Live out Your A-Frame Fantasy at This Retro-Mod Colorado Resort
Colorado’s new A-Frame Club is a perfect mashup of retro nostalgia and classic mountain-town hygge.
Cradling a cup of coffee, I peer out the windows of the A-frame onto the snow-fleeced Fraser River. Inside, a Malm fireplace warms the room, which is adorned with black-and-white prints of Hunter S. Thompson, and Johnny Cash croons over the speakers. It’s a shagadelic scene reminiscent of the ’70s, but cranking the heat dial via Bluetooth, I’m reminded that this is very much 2023.
We’re among the first guests to stay in this new collection of 31 mid-century-style cabins at the A-Frame Club, which opened for its inaugural season in Winter Park, Colorado, in January 2023. Around happy hour, the vibey chalet is jumping. Locals and visitors have packed the property’s Saloon for après; craft cocktails are clinking, and tables overflow with modern takes on French Alpine fare. It’s standing-room only at the bar, and it’s clear that the opening is a big one.
Denver-based Zeppelin Development built the lodge, which is located less than one-third of a mile from the base of the oldest continually operated ski resort in the state. It’s situated on three acres in historic Old Town Winter Park, and really plays up the nostalgia of a bygone era. Designed by Portland-based Skylab Architects, the standalone two-story guest cabins include ski-gear storage, fully equipped kitchenettes, onsen-style soaking tubs, private decks, and swoon-worthy views of the forest outside. Noguchi lighting and Maharam rugs to add to the classic feel.
“A-Frame Club is taking mountain hospitality back to the heyday for skiing in the ’70s and ’80s that I grew up with,” said Kyle Zeppelin, founder of Zeppelin Hospitality. “It’s a throwback to a simpler time, with cabins at the base of the ski hill that open up directly to the forest and a turned-up party in the lodge.”
The groovy interior design is on-point, but it’s nature that’s the real draw. In-the-know Denver-dwellers have been coming to Winter Park for years because of its proximity and ease of access. The lodge is just a few blocks away from the Winter Park Express ski-train stop, which is directly reachable from Union Station and Denver International Airport. The train ride is just over two-and-a half hours, marked by spectacular views of the Rockies. And getting equipment is a breeze, too, as the Alpine Sun outfitter is close by. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for a turnkey winter vacation.
Aside from the skiing and snowboarding at the resort, behind the property is the Winter Park Art Trail, a self-guided 35-piece art walk that makes for an excellent morning of snowshoeing. The Jim Creek Trail loop, just outside Winter Park, is also handicap-accessible, and a great way to view wildlife and nature in the Arapaho National Forest.
If you manage to make it off-property, there are plenty of mountain-town businesses worth supporting, like Idlewild Spirits distillery, freshly roasted coffee at Foxtail Coffee Co., and fantastic Himalayan food at Durbar. But if you’re like us, you’ll be so wrapped up in the nostalgia (or a knit blanket by the fireplace) that you may never leave.