Cautionary piece for those building big mid-Atlantic terrain parks
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 12, 2016
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts

 Pretty interesting read from www.slopefillers.com comparing some things about Bowling and Skiing and possible lessons learned:

http://www.slopefillers.com/bowling-for-skiing/

 

crgildart
February 12, 2016 (edited February 12, 2016)
Member since 07/13/2014 🔗
761 posts

I'd argue that some of the kids hanging out at the bowling alley drinking beer and smoking pot in the parking lot did learn to bowl some and may have bought in to bowling more for bowling at some point, but not many.  I was at the bowling alley last year when a college match was happenig.  It's entirely possible and perhaps likely that at least one of those young adults started bowling at the bowling raves in junior high/middle school/high school.  Bowlers, like other enthusiasts, hobbyists, and athletes go throug different phases in their pursuit of any particular activity.

Young skiers learning tricks in the terrain park are really not that different than young skiers on the rase team hill learing to bash gates.  Either can decide over the summer to chage their focus to a different aspect of the sport or play a different sport.  Many will walk away from the activity for a few years or many years only to pick it back up some day and post a thread asking about new skis and getting told to buy boots first. :-)

I don't see much harm in trying these unconventional approaches to sell lift tickets or bowling lanes to people that may not be there for the pure passion of the sport itself.  A few seeds are still planted here and there where none would be without them.

eggraid
February 12, 2016
Member since 02/9/2010 🔗
473 posts

Interesting read, especially since I had been planning to go bowling tonight for the first time in probably 5 years, haha!

I think the end of the article is maybe the most relevant, when it has a picture of a tubing hill. I think tubing, as opposed to terrain parks, tries to get people interested in snow sports unsuccessfully. 

I know I've got 3 young skiers under my roof that I'm pretty sure are hooked for life on our great sport! They've roped in several of their friends along the way, too.

Bumps
February 12, 2016 (edited February 12, 2016)
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts

I don't think I agree with the comparison. Parks are really a whole different sport then slope/trail skiing or boarding. Where the bowling thing was just jazzing up the same old sport with music and side shows. Park riding/skiing takes time and effort to master. Maybe even more then most skiers who never get off the blues. In the bowling example, people were not mastering the sport, they were there for the party and doubtfully really tried that hard at the sport. Watching kids drop in and do a cowboy off a big jump, is a much different thing. The challenge is that its a young persons sport. As you age reflexes slow and strength to weight ratios generally go the wrong way. Will these folks switch to more traditional riding/skiing to get their thrills or just hang it up? i would bet some do go on to other snow sports. But I also think the continuous injection of young people Into the terrain parks will occur. It's not a side show, it is an independent sport, with its own champions and Olympians . 

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Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
February 15, 2016
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,861 posts

Interesting speculation about the future role of terrain parks regardless of whether it's a marketing gimmick or a legitimate independent sport. Has anybody noticed that so far, Seven Springs has not invested in their signature terrain park, The Spot, home of the Olympic sized half pipe yet this year and it looks like they may not at all. On the other hand I think 4 others are up and running with a smaller half pipe being built on the North Face adjacent the nastar course and The Alley which is the most popular terrain park on the hill. Unlike the big jumps and pipe of The Spot, The Alley is more like a skiercross course with smaller jumps, banked turns, tables and rails down a narrower, longer trail.

The Spot must cost a bundle to build and if no major competitions are scheduled this season to help defray cost the cost perhaps  it was deemed under utilized to justify the expense? I remember a few years back I complained about all the effort and money going into The Spot while Giant Steps went uncovered into MLK weekend. Last year all the talk was about how humongous amount of snow made on the left alley of the North Face slope and the season end park building competition there.

Scott - DCSki Editor
February 15, 2016
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,143 posts

One thing I've noticed in recent years is that many resorts (especially in the Mid-Atlantic) have filled in/removed their halfpipes.  Often it's to make more space for terrain parks, but it seems like half pipes have been going out of favor.

crgildart
February 15, 2016
Member since 07/13/2014 🔗
761 posts

I think the horrible start to the season killed the terrain park options this season.  It takes a lot of snow to build most of the bigger jumps.  We didn't get enought make to even get all the main trails covered until mid January and have had to fight to keep that base.  Come March resorts usually count on those big jumps for sources of snow to cammibalize to cover bare spots around catwalks and lift corrals as needed to keep open until the preferred spring closng date.  I wonder if they will be closing sooner since the big jumps didn't materialize at many this season?

JohnL
February 15, 2016
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts

Scott wrote:

One thing I've noticed in recent years is that many resorts (especially in the Mid-Atlantic) have filled in/removed their halfpipes.  Often it's to make more space for terrain parks, but it seems like half pipes have been going out of favor.

Hey Scott, can you give some specifics? I'm very curious about the trend myself.

KeithT
February 15, 2016
Member since 11/17/2008 🔗
383 posts

Wisp, Liberty, and Roundtop come to mind,  I think Camelbak also, but someone else could confirm, as I remember a halfpipe there on the far skiers left side of the mountian.  Whitetail moved and downsized.  

wgo
February 15, 2016 (edited February 15, 2016)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts

Wintergeen seems to have invested a lot in setting up slopestyle type terrain over the past few seasons. I actually don't recall ever seeing a big halfpipe in the 12 years I have been skiing there but maybe I am misrembering. Didn't Massanutten have a huge halfpipe? Do they still have it?

AndyGene
February 15, 2016
Member since 09/9/2013 🔗
228 posts

Snowshoe used to do a half pipe at silver creek when I was in high school.  This was probably 15 years ago.  I do not recall seeing one there recently (last 6 years).

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
February 15, 2016 (edited February 15, 2016)
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,475 posts

I was looking for info on Snowshoe's I found a video from 2009.  Hidden Valley used to have a small one a few years ago.

I cruised down in it and thought, man, I don't belong in here.

wgo
February 15, 2016 (edited February 15, 2016)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts

eggraid wrote:

I think the end of the article is maybe the most relevant, when it has a picture of a tubing hill. I think tubing, as opposed to terrain parks, tries to get people interested in snow sports unsuccessfully. 

I don't think ski areas think of tubing hills as a way to get people interested in snow sports. I think they just think of it as another revenue stream. $25 - $30 per 1.5 hour session over a 12 hour day adds up quickly.

Scott - DCSki Editor
February 15, 2016
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,143 posts

JohnL wrote:

Scott wrote:

One thing I've noticed in recent years is that many resorts (especially in the Mid-Atlantic) have filled in/removed their halfpipes.  Often it's to make more space for terrain parks, but it seems like half pipes have been going out of favor.

Hey Scott, can you give some specifics? I'm very curious about the trend myself.

I think others posted the main ones I was thinking of.  A few others are Bear Creek (they used to have a 750-foot long halfpipe), the Homestead, Wisp (which used to have a 400-foot long Super Pipe), Beech Mountain, and Camelback (they removed their halfpipes (they used to have two) sometime before 2013 to make more space for terrain park features).

I can't remember the last time a resort *added* a halfpipe.  They've quietly been removing them.  Actually, who still has a halfpipe in the Mid-Atlantic?  There might only be a few resorts now.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
February 15, 2016
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,861 posts

I just heard that Seven Springs in now in the process of building their super pipe. So count 1 resort that is still big on the super pipe. Seven Springs holds competitions and often the sponsors pay the build out expense, at lest they help out.

Antoine
February 15, 2016
Member since 10/20/2014 🔗
275 posts

Whitetails terrain park is garbage it's been neglected because they can't keep up with the traffic of jerrys. Liberty will almost certainly not get the Jump line on vertigo this year. Round top used to have the biggest half pipe in the east on recruit but law suits by the parents of jerrys shit it down because they can't stand up to their children and tell them not to go off a 30 foot jump and a super pipe. That being said rt also had a park on bunker hill (gone) the fife park has been cut in half to allow a [gaper highway] and a proposed park on powderhorn has also denounced.

Thefirewarde
February 19, 2016
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
12 posts

Blue Mtn also used to have a half pipe and now uses Central Park as a second terrain park.

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