Winter Park 75th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

Old stories have been coming out of the woodwork for Winter Park’s 75th anniversary season, even as the resort takes big steps into its future, like the opening of a new 16,000-square-foot restaurant at the Lunch Rock peak of Mary Jane. But for the full time-machine effect, stop by any of the resort’s shops to pick up the coffee-table history book Winter Park Resort: 75 Years of Imagining More, which features hundreds of archival photos dating as far back as 1940, when the resort opened with its first rope tow.

“In addition to the photos, there are all kinds of great anecdotes from our history,” Winter Park spokesman Steve Hurlbert says. “My favorite is about the run named ‘Drunken Frenchman.’ The story goes that this French guy, who everyone knew as ‘Frenchie,’ was enlisted to cut the trail. He’d show up every day with two six-packs of beer, a bottle of wine, and a chainsaw. Once he’d cut his quota, he’d stay up there and drink for the rest of the day.”

The resort is celebrating its anniversary today with free cake, happy hours and live music at Club Car and Derailer Bar, and a gala dinner at the Lodge at Sunspot. Tickets to the gala are $175 at and include a four-course dinner, wine and other beverages, a one-day lift ticket valid through closing day, a Winter Park Resort gift bag, and a $25 donation to the National Sports Center for the Disabled at Winter Park.
Fri., Jan. 23; Sat., Jan. 24, 2015