Winter Park could be adding a plethora of new trails and lifts in the future.

Last week, the U.S. Forest Service announced that it is accepting comments on a group of projects that would transform the guest experience at Winter Park Resort. These proposals include a new gondola, lift replacements, surface lifts for beginners, a new terrain pod, a restaurant atop Vasquez Ridge, cleaning up some glades, and snowmaking upgrades.

Here’s a breakdown of their plans:

Discovery Park Learning Center: Discovery Park currently serves as the next level for beginner skiers after they use the magic carpets around Sorenson Peak. In the future, they intend to make it a one-stop shop for beginner learning. A new 16,000-square-foot facility would house Winter Park’s ski school in this area.

First, Winter Park plans to replace the Gemini Express, a high-speed quad chairlift, with a 10-passenger gondola. This 3600-people-per-hour gondola would allow beginners to avoid putting on their skis for what can be a challenging introduction to chairlifts. In addition, this could help reduce lift lines that tend to accumulate at The Gondola.

At Discovery Park, they plan to add three conveyor (magic carpet) lifts for first-timers. They envision replacing the Endeavor chairlift with a detachable high-speed quad chairlift. Currently, it is a fixed-grip triple chairlift, and this replacement would increase the capacity from 1,540 to 2,400 people per hour. The Discovery double chairlift would be replaced by a fixed-grip quad chairlift. This would increase the capacity from 1,120 to 1,600 people per hour.

Terrain Expansion-Cooper Creek Summit: A new terrain pod that appeals to beginner and intermediate skiers and riders would be constructed between the new Wild Spur chairlift and the Looking Glass chairlift.

Six trails, being of easy and low-intermediate difficulty, would give beginners another place to ski near Discovery Park. This terrain pod would be serviced by a new detachable high-speed six-pack chairlift. Snowmaking would be added to these trails, along with the Tin Horn and Whistlestop runs. As part of this expansion, the Looking Glass chairlift would be removed.

Vasquez Ridge Restaurant: Located above the Wild Spur Express, there’s a small restaurant called the Sundance Chili Hut. This is a smaller space without much seating inside. Winter Park plans to build a much larger venue for guests. The 10,000-square-foot facility would include a restaurant, restrooms, a 3000-square-foot deck, and utilities.

Trail Improvements: To improve the skier experience, Winter Park plans to remove trees from various areas in the Mary Jane and Parsenn Bowl terrain pods and regrade a couple of pistes.

4.3 acres of trees could be removed from the Flowerland trails. The affected runs would include Bluebell, Columbine, Roundhouse, and Wildwood Glade. In addition, they are planning to regrade the Bluebell, Columbine, and Lower Roundhouse ski trails.

Trees would be removed from the edges of the Fireberry Glade and Primrose Glade, totaling 2.1 acres of clearing.

They also propose removing dead and egress trees on the Jelly Roll egress trail in the Cirque to improve skier/rider accessibility.

Snowmaking Improvements: Winter Park is planning a significant snowmaking expansion to improve its early-season trail lineup.

In the Winter Park area, a 57-acre snowmaking expansion would add coverage to Bill Wilson’s Way, Dormouse, Lower Whistlestop, March Hare, Marmot Flats, Turnpike, Lower Village Way, Upper White Rabbit, Upper Jabberwocky, and Mock Turtle. Other plans include replacing or adding snowmaking lines in 34,000 feet of trench.

Over at Mary Jane, a 77-acre snowmaking expansion is envisioned. Snowmaking coverage is planned for the Lower Arrowhead, Mary Jane Face, Mary Jane Trail, Olympia Spur, Shoo Fly, Sidetrack, Upper Sleeper, Sober Englishman, Upper Whistlestop, and Corridor runs. Other proposed snowmaking projects in the Mary Jane area include 31,900 feet of new snowmaking pipeline, the construction of three valve blockhouses, and a new snowmaking pumphouse.

Public comments are now being accepted for these proposals. If you’re interested in commenting on these projects, you can do so here. A decision on these projects could happen in March 2025.

Image Credits: Karsten Winegeart (Featured Image), Ian Wood (Header Image), Winter Park Resort

RELATED: Winter Park Eyes Massive Expansion Including In-Town Gondola

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