Gone are the days of skiers and snowboarders descending the mountain after Winter Park Resort opened the last lifts at 4 p.m. This season, customers can extend their hours on the slopes with several new sunset and nighttime adventures, and likely without worrying about a reservation.
Resort spokeswoman Jen Miller said Winter Park does not plan to reinstate the reservation system it implemented last season to help control crowds for COVID-19 protocols, although that may change depending on the public health situation.
“At the moment we don’t plan to have a reservation system,” she said.
With the return to a less COVID-restricted season, the popularity of late-night and late-night events the resort previously offered has prompted guests to expand the ways guests can enjoy the slopes after the lift this winter.
“It’s a great time to experience Winter Park during the Alpenglow,” Miller said. “The mountain really is the best place to watch the sunset.”
For skiers and boarders not ready to give up the lifts, the resort offers guided sunset ski and ride options, where participants use headlamps to illuminate their turns. Guided sessions last two hours and tackle ungroomed intermediate trails.
Guided sunset tours join the popular ski and hiking guides the resort has offered for a few seasons, as well as the sunset snowshoe tours that debuted last season.
Winter Park’s guides are a cohort of locals with in-depth knowledge of the resort who Miller says are a great way to personalize a day on the slopes and get a taste of the mountain.
“Even if you’ve been skiing at Winter Park for over 20 years, the guides are a great way to show you new things you hadn’t thought of before,” Miller said. “It’s also a great option for a powder day…to get to the mountain quickly and avoid the lifts.”
In addition to guide options, weekend sunset times bring free gondola tours back to Sunspot Lodge for afternoons at the top of the mountain.
For those who are warm and enthusiastic enough to stay on the mountain after the sun goes down and the stars, another new offering this year are the astronomy tours, which include the use of telescopes at the Hill House at the top of the tubing hill.
“Our dark skies are pretty amazing,” Miller said. “You just don’t have a lot of other places and so it’s a cool thing for people to experience in the mountains.”
Other big changes are happening with the resort’s dining scene, which has seen an influx of new restaurants.
The resort’s food offerings increased with the opening of MexiCali Tacos, as well as the announcement of a new wood-fired outdoor dining area called Ember at Snoasis and the openings of Bradley’s at the Base and the famed Front restaurant. Bring Stoney’s Bar and Grill to the Winter Park Village this season.
“Ember is a real fire concept where we will have daily meat specials and side dishes outside on the patio overlooking Cranmer,” Miller said, adding that the resort has adapted Snoasis to capitalize on the popularity of live dining. outdoors.
However, indoor dining will be back this year at the resort’s restaurants and bars for those who want a moment out of the cold.
Miller said all staff, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear masks indoors and guests are encouraged to do so. There is no mask requirement outside, including on elevators, which will be loaded to capacity this year. The line of singles for lift and gondolas drivers is also back.
For the latest information regarding the resort’s COVID-19 policies, visit winterparkresort.com.