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Posted on: November 15, 2018

Collaboration Makes for a High-Quality Community

Earlier this month, Elevation Outdoors named the Town of Winter Park as Colorado’s “Top Adventure Town” for the second year in a row. And they’re not the only ones taking notice of Winter Park. In recent years, Winter Park has become known as a desirable place for tourists to visit and for people to call home. But we couldn’t have gotten here on our own. Winter Park is a community focused on collaboration because we know it makes us stronger.

Over the past year, the Town of Winter Park has been engaging residents, business owners and other local stakeholders in an initiative called “Imagine Winter Park” to create a guiding plan for the next 10-15 years. From this process, four main pillars emerged that will help shape all future collaboration and projects. Implementation of this plan has already begun as partners are getting involved and $100 million in development investments have already been made, both from private and public entities.

 Our Character & Culture

Retaining the Town’s eclectic character is important to our sense of place and quality of life. Our vision includes being a community with diverse cultures, economic opportunities, and architectural styles that foster a strong, unified and forward-thinking community.

  • Rendezvous Event Center: Rendezvous Colorado, LLC along with its parent company Koelbel and Company invested in the Rendezvous Event Center, which brings a permanent stage to Hideaway Park for high-quality events. The companies are also creating a new, much larger Visitor’s Center in downtown Winter Park.
  • Local Events: The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce hosted over 40 events in 2018, doubling the number of events produced in previous years.
  • Affordable Housing Focus: The Town of Winter Park created the Winter Park Housing Authority in 2018 to improve workforce-housing options in the community. Hideaway Place, the Town’s first affordable housing apartment complex, opened at the end of 2017, and several other affordable housing developments are in the works.
  • Housing Assistance Fund: Through a partnership between the Town of Winter Park, Winter Park Resort and Grand Foundation, the Winter Park Housing Assistance Fund was created last year to help full-time residents successfully live and work in Winter Park.

Our Global & Local Connectivity

Physical and virtual connectivity is key in allowing people to thrive in Winter Park. Our goal is to create a community with seamless connectivity to Winter Park’s physical attributes, unique offers, and state-of-the-art technology.

  • Lift Transit System: Winter Park’s free transit system called “The Lift” began service in 2015 and has made huge strides over the past few years. The Lift saw its one-millionth rider in summer 2017 and was named the Colorado Transit Resort Agency of 2017 by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA). Through partnerships with the towns of Fraser and Granby and the Winter Park Resort, regional connectivity is now offered through the Lift.
  • Transit Center: The Town of Winter Park recently leased space to the owners of Cooper Creek Square to develop a transit center in Winter Park’s downtown core. Part of the space will also be available for commercial uses, such as a proposed taproom, and public restrooms.
  • Front Range Connectivity: Strong partnerships have been formed with the City of Denver, Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak and the Colorado Division of Transportation (CDOT) to ensure easy access to Winter Park from the Front Range through high-quality roads and the ski train during busy winter weekends.

Our World-Class Outdoor Recreation

Winter Park is firmly rooted in its relationship with the surrounding national forest, its trails, ski resort, narrow valley, and stunning views. This relationship is both the Town’s past and future, and it’s critical to have this outdoor focus at the forefront of every decision.

  • Resort Investments: Earlier this year, Alterra and the Winter Park Resort committed $35 million in capital improvement projects to the mountain such as replacing the Zephyr lift with a gondola, improving the base village, clearing terrain in the Eagle Wind area and improving snowmaking abilities.
  • Bike Trail Investments: This summer, the Town of Winter Park opened a new flow bike trail to connect Akima’s Way to Sundog. Community members helped name the trail Razzmatazz after a Grand County search and rescue dog that was recently diagnosed with cancer.
  • Zephyr Express Chairlift Beautification: As part of the improvements being made to the Winter Park Resort, the iconic Zephyr Express chairlift is being replaced by a new 10-person gondola. However, the old chairs aren’t going to waste. Many of the chairs have been decorated by local artists and placed throughout the community.

Our Healthy & Thriving Environment

As the Town grows and changes, the stresses on our surrounding natural environment will only increase. Our goal is to combat these challenges and create an outdoors community physically linked to a healthy and thriving natural and human environment.

  • Headwaters Center: Opened this summer, the Headwaters Ecology & Community Center offers a new gathering space while also providing space for higher education and the Headwaters River Journey for locals and visitors alike to learn about our water ecology.
  • Compact of Colorado Communities: Winter Park is a charter member of the Compact of Colorado Communities. Through this partnership, Winter Park pledges to develop innovative ways to address climate change, build community resilience, and stimulate the local economy.
  • Avalanche Control System: With the help of CDOT, a remotely controlled avalanche system was installed on Berthoud Pass to increase the effectiveness of the avalanche mitigation program and make the pass safer overall for travelers.

“It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we work together,” commented Winter Park Mayor Jimmy Lahrman. “We’re fortunate that Winter Park is home to strong stakeholders that share a similar vision for the community’s future. And with a new Town Manager at the reigns, we’re ready to make that vision a reality. The new community brand and marketing effort was a great opportunity for those stakeholders to come together and find a new way to tell our story to the world.”

The community brand, “Colorado Unfiltered”, was unveiled on November 15. Moving forward, the Town will be working with the various partners to help roll out the new brand and continue to demonstrate how Winter Park is a desirable place to live and visit.

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