June 3, 2013
Yesterday seemed like the first real day of our summer here (even though it doesn’t officially start for another 18 days) – blue sky & sunshine, the temperature topped 70 which for us was sweltering, and a morning on the golf course with friends was just sublime. It’s over so quickly, so the need is to maximize every day while it lasts.
For me, and I’m sure many owners and visitors alike, it’s all about enjoying our favorite activities and perhaps being smart when it comes to paying for those activities and going out. Anywhere you play and anywhere you buy, always ask the question “what’s your best deal?” It pays to research ahead of time, because there are deals out there which the vendor simply will not tell you about unless you ask, or unless you produce their coupon, or unless you participate at a specific time of the day.
So here’s a few of my favorite activities and some suggestions along the way to maybe save a little or a lot.
- Golf: Both Pole Creek Golf Course (www.polecreekgolf.com) and Granby Ranch (www.granbyranch.com) are open and in fantastic shape already and in stark contrast to conditions this time last year – all to do with the paucity of snow and early rain plus high winds and high temperatures. Actually it is remarkable how good the fairways tees and greens are already, seeing as our temperatures haven’t been that high to promote growth. On Wednesday, it didn’t get above 40! Both websites publish their official rates, but are running early summer specials depending on the day of the week, and time of day you play. Mid-week, after 1PM is usually a good time to get that special. 4-6PM happy hour in Bistro 28 at Pole Creek is a great deal, especially for drinks: $1.00 pints of Coors Lite, or – my favorite – $1.50 pints of Stella Artois. Makes a good round even better or a bad round tolerable!
- The Foundry Cinema & Bowl: (www.foundry-wp.com) Now, it’s very easy to run up a sizeable tab at this establishment, whether you bowl catch a flick or do both combined with eating & drinking. Bowling is cheaper before 6PM and if there are four or less – at $9.00 per person per hour instead of $45.00 per lane per hour after 6PM. For the cinema, the matinee showing – like anywhere else – is far cheaper than regular times of 4:30/5:00PM and 7:45/8:00PM, but then not everyone want to go at 1:30/2:00PM. Better for a kids’ movie unless it’s raining (or snowing!) outside.
- Parks: If you have little ones in your group, it’s not always obvious where to take them to have some fun. We have a “Kid’s Only” page on our website, and list a few of the free parks on that page. Hideaway Park is the most popular (crowded) because it’s in the center of town and visible from the street. However, check out the other ones where mainly locals frequent and are a lot less busy. Wolf Park is one of my daughter’s favorites – plenty of trees for shade and it looks like they’re leveling grassed play area (which was sloped) – the sod has still to be laid at the time of writing. There’s also covered bbq grills and seating.
- Biking: You know when it’s biking season when the chain saws come out. (Eh? I hear you say.) The valley is renowned for its mountain bike trail system of course, but when the trails open up, many are discovered with trees that have fallen across them during the winter – high winds and/or just pine beetle kill being the main reasons. Many bikers have their own chain saws handy to quickly “re-open” these trails themselves. Would make a good video………….extreme mountain biker tearing along Blue Sky………..rounds corner only to see downed lodgepole obstructing forward progress……………….whips out miniature chainsaw from underpants (excuse me) backpack…………….two neat cuts later, mounts bike and continues onward…….I reckon that would get a few views on YouTube . I’m sure not coincidentally, there’s a trail called Chainsaw. Anyway, go to the Chamber website for a trail map: www.playwinterpark.com/mbcusa-trailmap.htm.
- Winter Park Resort: Opening Day for the resort’s summer activities is June 15th. Mountain biking, alpine slide, maze, bungee jumping, rock ‘n roll gyro, mini golf plus climbing wall all make for a fun time. My suggestion is to park in the upper lot by the Vintage Hotel, cabriolet to the Village, make a half-day of it, then (depending on timing) stop at the Five Mountain Tavern in the Vintage for happy hour.
- Coupons & Deals: A while back (November 7, 2009 to be precise – http://www.staywinterpark.com/2009/11/15-ways-to-save-money-on-your-ski-vacation-part-ii-at-the-resort/), I wrote a blog post on 10 ways to save money while you’re here in the valley. It was aimed at the up-coming winter, but many ways are valid for the summer also – early bird dining, grocery shopping (sign up for the “Just 4 U” deals with Safeway ahead of time also), rentals, etc. The Chamber issued a “Dine + Play” coupon book for the winter 2012-13 ski season and the summer version should be produced very soon. Ask at our front desk for a copy or at the Chamber. The website is www.DineAndPlayWP.com and – if repeated – some of the deals are great.
So there you have it – the above is not exhaustive of course, but designed to get you thinking of ways to save money and still have the fun you want to have while you’re here. Our front desk team is on hand to help and answer questions or, if they don’t know the answer, find out for you – plus they’ll have the coupon books, flyers and anything else on hand to help you get the best deals in town.