Winter Park to make $28 million in improvements for 2018-19 ski season, including new gondola

Winter Park resort announced Monday an investment of $28 million in improvements for next season including the construction of a 10-person gondola from the base to the summit that figures to reduce the long lift lines common at the base, especially on weekends.

The $16-million gondola will replace the four-person Zephyr Express, increasing uphill capacity from 2,600 to 3,600 per hour, and will be the first new lift built at Winter Park since 2007. The resort is owned by the City and County of Denver, but operated by Alterra Mountain Co., which acquired the Winter Park operation last year from cash-strapped Intrawest Resorts.

In addition to the gondola, Winter Park will begin to upgrade its 42-year-old snowmaking system at cost of $4 million with hopes of opening more terrain earlier in the season beginning next fall. Additional snowcats will be added to grooming fleet.

This is the season for ski area operators to announce season ticket prices while enticing customers with capital improvement announcements. Last week Copper Mountain announced plans to spend $20-million to replace both of the main lifts out of the center village base area for next season.

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