Recreation Info for Participant

Recreation Info for Participant


(Skiing & Snowboarding)

As a director, “Have you never skied before? Are you worried about your students who have never skied?” About 90% of our festival attendees haven’t either! We figure over 137,000 music students have learned to ski at the Winter Park Ski-Music Festival. After receiving lessons, students will be skiing the mountain with their friends on the first day, and likely addicted to this amazing outdoor experience.

  • Beginners must be at least 12 years old to receive our included lesson. Parents of younger skiers must arrange for lessons targeted toward their child’s age, at their own expense.
  • Beginner ski and snowboard lessons are REQUIRED for all group members that have not skied or boarded before, or those group members that have not been instructed on mountain safety, ski lift usage/safety and beginning ski or snowboard techniques. Directors should consult with students who are not registered online to take a lesson, to determine whether the student indeed has previous experience.
  • Anyone who does not feel secure about their previous skiing abilities is strongly recommended to register online for the beginner lesson as a refresher. A person should be quickly recognized if they possess skills that will advance them to another level of the instruction. Or, they can continue with their friends’ ski lesson for moral support.
  • Ski lessons are usually 2- 2 ½ hours, depending on the person’s abilities.
  • Instructors will teach groups of about 15-20 persons each.
  • Each person receiving a ski or snowboard lesson will need a ski lift card provided from the festival. Ski lift cards will be used to gain access to the lifts used for “on the mountain” instruction as a part of the ski or snowboard lesson.
  • Person’s receiving ski lessons must not only have boots, skis, helmet, and poles (all included with a rental), but also adequate clothing/accessories. An instructor will not allow any beginner to enter lessons unless they are properly dressed for the weather and have gloves and eye protection (sunglasses or goggles).
  • Lastly, each person should have a positive attitude, and commitment toward learning to ski or board. If not, instead select the non-ski activities.  Each person within our festival staff can tell a story of when they have once encouraged a last-minute hesitant student to go ahead and take a lesson. The story will end with the same student thanking them afterwards because the student had the greatest time of their life after they learned how to ski. We now have returning directors that will require all students to take ski lessons, and ski as their recreation, because these directors have experienced the same with previous trips.

Entering the Ski Lessons

The festival staff will be there to instruct beginners- but beginners should not expect to wear skis into the ski lesson. They will carry poles and skis.

Winter Park Resort Ski Instructor will meet beginner skiers very near where the festival staff meets the entire group at the resort ski base.  Each director can share the location map available to them.  The ski instructors will take over from here!

Ski lessons can last anywhere from 2- 2 ½ hours.

After Ski Lessons

Ski school instructors may divide a music group into smaller groups of a particular size, say 15-20 beginners, for more effective and efficient instruction. All music group members may not all have the same instructor (especially with larger music groups). The instructors of these smaller ski lesson groups may conclude their lesson at differing times. As a result, there may not be a definitive lesson end time for your entire music group, depending on the learned skills of the beginner group. Also, there may not be the same lesson end location for all music group members, since instructors may take beginners on different ski trails, and release beginners at different locations on the mountain, depending on the beginners’ abilities.

Each music group director is encouraged to establish meeting instructions for beginners after the lesson. This can be meeting as a group after the lesson, not meeting until the end of the day, requiring check-ins with adults, or text/phone communications.  The festival staff, during the safety talk will ask what the plan is, to make sure every beginner knows.

Meeting Times at Resort & Schedule

Meeting Times at the resort

After skiing, when a group plans to meet anytime during, or at the end of the day, all persons must PLAN ahead for the amount of time necessary to finish going up the lifts, skiing down the mountain, and traveling/walking to the meeting site.

PROBLEM EXAMPLES:   Planning a time to meet at the buses with a simple “end of the day” could still allow for group members to enter any ski lift at 3:55, anywhere on the mountain, lasting as long as 12 minutes on the upward lift.  Then take another hour, or 1.5 hours before reaching the base, depending on each person’s skiing level.  Some group members could arrive no sooner than 6:00 pm.

SUGGESTION:  Set a time for your group to be AT the meeting area, condo, bus parking, or shuttle bus pick-up.  Again, any specific meeting arrangements require all group members to PLAN ahead for ski lift travel, skiing down the mountain, locker time, and traveling/walking to the meeting site location.

Day #1 at the Resort- meet your schedule!

At least 35+ days before attending the festival, each music director will be able to view their group’s Trip Info report, specific to your group, providing dates, times, and locations for:

  • 1st meet festival staff at resort (whether at bus parking or at resort base)
  • Equipment rentals
  • Ticketing and safety talk
  • Beginner lessons

If you are a group member reading this, and your director has not yet discussed this information with your group prior to the festival, please ask them to read/share all this information and details with you and all your group members!  Take a picture of location maps you will have available to you before and after registering online at www.wpsmf.com/startgate.

Why? Your group will be one of many groups scheduled that day for all festival components.  Typically the festival has groups scheduled back to back with rental shops, ticketing and lessons.  If your group is arriving late for one of the scheduled components, it can be an unfortunate chain of missed scheduled events for the remainder of the day, or even for the following day.  For example, a group that arrives at rentals 15 minutes late for some unpredictable reason, might then miss a scheduled ticketing time window, and then miss the last beginner lesson time window of the day, causing your group who expected to ski all day on their arrival, miss out on recreation altogether, with maybe fitting somewhere in a schedule openings late the following day.  Groups who are late, will not alter the schedules of groups who are not.  All members of your group need to be aware of the scheduled events and be a focused part of keeping the entire group on time, and where they need to be.  If your bus needs to forfeit a scheduled restroom stop, or a breakfast stop along the trip to Winter Park, go along with what your director believes to be necessary to make up for lost travel time.  If the director reads the instructions for everyone to arrive at the resort fully dressed to ski, with boots being worn when unloading the bus, make it happen. If your director informs beginners to quickly go rent a locker and meet for lessons in the next 15 minutes, look at your watch, and be on time.  Use your map picture of where your group should be and help direct your other group members who don’t have one.  Be a responsible part of the team, helping your director and your entire group your first day at the resort meet your schedule.

Ski Lift Cards

  • Lift cards (previously lift tickets) are used by skiers and snowboarders to gain access to the ski area’s 25 ski lifts. The ski lifts transport skiers to higher elevations so that gravity will take them down the mountain slopes on skies or boards. Each festival participant that has requested to ski or snowboard will receive one ski lift card. Each card is good for the days your group is scheduled to ski during the festival (up to four consecutive days). A ski lift card is required for taking ski or snowboard lessons since the ski lifts will be used as part of the lesson instruction on the mountain slopes. Each time a skier or snowboarder passes through the lift’s access point, RFID technology within the card will activate a gate or turn stile for entrance, and use of the lift.
  • Ski lift cards can be simply placed within a pocket located somewhere between your shoulders and knees. You will not need to remove the lift card from your pocket when gaining entrance to the lifts. It is recommended to place the lift card away from other credit cards and cell phones for improved reception of the card readers. Magnets cannot destroy the chip technology of the card. Lift cards can survive being wet. The lift card readers at the lift entrances create no dangers for persons wearing pacemakers or other electronic medical devices. Questions concerning how RFID technology may affect any medical devices, should be made to the ski resort personnel at the ski base ticketing office.
  • The lift cards provided to our festival participants will have an attached sticker with a person’s name and an association with a particular music group printed on it. Since the information printed on the sticker is also associated with the card’s profile, switching of stickers between cards will create problems for the users as further described below. As a result, the sticker should not be removed for any reason, or switched between cards.
  • If a ski card is lost, a replacement card can be issued for a $10 charge at the Resort’s Group Ticketing office located in the Balcony House building. However, a card replacement will only be made for the card originally issued to the person requesting the replacement. So if person A and person B have switched stickers between lift cards, and no longer carrying their originally issued card, and person B (with person A’s originally issued lift card) has requested a replacement lift card, person A will then have a deactivated card, without any chance of getting a replacement. In summary, receiving a replacement card should be an easy procedure, with minimal cost, as long as the person is replacing the card that was originally issued to them. If there is any circumstance in which persons have lost lift cards that were not issued to them, expect no replacements. A person will have to purchase another lift card out of their pocket, at the walk-up retail price cards are sold at. Lift cards good for one day only can have a retail price exceeding $130. Multiple day cards (as the festival provides) could exceed $300-400. The festival will not be responsible for reimbursing lift card purchases when the replacements cannot be made for any reason.

    Ski/Snowboard Equipment Rental

    A music director will have all equipment rental instructions provided within their group’s Trip Info report and should be shared with all group members prior to the trip.  Rentals can be received without wearing full ski attire if a group is receiving equipment rentals the prior day to skiing. If a group is receiving rentals, and immediately traveling to the resort, or at the resort already, to ski shortly afterwards, it is best to have most ski clothing on when receiving rentals, so time will not be wasted changing clothes between these events.  Regardless of when your group receives rentals, be sure every skier and snowboarder is wearing the same socks and/or the same weight/thickness of socks being planned to wear while skiing to ensure the same proper boot fit! Improper boot fit can be very uncomfortable and even painful when skiing. If any member’s ski boots do not feel comfortable when being fitted at the ski shop, it will NOT improve afterwards when skiing. If wearing the boot is uncomfortable, or creates even the slightest of pain, tell the shop employee helping you, and get another pair.  All persons must also be able to completely close both boot’s tightening clasps before leaving the ski rental shop!   Uncomfortable, wrong sized, or unclasping boots must be exchanged for another pair BEFORE you leave the ski rental shop to avoid a return trip to the rental shop for an exchange.  Failure to have boots that cannot be worn when entering lessons, or skiing, may lead to an entire day of lost skiing, and/or a person having to receive ski lessons with another music group.

    If your group is receiving rentals, and immediately traveling to the resort for their first ski day, it is highly suggested to have members NOT take off their boots, and simply wear their ski or snowboard boots onto the bus, carrying their street shoes with them.  Or at least, bring ski and snowboard boots on the bus with them, and not put within the bus luggage compartments.  Why?  TIME!  If boots are placed under the bus after rentals, and when your group arrives at the resort, each person will get off the bus with their street shoes being worn, put on their ski or snowboard boots in the wet snow, go back on to the bus to put away their street shoes, and unload the bus once again. For motor coaches with 55 persons, it is chaos, and can add an additional 30-45 minutes to a resort unload!  Does your schedule allow for this amount of additional time?

    If a member of your group registered online to receive high performance ski equipment, they will pay the rental shop directly for that upgrade.  It is estimated at $10/day + tax, but price may vary with each assigned rental shop.

    All ski or snowboard rentals will include a helmet.

    Damaged or lost rental equipment is the responsibility of the person and/or parent of the equipment user.

    Resort Ski Lift Operating Hours

    Weekdays: 9:00AM – 4:00PM

    Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 8:30AM – 4:00PM

    The Winter Park Ski Resort has moved lift hours forward an hour (during the later festival weeks) in the past.  This allows for more morning thawing time of frozen snowpack for safer skiing conditions.  And with late season longer days,more afternoon skiing time.  These operational hour changes usually have a very short notice.  We will contact each group if there are such lift time changes.

    Available Daily Locker Rentals

    Daily Locker Rentals

    Public lockers are available to rent at the Winter Park Ski Resort ski base.  Two locations are at the Balcony House and West Portal buildings.  Three different sized lockers can be rented:

    • Standard (pictures show to hold one backpack and/or pair of shoes) $6 for that day (May increase for the 2021-2022 Season)
    • Large (picture shows to hold two backpacks and/or 2 pairs of shoes) $8 for that day (May increase for the 2021-2022 Season)
    • Jumbo (picture shows to hold three backpacks and/or multiple pairs of shoes) $15 for that day (May increase for the 2021-2022 Season)

    The festival staff believes the standard locker can be shared with multiple persons, since we see students placing 2-3+ pairs of shoes and a few personal belongings within them.  Standard sized lockers will not accommodate a pair of ski boots. None of these daily locker sizes will accommodate a pair of skis/poles.

    The daily locker rentals are typically used by group members:

      • receiving their ski equipment rentals at the resort ski rental shop and need a place to store the shoes being worn to the rental shop. This is usually for their first ski day, since their boots can be worn to ski, the remaining days.
      • In need of a place to store personal belongings, or extra clothing, rather than having to walk to their parked bus to retrieve them.

    The daily lockers can be rented through nearby automated kiosks. A kiosk will accept bills of various denominations, as well as a debit/credit card.  A person can choose the number of days to have the same locker.   These lockers are easy to share among multiple persons, since a multiple digit code is provided, and if shared, can be used by more than one person to access the locker for the duration of its rental, as many times as needed.

    Large Lockers for overnight storage of ski equipment

    Large lockers can also be rented within the West Portal building (lower level) for persons desiring to store their ski equipment (boots, skis and poles) overnight.  These are typically used by group members who have received their ski equipment rentals form a non-resort ski shop, and do not wish to take ski equipment back and forth between their overnight lodging, each day, via their bus.

    Renting these larger lockers can be done through the Lost and Found attendant in the lower level of the West Portal building.  These lockers can accommodate skis, poles, and ski boots for up to 4 people, if arranged properly within the locker.

    The cost and rental duration of these large lockers is as follows:

      • $16 for a daily storage (may increase for the 2021-2022 Season). Reservations made in the morning are valid through 6 pm of the same day.
      • $25 for an overnight storage (may increase for the 2021-2022 Season). Reservations made in the evening are valid through 6pm of the following day.

    Reservations made in the morning, through the next day at 6pm would pay $32 ($16 x 2), which includes 2 days and 1 night.  Or $48 ($16 x 3) for 3 days and 2 nights.

    Remember, this cost can be shared between multiple persons, and isn’t necessarily the cost for one person!

    Advanced reservations are recommended and are based on availability.  Contact the Lost and Found at (970) 726-5514 extension 1784. 

    Optional Resort Meal Vouchers

    A meal voucher costing $13 each, with a redeemable value of $15 is offered through the festival.  Ski Area Meal vouchers are an option for directors to purchase for the entire group for as many days or meals they wish. Meal vouchers are not included within festival packages. Some directors purchase these discounted meal vouchers to ensure that each group member has the opportunity to receive a meal at the ski area if a student has spent “meal money” on other items or was not given money from their parents. These vouchers allow festival attendees to redeem voucher for a meal purchases at the Winter Park Resort operated food service areas located at the ski area base, mid-mountain eating locations or at mountain summit locations. Careful- there are privately owned and franchised restaurants within the ski resort base “Village” that will not accept these meal vouchers. Ask before ordering!

    If a meal purchase cost less than the redeemable amount, no change will be given. Add more to the ticket!   If a meal purchased cost over the redeemable amount, the individual must pay the difference.  Some meals will cost more than $15. Meals with a soft drink will likely always exceed $15 in cost. Cups and water dispensers are available at nearly all resort food service locations.  Water, not caffeinated soft drinks, should be consumed anyway, to help improve hydration, for avoiding altitude sickness.


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