After selling 900 tickets for the two-day revival of Colorado's beloved ski train, rumors are rampant about whether or not regular rail service between Winter Park and Denver will return for next season. The ski train originally began operation in 1940 and ran on ski season weekends through 2009 before the train shut down due to rising costs and declining profits. But when Amtrak announced they would host two one-time rides on March 14 and March 15 to celebrate Winter Park's 75th anniversary, Denver skiers bought the $75 tickets in a matter of hours.
The demand for ski train service between Denver and one of it's closest ski areas is certainly there. Traffic on I-70 is worse than ever, and the 65-mile route only takes 2 hours to traverse 29 tunnels and climb 4,000 feet.
According to the Denver Post, the March 14 and March 15 train rides are a cooperative effort between Union Pacific, which owns the tracks, Amtrak, which owns the trains, Winter Park ski area and RTD, which co-owns Denver's Union Station. In order for the ski train to return next week, all of these entities would have to commit to the project long term.
Gary DeFrange, Winter Park Resort President and COO, hopes that the ski train will resume service.
"Amtrak adding another train on Sunday is a clear response to the incredible enthusiasm people have for direct train service from Denver to Winter Park Resort," said DeFrange. "Most of all, it's an exciting illustration of the momentum this excursion has generated in such a short period of time. We share the public's passion for this train as well as its hope for regular rail service in the future."
What do you think, Curbediverse? Do you think the Winter Park Ski Train should return for next winter? And how much would you pay per train ticket to avoid I-70 traffic?
· Two sold-out days float hope for revived Winter Park Ski Train [Denver Post]
· I-70 Traffic Is So Bad You Can Ski Faster Than You Can Drive [Curbed Ski]
· Top 9 Tips For Skiing Winter Park Like a Colorado Local [Curbed Ski]
· Winter Park Delivers on Family-Oriented Perks [Curbed Ski]