Many families have holiday traditions, whether it’s a big feast at home with everyone or taking a trip to a destination to create a memorable experience that will be remembered forever. These experiences often instill a tradition that will be passed on to multiple generations. For those who grew up taking family holiday ski trips, memories of learning how to make turns are a cornerstone for establishing a lifetime love of winter snow sports
Ski towns like Winter Park feature annual events around the holidays to celebrate and enhance to the spirit of the season. The snow is often getting good around the turn of the new year and there are plenty of activities on and off the mountain for everyone to have a great time.
Getting to wake up to a white Christmas doesn’t have to be reserved for movies like A Christmas Story. Taking a trip to a mountain resort for the holidays ensures opening up the curtains in the morning to a blanket of snow and if Santa brings a snowstorm to Colorado like in 2017, then a powder day could be a surprise gift to make it an extra special Christmas day on the mountain.
The 2018-2019 season is off to a stellar start with Colorado leading the way in snowfall nationally. With snow accumulation at Thanksgiving hovering near what typical snowfall totals are around Christmas time, many resorts have opened up early.
As of Thanksgiving, Winter Park has seen four feet of snowfall on its slopes and will open new runs and lifts as conditions permit. The resort receives an average of 329-inches of snow each year and by the time the holidays come around, several storms have already produced a nice base to ensure a variety of terrain that suits everyone will be open by that time of the year.
The National Weather Service has predicted a weak to moderate El Nino for the 2018-19 season and what that means is Winter Park could benefit from up-slope Front Range storms that produce powder in a big way. In this weather pattern, warm water travels up from the Pacific Ocean and brings heavy moisture and milder temperatures to the southwestern part of the United States.
Northern Colorado hovers on the border between taking advantage of this stream of moisture and having it miss the region in favor southern mountains like the San Juans. But the storms that impact Front Range resorts should be stronger with deeper powder days. While snowfall totals by the end of the season are predicted to be at or slightly above average, there will be no shortage of quality days, which means if some time is spent at the mountain for the holidays, there are good chances that skiers and snowboarders will be rewarded.
Winter Park Resort isn’t the only place where there’s fun to be had during the holidays. In addition to skiing and boarding, there is Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, ice skating, dog sledding, and even sleigh rides. Visiting a snow-covered Rocky Mountain National Park nearby is a sight the whole family won't soon forget.
Before Santa delivers presents, he will make a stop in Winter Park to meet, greet and take photos with children. Santa will be at the gazebo in the Village on December 15, 22, 23, and 24. There is also a mailbox so that children can write and address letters to Santa near the top of the Village.
After visiting Santa and grabbing a hot chocolate, listen to Christmas carolers make their way through the area singing songs to get everyone in the spirit. The festivities ramp up with the arrival of one of Winter Park’s best traditions--The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, where a procession of torch-bearing skiers and snowboarders make their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus himself.
A fireworks show and colored snow cats light up the slopes in a finale that features a Christmas tree formation to close out the festivities. Following the show, guests are welcome to attend a non-denominational service in West Portal.
Also after the show awaits an authentic dining experience at 10,700-feet at the Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge. Board the gondola and travel to the top of Winter Park Mountain to enjoy a holiday buffet on Christmas Eve, Christmas night and New Year’s Eve. Reservations are required for this unique dining experience.
The festivities continue as Winter Park rings in the new year with another fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, happy hours, apres, sledding, free hot chocolate, music, and entertainment for the whole family. With so much happening, many memories are sure to be made while spending the holidays in Winter Park.
Traditions give families something to look forward to each year. Investing in these traditions can be as simple as purchasing a property in Winter Park to return to each holiday season. These trips can often mold the appreciation for the outdoors and snow sports for children, who then pass the tradition on to their children. Investing in a property makes it easier for these experiences for the family to be created.
Right now is a great time to invest in either a vacation property or primary home in Winter Park because prices are generally much more affordable than are encountered in other mountain towns like Aspen, Telluride, and Vail.
In 2017, Alterra Mountain Co. acquired Winter Park Resort from Intrawest Resorts and immediately put in $28 million in improvements to the mountain experience. Those upgrades included the $16 million Zephyr Express Gondola, upgrades to the snowmaking system to open more terrain earlier, as well as purchasing additional snow cats for the resort’s grooming fleet.
With an abundance of holiday events on the calendar, unique activities to do in and around town, tons of dining and shopping options, along with countless ways to create lifelong memories with the whole family, Winter Park is the place to be for the holidays.
To explore investment opportunities and begin a new family tradition, contact Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties to begin the journey of making new memories in the mountains.