details new and upgraded lifts, new terrain, remodeled lodges and on-mountain dining, and a long-rumored gondola from the ski resort to the town of Winter Park.

Winter Park Resort operates under a Special Use Permit (SUP) that allows it to operate on 7,555-acres of land managed by the USFS, Sulphur Ranger District, and Arapaho National Forest. As part of the SUP, the resort must prepare a master development plan that identifies the existing and future conditions of the resort. The Master Development Plan is the guiding document for future development, identifying a balance of facilities and improvements for a unique recreational experience that is sustainable for business, operations, and the surrounding environment.

winter park resort, colorado, master plan
The 7,555-acre special use permit boundary.

A number of the improvements are carried over from the previous 2005 master development plan.

With the addition of a new area on Vasquez Mountain, the plans would see skiable terrain increased by 358-acres to 3,439-acres, making it the third-largest ski area in Colorado behind Vail (5,317-acres) and the newly expanded Steamboat (3,616-acres).

winter park resort, colorado, master plan
The 358-acres expansion on Vasquez Mountain.

Several new chairlifts would be added, including access to the Cirque from the new Vasquez area by t-bar and a couple of new chairs in the new area. The Looking Glass (Colorado’s oldest working chairlift) would be removed, the aging Pony and Iron Horse lifts would be combined into one six-pack chair, the Pioneer would be replaced by a new six-pack chair with a mid-station, the Gemini would be replaced by an eight-person gondola, and the Lariat rope tow would be replaced by a conveyor. Finally, an almost two-mile-long ten-person gondola from Cooper Creek Square in downtown Winter Park would also be installed, creating a much-needed connection to the parking, bars, restaurants, and retail. The number of chairlifts would increase from 23 to 29.

The increased terrain and added lifts would see skier capacity increase 41%, from 15,830 to 22,375. Snowmaking would also be massively increased from 280-acres to 605-acres, and the Sunspot and Snoasis on-mountain dining/lodges would be remodeled.

winter park resort,
Overview and all the new lifts.

Although the winter operations would see the most significant changes, additional summer activities and hiking and biking trails would also be added.

At this moment, this plan is just that, a plan. Implementation of projects is contingent upon site-specific environmental review and approval under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Comments are welcomed at

winter park resort, colorado, master plan
The Winter Park territory plan.
winter park resort, colorado, master plan
The plan for Mary Jane.
winter park resort, colorado, master plan
The existing Vasquez Ridge territory.
Little Vasquez zone, including the Cirque and Eagle Wind.
Gondola to town!
The summer mountain to get some love too.

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12 thoughts on “Winter Park Resort, CO, Shares Masterplan to Become Colorado’s 3rd Largest Resort

  1. More snowmaking equals more terrain open earlier in the season. Spring skiing is all about getting some turns and apres in the sun, now more terrain can be open longer. Nothing wrong at all with more snowmaking.

  2. Abandon your green lawns. Go to Zero scaping. Look at what the natural landscape can support. Grass is the biggest user of water resources in a City.

    Yes agriculture uses the most but we kinda need food. We don’t need lawns and over the top landscaping at our homes.

  3. At what point does water conservation become important enough to dictate whether snow making for tourism is viable during a state wide drought. Colorado water resources are in sharp decline and have been for years. Unfortunately weather trends, urban expansion without restriction, winter tourism, and out of state demand our own southern and easternmost farm lands are failing. 3 states already litigating a draw on our resources and another claiming imminent domain of our own waterway, why is the concern higher for snow production over using same land as a water shed? A native for generations living both in the wondrous Prarie of Southeast Colorado and the majestic mountains between and above Rabbit Ears there is a true and dangerous disconnect of the veiled mountain mentality that denotes tourism is more important than the dust covered farmlands.

  4. As a Native, and a former Eskimo at age 6, WP needs a Gondola from Denver. BerthoPass is gnarly stuff, now that weed’s on the road with every tourist from DIA. Not knocking, but the pass is like driving Mary Jane, the mountain, not the sticky, even when straight. Build that Tunnel!

  5. Mountain west. Glad to see you’re so modern and woke you’ve given up the bad habit of profiling ppl… 🙂

    I’m sorry you struggled through JC and forgot to finish/graduate. Maybe Biden will forgive your loans. Our country benefited greatly from the great education you obtained. The rest of us productive people in society should definitely take the financial burden of your sad education off your hands.

  6. QAnOnYmOuS I dont have to tell you shit, but bragging that you ski raced and “went to school in CO” tells me you are probably an East Coaster with that wack style that never looks good haha. If you are lucky, you are from the Mid West or West Coast. My money is on East Coast though lol.

  7. Wheez,

    You don’t understand simple supply/demand economics. Where did you go to school and what did you study?

    I ski raced my entire life and went to school in CO. I can do backflips over you and will straight line anything you can get down.

  8. QAnOnYmOuS wont stop crying about all powerful, nefarious, *checks notes* non profit grassroots environmental groups until the whole world is a blue groomer so he feels like a good skier.

  9. The Colorado Corporate Land Development model…

    It’s very profitable and sure improves the skiing experience for the regular folk.

    Thank goodness the Sierra Club and tree huggers worked so hard to make this rare developable, entitled land EXTREMELY valuable. Go ahead and sue them. They will win and simply pass on the costs to their consumers.

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