There are few things as rewarding as skiing in Wintergreen, Florida, the resort that has seen so many die on the slopes.
Its ski lift has seen its share of deaths, but the resort’s annual wintergreen winterfest is the only one that allows guests to ski for free.
The resort’s owners say it’s a good thing, as many resorts that operate on a year-round basis can’t afford to maintain the lifts, which are now being replaced with a more modern model.
But for the families who have been skiing at Wintergreen for years, the event has become a source of pride and shame.
On top of the $40 fee for each guest to ski, guests are required to pay a $10 “free ski lift fee” to cover maintenance costs.
This fee was a popular idea when the resort opened in 1997, but has become more difficult to manage as wintertime has progressed, and it has become harder for visitors to get in.
“The resort is in the midst of a huge, historic remodel that is going to take a lot of time,” said Stephanie Wahl, the chief executive of the resort.
“And theres a lot that the resort is struggling with that we dont know about.”
The resort is still operating the old lift, but now it will require a new $10 fee for guests to enter.
That fee was introduced in 1999.
For the last few years, Wintergreen has been experiencing major issues with maintenance, including an outbreak of coronavirus in the winter months.
Wahl said that as of this year, Winterpark has a backlog of more than 200 service requests for maintenance.
“I am sure theres some things that need to be done and we dont have the capacity to deal with everything,” she said.
The owners of Wintergreen say they are trying to address these issues by using a new system that allows them to quickly get repairs made.
In addition to a free ski lift, Winter Green has a free shuttle service that takes guests from the entrance of the lift to the resort and then back again, Wahl explained.
The shuttle service is supposed to be run by the resort, which can be reached through the Internet, but Wahl declined to say which companies were working on it.
For some guests, the shuttle service has become part of the tradition, and the resort has hosted a parade of vehicles from various companies.
“Wintergreen is a very special place,” said Lauren Egan, the vice president of operations for the company that runs Wintergreen.
“Its a family-friendly resort.
Its a place where you cant just go out and have a good time, and you cant simply have a day out there and ski.
We just want to make sure that it doesnt become an unsafe place to be, or something that doesnt make us happy.”