Residents of Winter Park Resort’s much-anticipated workforce housing complex, Conifer Commons, have started to move in. They are the first employees to live in this 330-unit housing project, hailed by industry professionals and community leaders as “a national model for other ski resorts.
Conifer Commons is a joint effort between Winter Park Resort, Alterra Mountain Company (Winter Park Resort’s parent company), the Town of Winter Park, Winter Park Recreation Association (the agent of the City and County of Denver), Winter Park Water and Sanitation, and Saunders Construction. SAR+ is the architect. The project cost totaled approximately $60 million.
Recognizing the crisis-level need for local housing for seasonal and year-round workers, Winter Park Resort completed the construction of Conifer Commons in December of 2023. From inception to completion, Conifer Commons has been applauded for its community-wide approach, and Winter Park Resort has quickly become a leader in addressing employee housing. The project is noted for working collaboratively with key partners; aligning with the Town of Winter Park’s
housing needs assessment and strategy; moving quickly with modular construction to maximize short building seasons; subsidizing for affordability; and repurposing vacant land on the resort property.
“As one of the largest employers in the area, we wanted to make sure our seasonal and year-round workers have affordable housing that provides essential accommodations – and that also supports our core values around people and community. After all, Winter Park Resort is as much about our people and quality of life, as it is about our unspoiled forest and slopes,” said Sky Foulkes, Winter Park Resort president.
The project uses sustainable modular construction that is solar-ready. Eliminating the multi-bed, dorm-style living, this project will offer studio and one-bedroom apartments becoming the first workforce housing project in the area offering private accommodations for the resort’s year-round and seasonal employees.
Conifer Commons is located just yards away from Winter Park Resort’s Cabriolet lift, which accesses the mountain’s base area, just off U.S. Highway 40 and Winter Park Drive. Winter Park Resort wanted the workforce housing to be on the resort property, so it repurposed (and then relocated) a parking area, to ensure the complex was near to slopes, convenient, walkable, and accessible to public transportation.