New terrain parks, new competition?
The snow is deep and Kyle Ogilvie passes the new Front Range terrain parks on the drive from Colorado State University, opting instead for the for the expanse of Vail.Why’s the college student set on going to the big resort rather than one of two new terrain-specific parks popping up on the east side of the Divide?”If the snow’s good here, I’ll come here,” Ogilvie said, checking out the approach to the Bwana terrain park at Vail. “If not, I’d rather hit the terrain park. But it’d be worth the extra drive for sweet snow.”The two parks near Idaho Springs – Echo Mountain and the former St. Mary’s Glacier ski area – should open soon and, according to reports, plan to offer rails, kickers and halfpipes catering to a teen and 20-something crowd.Officials from the two parks could not be reached for comment.The construction of the new parks poses little, if any, competition for the larger ski areas, officials at Vail and Beaver Creek said. “We’re primarily destination-based, and the people who come here come for a variety of things,” Vail spokeswoman Jen Brown said. Similarly, Beaver Creek spokeswoman Christina Schleicher said Beaver Creek Mountain offers a different experience than the Front Range terrain parks. But the possibility of skiing and snowboarding growing as a result of the new terrain park areas only intrigues Schleicher.”I think it’ll be a neat addition to the sport,” Schleicher said. “There’ll be more and more people interested in the terrain parks. Because parks are becoming so popular it will be a good way to get more people out.”Early reports show the new parks could be about half the price of a lift ticket at Vail and Beaver Creek, which could be a boon for cost-conscious riders. Snowboarder David Turner said people would be drawn to the parks “especially if it didn’t cost $81 to go.”