Winter park was officially incorporated in 1978, but the two settlements that joined together to create the city had been around since the beginning of the 20th-century. Old Town was a settlement begun by workers who were busy constructing the Moffat Tunnel, which provided a direct route between Denver and Salt Lake City. The other settlement, Hideaway Park, was a tourist resort. In 1937 the Moffat tunnel was completed, providing easier access to the area, and the increase in the number of visitors prompted the construction of a ski resort, the Winter Park Resort, in 1940. Ever since, the town has been known as a popular skiing destination.

    In 1980, Winter Park annexed the town of West Portal Village, at the mouth of the Moffat tunnel. With over 359 inches of snow every year, the area is a guaranteed to have agreeable skiing conditions every winter. The Winter Park Resort, which began with 3 skiing trails in 1940, now has over 25. The town itself has a population of about a thousand people.