PARK CITY, UT (July 21) – The Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, the premier snowboard series in the world, schedule has been set for the 2004 season with action returning to Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort Dec. 19-21 and California’s Mammoth Mountain Jan. 9-11 as well as a new stop at New Jersey’s Mountain Creek Resort Feb. 6-8, less than an hour’s drive from New York City.
The Grand Prix will enter its eighth season and continues to deliver a premium competition series for fans because of its attraction to the world’s top snowboarders. The 2004 season will continue with the tradition of one of the largest overall purse sizes for a snowboarding series – $300,000, the best broadcast package for the sport on America’s Olympic network — NBC plus ESPN, and preparations are underway for added entertainment festivities for spectators similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Park City prior to last season’s Grand Prix halfpipe event.
“The Grand Prix keeps getting bigger and better every year, and we’re excited to bring together the best athletes with their fans,” said USSA Vice President-Events Annette Royle, who has assisted in the production of the series since its birth during the 1997 season. “We’re returning to great venues that build the best pipes and courses as well as bringing the sport to New York City, or the closest we can, thanks to Mountain Creek.”
The 2004 Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix tour (with TV dates and times):
Dec. 19-21 – Park City Mountain Resort, UT (superpipe, parallel giant slalom and exhibition — NBC coverage Dec. 27 at 3:00 p.m. ET; Exhibition broadcast on ESPN Jan. 27 at 1:30 ET)Jan. 9-11 – Mammoth Mountain, CA (superpipe, snowboard cross and exhibition — NBC coverage Jan. 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET; exhibition broadcast on ESPN Jan. 27 at 2:00 p.m)Feb. 6-8 – Mountain Creek Resort, NJ (superpipe and exhibition — NBC coverage Feb. 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET)
The series will kick-off at the 2002 Olympic venue, Park City Mountain Resort, where the United States made history with the men’s halfpipe medal sweep as well as the first gold medal for Team USA at the Salt Lake Games with the dramatic victory by Kelly Clark (Mount Snow, VT) on the second day of competition.
“Park City did such an amazing job last season kicking off the Grand Prix that we are looking forward to being back in December,” said Royle. “We hope to once again top the action and fan turnout as last year there were more than 10,000 spectators and a pre-event concert.”
Park City’s involvement in snowboarding goes farther back than the five U.S. medals garnered on its slopes in 2002 and it continues to grow as a snowboarding destination. New acquisitions for ’04 include a Superdragon to continue to cut an Olympic-quality pipe, explains PCMR Director of Marketing and Sales Julie Hopkins.
“Park City Mountain Resort also continues to create new, innovative rails and features in the terrain parks to attract riders from all levels. We look forward to supporting the efforts of the USSA this coming season.”
Mammoth Mountain, where snowboarders such as Andy Finch, Chris Nelson and 2002 Olympian Tommy Czeschin train in the summer and fall, has hosted numerous Grand Prix competitions and is recognized as one of the nation’s core snowboarding hotbeds. Mammoth will host this season’s only snowboard cross stop on the Grand Prix, therefore providing a major competition opportunity for athletes as they gun for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, where SBX will make its Olympic debut.
“We’re very excited to be hosting the Grand Prix again after a year away, and especially with SBX becoming an Olympic event,” said Mammoth Mountain Competition Director Gary Taylor. “Snowboarding is huge at Mammoth and we take special pride in putting on an outstanding event. We have a great trail for SBX and we know the riders will be getting in line this winter with the Olympics not too far away.”
In February, the Grand Prix concludes at Mountain Crreek, where record spectator crowds are expected with the event’s close proximity to New York City. Mountain Creek, a popular ski/snowboard area is quickly becoming established as a top snowboarding venue boasting a world-class superpipe and terrain park. It has hosted several snowboard events, including the Specialty Sports Pro/Am Jam drawing some of the nation’s top riders each year. New Jersey’s own Danny Kass, who hails from nearby Hamburg, put New Jersey on the snowboarding map and his fame has assisted in building the scene at Mountain Creek.
“We were looking for a venue that was located near a major urban area to bring the sport to more people, but it also had to have snowboard experience. Mountain Creek fit our scenario perfectly,” Royle said. “This will, no doubt, be a unique stop for the Grand Prix. It has a lot to offer.”
“Mountain Creek is honored to be asked to host the Grand Prix,” said Mountain Creek Director of Marketing Bill Benneyan. “For five years we’ve been working for this opportunity and now we’re ready. We’ve established ourselves as a serious suburban backyard playground with our cutting-edge parks and pipes and being close to a major metro area sets Mountain Creek as the perfect place to open a lot of eyes to world-class snowboarding.”