Parks and pipes not just for experts anymore
Denver, CO, Oct. 22, 2003… Construction and expansion of Colorado parks and pipes exploded during the off-season and now several Colorado resorts are anxious to show off their master work.
This year’s expansions correspond with the idea that skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels are eager to session the terrain parks. Skiers and riders wanting big air, big tricks and big challenge will still get what they crave, but now the smallest and more timid skiers and riders can learn basic tricks on new entry-level features. Terrain parks are becoming destinations for avid skiers and boarders as well as families looking for some winter adventure.
This season, most notable are the terrain park expansions and improvements at Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Crested Butte, Keystone, Vail and Winter Park.
“These investments in terrain parks show the continued commitment to quality mountain experiences for visitors to Colorado,” said Rob Perlman, President and CEO of CSCUSA. “Colorado is the capital of skiing and snowboarding and each year our resorts take great strides to uphold our status as a leader in the industry.”
Following is an overview of Colorado terrain park improvements:
Arapahoe Basin — Arapahoe Basin has built a new terrain park called “Motha’ Hucker Terrain Park.” It has a higher elevation and stays open longer than all other terrain parks in Colorado. “Motha’ Hucker” has five rails, but depending on time of year and events scheduled, there could be two other freestyle areas at the ski resort.
Beaver Creek — Beaver Creek introduces “Park-ology,” for the 2003-2004 ski season. This innovative new park and pipe program features progressive learning terrain and instruction for aspiring freeskiers and riders. Included in the program are three terrain parks: an entry level park located on Upper Sheephorn called Park 101, a progressive entry level to more difficult level park called Zoom Room, and a more difficult to expert level park and half-pipe called Moonshine. In addition to new terrain features the resort will provide park instruction for skiers and riders through its Children’s Ski and Snowboard School. The resort will also introduce beginner and intermediate level learning competitions to help aspiring jibbers hone their skills, learn park etiquette and become more comfortable in a competitive setting.
Crested Butte — An expansive new terrain park will open on Paradise this year. The park, to be constructed along the lower Canaan run above the Paradise warming house, will include ten jump features of various shapes and sizes (up to 55 feet) and a dozen or so rail features. Riders will get big air and execute gymnastic stunts right below the Paradise chairlift and uphill from the warming house, so other guests can spectate and cheer. Skiers and boarders who are not yet ready for the challenging park on Canaan can enjoy their own playground, the Kid’s Park at the top of the Painter Boy lift. Riders can also test their mettle in the halfpipe located off the Teocalli lift.
Keystone — Keystone Resort has major improvements in store. The resort will be home to the A51 Terrain Park, to be located on the West side of Dercum Mountain in Packsaddle Bowl. Moved from the East side of the mountain to the West side of the mountain, A51 will nearly triple in size, feature three progressive sections, an 11-foot half pipe, a 450-foot long, 18.5-foot Zaugg cut Superpipe, 51 rails and funboxes, and DMX Music throughout the park. In addition, A51 will feature the Packsaddle chair as a dedicated return lift, and the park can be accessed via the high speed Peru Express from the revamped Mountain House base area. With almost the entire park under lights, A51 will be one of the largest night parks in the United States, so boarders and skiers can enjoy the park and pipes until well after the sun goes down.
In addition to the massive upgrade of Keystone’s park and ppipes, the creation of A51 will have a significant impact on the traffic flow on Dercum Mountain. In years past, the majority of Keystone’s terrain features were located on the East side of Dercum Mountain, running down the center of Keystone’s signature blue cruisers, and funneling skiers and riders into River Run. By moving the park to Packsaddle Bowl, Keystone will achieve a natural separation between different types of skiers and riders, as well as ease traffic on the River Run Gondola and the Summit Express.
To support the relocation of A51 to Packsaddle Bowl, the Mountain House base area has been completely revamped. The entire ground floor of the Mountain House was redesigned to open up the building and allow for the creation of three new restaurants targeted at the youth market: Border Burritos, Bite Me Pizza, and Subfusion. In order to increase the accessibility of A51 and reduce traffic on the Summit Express and the River Run Gondola, the Pika lot will be open up as a free lot and the Rail Bus will be running from the Montezuma lot in River Run to the Mountain House.
Vail — This year, the nationally recognized Golden Peak Terrain Park & Pipe will utilize park-only designated snowcats and equipment to build and maintain the superpipe and park throughout the season.
Additionally this season Vail will have two new smaller parks: Mule Skinner accessed from the Riva Bahn Express (Chair 6), one trail over from the Golden Peak Park and Bwana under the Eagle Bahn Gondola (Lift 19) in LionsHead. Both contain a series of hits and rails that are smaller than those in the Golden Peak Park. The Vail Ski & Snowboard School will use this new terrain for new specialty programs. Golden Peak’s Upper Park includes the Superpipe with 18-foot walls cut with the Zaugg Pipe Monster, six tabletop jumps and four rails. The Golden Peak Middle Park has the Jib Park, 10 rails and three natural log rails. The Golden Peak Lower Park has four rails and eight jump features. Bwana Park terrain will include five small jumps, four small rails and one small box. Mule Skinner Park features include four small jumps, three small boxes and two small rails.
Winter Park — Parks and pipes have become a higher priority this season at Winter Park. Rail Yard terrain park has a new look and feel with bigger features, redesigned jumps and more progressive rails. A new Zaugg 420-foot Superpipe makes its debut on the face of Allan Phipps trail. Additionally, the lower half of Rail Yard moves from Cranmer to lower Allan Phipps. And, to improve traffic flow along Cranmer Cutoff where it crosses Allan Phipps, a 100-foot snow bridge over Cranmer Cutoff enables park and pipe riders to cross smoothly over the trail while recreational skiers on the Cutoff go through the tunnel.
No longer the small kid on the block, Jack Kendrick’s terrain park has expanded to encompass more features for curious novices and intermediates. The smallest and more timid skiers and riders can learn basic tricks on new entry-level features in Discovery Park.
Colorado Ski Country USA is the non-profit trade association representing Colorado’s 24 ski & snowboard resorts. Information about the organization and its members can be found at www.coloradoski.com.