More than ten years ago, while on my summer school vacation in Brazil, I worked in Winter Park Ski Resort, in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Winter Park is the oldest and closest ski resort to Denver, located just 98 miles from DEN (Denver International Airport).
But don’t let the relatively close distance fool you. It is located directly across from the Continental Divide – a chain of mountains that marks the water sheds in the Americas. All of the snow that falls on one side of the mountain, melts into rivers that eventually run into the Pacific Ocean thousand miles away. What’s more, Winter Park receives an average of 365 inches of snow per year, most of which is the light, fluffy champagne powder that we skiers love!
Old town Winter Park
There is a free shuttle that runs throughout town and takes visitors to the ski village. In town you will find stores, restaurants (my favorite is Deno’s) and bars. The friendliness of the town is evident all over, as locals are more than happy to provide directions, give suggestions, and even tell a story or two about the history of their resort. All this makes for a laid back mountain atmosphere experience.
The great memories I had from the past which made Winter Park a magical place, came rushing back the moment I returned. The village, with its one street leading to the next town, Frasier, is simply unforgettable; so much so, that my friends and I went back this season for what we called, the First Winter Park Reunion.
We rented a house and spent the week skiing, dining, taking in the stunning scenery and mountain feeling, while catching up and remembering the old good days. It felt just like yesterday, just as I remembered all those years ago when my life was a little more carefree.