Winter Park, Colo.: Rank 15 West, 1998


Some people say there’s not much to do at Winter Park other than ski. And according to our readers, that’s just fine. The area wins Gold medals for two things skiers care about most: Terrain and Challenge. A whopping 56 percent of Winter Park’s terrain is expert¿led by the legendary bump skiing at Mary Jane. With an average pitch of 37 degrees, the Jane boasts some of the steepest, toughest bumps in the country. This year, Winter Park also opens another 250 acres in the hike-to, experts-only Vasquez Cirque. But Winter Park doesn’t ignore cruisers. And herein lies the area’s magic. For all its appeal as an expert playground, the resort is equally praised as a great family mountain. It has a ski school that accepts kids as young as 3 and a friendly trail layout (beginners can ski from the top of Winter Park on green trails). Says one reader: “Great family environment and skiing¿and awesome bumps!” There’s not much to do at Winter Park after the lifts close, but that will soon change. Construction began over the summer on the Zephyr Mountain Lodge, the first phase of the Village at Winter Park, which will include shops, restaurants and 1,450 condos. For now, the Zephyr Lodge, set for completion in January 2000 takes away some of the resort’s prime parking spots.

What’s New A 250-acre expansion on Vasquez Cirque; first phase of base area renovation; redesigned Children’s Center.
A Good Deal The Family Package: four nights’ lodging, three days’ lifts, two days’ beginner or intermediate lessons for parents, two days at the children’s center, one family breakfast. Starts at $384 for adults, $151 for children. Call (800) 729-5813.
Medals Gold Terrain, Challenge, Value, Weather, Family; Silver Snow, Grooming, Lifts, Service, Food, Scenery.
High/Low Rank Family (11); Lodging (47).
Don’t Miss Parsenn Bowl: 495 acres of above-treeline intermediate skiing is a rare treat.
Reader Remark “Great variety and challenge. The most underrated resort in Colorado.” “Not much to do in town, so ski until you’re exhausted.”