Venerable Winter Park Ski Club Shuts Down
A lack of space at Winter Park has forced the 79-year-old Eskimo Ski Club to cease a program that has brought thousands of Denver-area youngsters onto the slopes of the Colorado mountain.
Club officials recently announced that they could not come to an agreement with Winter Park for a location to headquarter the club. Resort officials said they have run out of space in the aging Balcony House at the base of Winter Park, and could not provide sufficient room for lockers for the club’s instructors either at Winter Park or neighboring Mary Jane.
“It is with great sadness that I am writing this,” said club director Annie Bulkley in an email to members. “Winter Park needs the Eskimo Headquarters room for their employee lockers as they are presently stacked 3 to a locker and there is no more available space that will work for the Club’s needs.”
Starting in 1939 by Bulkley’s father Frank, the Eskimo Ski Club sought to teach youngsters from the greater Denver area how to ski on the city-owned mountain. By the start of WWII, 300-400 youngsters rode then-Denver & Salt Lake railroad every Saturday.
After the war, Bulkley convinced officials of what had become the Denver & Rio Grande to run a “ski train” on Saturdays that would get the young “Eskimos” up to the hill. When the ski train stopped running, Eskimo members rode special buses over Berthoud Pass to Winter Park.
The club had 320 members last season. No plans have been announced as to its future.