WINTER PARK —The Winter Park town council approved adding an amendment to the town’s master plan to include Old Town Winter Park in the document.
The amendment was created by the Old Town Neighborhood Enhancement Committee in conjunction with the Town of Winter Park staff and was presented to the town council during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
The Old Town Neighborhood Enhancement Committee is made up of business owners, property owners, and residents of the Old Town area of Winter Park, which is seeking to improve the area by increasing signs and pedestrian accessibility in the area.
Old Town, located just north of Winter Park Resort, is where the Town of Winter Park was originally established when the only inhabitants were the builders of the Moffat Tunnel, loggers and miners. When Winter Park was first founded in 1978, Old Town was included within the limits of the town and today serves as a link between the ski resort and downtown Winter Park.
Now there are a handful of businesses that call Old Town home, such as Adolfs Event Center & Tavern, Alpine Sun Ski & Sport, Tinberhouse Ski Lodge, and The Pines bed and breakfast, as well as single family homes and condos.
Though only a few businesses inhabit Old Town, the area has potential for future development, according to the amendment document.
“It’s a blank slate,” said Gigi Dominguez, owner of Alpine Sun and Adolfs and a member of the Old Town Neighborhood Enhancement Committee.
Council members showed support for the improvements at Tuesday’s meeting as well as by awarding two commercial enhancement grants to Adolfs Tavern, which were used to build a new patio for the tavern as well as install lighting fixtures and landscaping.
The updates to Adolfs have been drawing increased traffic to the tavern, according to Dominguez. Dominguez hopes that continued work to improve the Old Town area will bring more traffic to the area and will enhance Winter Park as a whole.
The Old Town Neighborhood Enhancement Committee has highlighted a number of areas that could use improvements including the entrance to the Fraser River Trail, which runs directly through Old Town. Fraser River Trail users often utilize the trail to access downtown Winter Park from the resort. Another enhancement proposed under the approved amendment to the town’s master plan was improved signage to direct more people towards Old Town, and to educate visitors of the rich history of the area.
The committee also suggested improving sidewalks in the area, namely the sidewalk under the trestle at Winter Park Resort, to allow for safer pedestrian travel to and from the resort. The amendment also discusses the possibility of constructing landscaping fixtures around the Old Town area as well as installing streetlights and bus shelters.
George Stevens, a retired architect and resident, created sketches for the possible enhancements of Old Town.
“Old Town has gone through a lot of changes over the past few years,” Stevens said. “It really is the north portal to the world class resort we have here and it needs to be better, and I think people know that.”
“Old Town is a work in progress,” Dominguez said. “The town staff has really assisted the committee in creating a vision for the area.”
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334