Construction began August 30 on Winter Park’s new permanent stage, to be located in the Hideaway Park Events Space near downtown.
In spring 2014, the town of Winter Park contracted with Denver’s Semple Brown to design a permanent stage that would accommodate its summer concert and series while allowing for future events year-round.
The design features a 2,600-sq-ft handicapped-accessible stage to replace the park’s demountable structure, which has been used since 2008 for summer festivals and other programs. The new stage will evoke the natural imagery of the mountain terrain that surrounds Winter Park and the Fraser Valley.
The concrete and stone structure will rise from a solid, earth-bound base. A large canopy that visually emulates the area’s mountain and ski culture, including “first tracks,” drifts and moguls—consisting of white painted steel, a white membrane roof and wood slat ceiling—will “float” over the stage as it curves skyward above the structures below.
The front of the stage cascades into the seating bowl to lessen the impact of its sightline-required height and provides seating areas that face back into the bowl to make the venue more useful for nonfestival events. Because the bowl can be used as a sledding hill during the winter, the front stage seat-steps will provide a place for observers to watch the sledders, along with a panoramic view of the ski mountain and Continental Divide to the south.
A fully heated and cooled green-room building opens onto a backstage plaza that looks out on Vasquez Creek through oversized, operable glass walls. The structure includes 835 sq ft of assembly space, a kitchen, two restrooms, a make-up area and mechanical room.
Backstage loading and side-stage monitor-mixing structures frame the main stage and serve as stone-clad anchors for it and the undulating roof. A 12-space, paved parking lot and backstage loading area complete the park’s master plan.
The contractor for the project is Big Valley Construction, and completion is projected for July 2017.
“This iconic stage design is truly the capstone of Hideaway Park,” said Jimmy Lahrman, mayor of Winter Park. “Working with the creative design team of Semple Brown and the experienced construction firm of Big Valley has allowed us to enhance the guest experience as well as provide another year-round amenity for our local community.”