Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound
Take you away!
Yes, the lyrics of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” really did whirl through my head as the new magic carpet ride – a conveyor belt lift – at Winter Park in Kewaunee brought me to the top of the tubing hill without any effort on my part. And, out of nowhere, a smile appeared on my face.
Once at the top, you can take in the beautiful panorama that includes a picturesque farm at the top of another crest in the distance.
The occasion was media day at the Kewaunee County-owned park. Snowmaking had already been underway for several days, but high winds on media day had forced the snowmaking crew to shut down three of the five machines. With the recent addition of several inches naturally, it looks like Winter Park will be open for the holiday weekends for tubing, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
Last year, with only a short six-week season, Winter Park still had more than 9,000 visitors. The addition of the magic carpet ride up the 70-foot vertical drop, six-lane tubing hill – making the ride up almost as much fun as the ride down – should attract even more people this year.
“Kewaunee County has the only snow tubing hill in northeast Wisconsin to have a Magic Carpet and it’s a great feature to have for the thousands of people who visit the park,” said Dave Myers, Kewaunee County Promotion & Recreation Director. “We expect to become busier than ever before, of course with the cooperation of Mother Nature.”
“We know that our visitors love Winter Park, so it makes us happy to be able to give them something more that will continue to make their experience here memorable and at a price that won’t break the bank,” said Jennifer Schneider, Kewaunee County Tourism Coordinator/Public Information Officer.
She added that they are always working to improve Winter Park. Last season they added a beginner ski hill.
While the park is only open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, Schneider said weekdays are open to school field trips and other groups.
“We get quite a few school field trips, two or three week, and they come from all over, Manitowoc, Mishicot, some of the Green Bay schools,” Schneider said.
The Kewaunee County Promotion & Recreation Department is taking reservations for weekday rentals of the parks (920.388.0444). Open dates begin Jan. 5. Rates for group reservations are $175 for county residents and $185 for non-residents. There is also a 50 minimum ticket purchase at $4/per ticket for each person. This includes three hours of tubing and use of the ski chalet.
Schneider pointed out that the magic carpet ride cost $110,000 and was purchased after unanimous approval by the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors last March to provide a loan in that amount to the Winter Park Association, to be paid back within five years.
Schneider said the board supervisors approved the loan because they realize the importance of the county-owned Winter Park to the region.
Assembling the moving walkway was a 16-week process that was undertaken by the all-volunteer Winter Park Association, led by Barry Nelson, who reportedly was at Winter Park on media day but ducked out before the media arrived so he wouldn’t have to be the focus of their interviews.
“He likes to work quietly behind the scenes,” Schneider said.
She added that the association is always looking for volunteers to man the chalet for weekend concession sales and equipment rentals. Anyone who would like to help should contact Nelson at 920.388.3738.
WINTER PARK HOURS
- Saturday: 10 am-4 pm
- Sunday: 11 am-4 pm
- Saturday: 10 am-8 pm
- Sunday: 11 am-5 pm
Skiing/snowboarding (full day)
- $15 per person, or $12 per person with group of 10 or more
- Ages 5 and below free with paid adult
- $80 for season pass
Snow Tubing (two hours)
- $8 per person or $35 for family of five (free tube rental)
Snowshoeing (full day)
- Free admission/$10 daily rentals