Winter Park is the nearest resort to Denver and we think it may well be 'Colorado's best kept secret'. It really is a Coloradans' resort, with Denver folk driving or taking the weekend train up to the domain (67 miles). The town is nothing particularly special, but is typical of small-town USA. A purpose-built village should be in place this year.
There are plenty of genuine advantages - it's great value, there is good skiing for all, the lift system is excellent and there are wonderful views. On top of that, the snow is usually very reliable. Experts will love to get up the 'Vasquez Cirque' for some extreme off-piste. Boarders also receive great coverage, with 3 parks and half-pipes. Cross-country skiers are equally well cared for. The ski school has a very fine reputation and childcare is excellent.
Eateries are fine on and off the mountain, although those in town are rather spread out. Après-ski is quiet during the week, but once the weekenders arrive things definitely heat up. The only real criticisms are the weekend queues and the lack of off-snow activities. In addition you will have to take a free bus to access the skiing. Overall, though, Winter Park is a real gem, especially as it's only 1½ hours from Denver.
The Winter Park snowfall report:
Winter Park weather flashcard: