WINTER PARK, CO-Winter Park Resort unveiled its plan for the Village at Winter Park Resort, two years after the city of Denver selected Vancouver-based IntraWest Corp. to develop and operate the ski resort. The proposed village design will include approximately 1,500 residential units, 42,000 sf of commercial space divided into 24 shops and restaurants, consolidated and expanded parking lots, and a variety of amenities throughout the village neighborhoods. Build-out will take a minimum of 15 years.

Jerry Jones, who is developing his own mountain resort community near Winter Park and who made a competing bid to Denver to develop the resort, tells GlobeSt.com the IntraWest plan will put Winter Park on the map. “It really does transform Winter Park from what has been a day ski area and a Front Range destination ski area to a true destination ski area. It provides a lot of the services that Winter Park has never had before at the base of the mountain.”

A driving principle of the design was to create an authentic, human-scaled, pedestrian village with structures that are sized and strategically positioned to maximize sun exposure and create “sun spots.” IntraWest will invest an estimated $70 million in the first phase of the village that will encompass two residential buildings with approximately 160 units, a parking structure with 330 spaces on three levels just south of the existing Zephyr Mountain Lodge, all 42,000 sf of commercial space, and the enhancement and reclamation of the Fraser River.

The sales of homes for Phase I are anticipated to begin in fall 2005 with construction slated for spring/summer of 2006. Completion of Phase I is expected for the 2008-09 season. The first two residential buildings will be built across Winter Park Drive in the area that is currently the Moffat parking lot. The buildings will be four stories at their tallest point. Following Phase I, additional neighborhoods will be added as the market dictates.

In the Hillside neighborhood where the villages first two lodging properties are established, two other facilities will be constructed to flank the two existing structures–one directly across from the current Administration Building with offices and support services on the ground floor and lodging on the upper floors. The second building will be south of the other three buildings with a family pool center that includes swimming pools, hot and cold spas, and a fitness facility that will serve the entire village.

The new village will have a “Main Street feel” with shops on street level and lodging on the second floor; a Roundhouse structure selling sundries and coffee to evoke the resort’s strong railroad ties and history, and residential units in a variety of price ranges with condo/hotel residences to match skiers and riders budgets.

“We started this design process with a lot of input from the local community and loyal Winter Park visitors,” says Gary DeFrange, vice president and general manager of the resort. “Our No. 1 objective was to ‘make Winter Park feel more like Winter Park’ and that is exactly what we did.”

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