Thursday, February 20, 2014

Terrain Parks

Over the last couple months there have been a few questions about the park, specifically jumps. A-Basin is in a different position than many of the parks and ski areas around us. Obviously, snowmaking water available for park building during 2012-13 season really limited park building. The areas around us have a much greater capacity for park building than we do. As a result those areas have bigger parks and a much greater park following. Our intention is to provide a good park within our snowmaking means and one that people have a chance to have some fun riding and sliding. Different than other seasons, this year we chose to build out the parks at a different pace. We chose a pace that more closely matched our park usage. Typically, our park usage is very high the first couple of weeks of the season, is relatively light for several mid-season months, and picks up again late season. So we started with the little Banana Park, by Christmas we added the bigger High Divide Terrain Park, and more recently we added several bigger rail and box features in the Treeline Park. As we roll into spring and park usage increases, we plan on adding more features. We have not yet decided just what those features will be. Do we have a policy of "No Jump Building". Absolutely not. Simply, for now we have tried to build a park that matches usage and is within our snowmaking means. We are constantly keeping an eye on the parks and, like everything we do, we will try and make the best decisions that provide the best experiences for the most people. I look forward to hearing your comments and please be constructive.


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please build just a couple small size jumps. That would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Some small jumps would be sweet, but Al's explanation makes a ton of sense. I ski the basin for the terrain, I am glad that it's their first concern given the limited resources at hand.

Anonymous said...

The most recent jump line that you guys had just a few seasons ago was great, the jumps were a good easy size for a lot of skiers (even non-park skiers), and you could still throw tricks on them. I just don't understand what makes this season any different than the seasons that there was a jump line. Obviously the snow has been sparse the past couple of years, but this season seems to have been cold and has lots of snow.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I for one am not a huge park guy, but do appreciate jumps. My vote would be the jump line of years past where there was a few in a row, but I think the best one was always right at the entrance to the park. The natural terrain there made it seemingly easy to build a jump anyway so my opinion would be put at least a jump there at a minimum....it allows the bulk of the other features to remain yet still have a small/mid sized jump. For me, I think some of the best parts about the park of the past at the Basin was that it was a park that I could do just about everything in and not feel intimidated. The folks that want big and crazy hit A-51 anyway, so its nice to have a place that accommodating to us non huge park guys.

Anonymous said...

A basin has so many natural jumps, wind lips, and rocks to huck, that building them in a park would be superfluous !

Kahler Nygard said...

I was asking the park crew about it a month ago, I admit it I hit the big boys at keystone , I love a-basin, Montezuma has been terrific this year and so has pally. But once all the powder gets tacked up or blown away it's always nice to have some jumps to hit, rails are nice until you land on one. It was funny because I was telling a friend you guys have a no jump policy.

Anonymous said...

Love what you guys have done!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the third guy down. Can't remember what season it was (want to say 2 seasons ago), but that jump line was great - in the park up above BML.

Even the little jump line under the lift was fun (I have kids) and I think that was in place last year.

I haven't been to the Basin in a few weeks so not sure if any jumps exist anywhere, but is sounds like no.

I understand what Al is saying on usage, but maybe usage has a lot to do with the product at this point? I sort of liked what A-Basin was doing with the starter park (by Molly Hogan) and then the fun little park under the lift, but it seems like they have reversed course the past season or two limiting features rather than expanding them.

I get the "terrain" argument and the purist argument for A-Basin, but A-Basin is allowed to be many things to many people.

Anonymous said...

I love the rail line in the treeline park. However, having four really similar boxes in the smaller park seems unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

I did just want to make another quick post on kids.

Whereas all these Joe Skiers and Tommy Extremes thump their chest and say A-Basin is about the steeps and the terrain. I get it. I do. Still, there are little ones running around the mountain and a big thrill for them many days is riding over a box straight or catching a little air on a jump. They'll talk about it for a week. The snow needed to make a kicker in that small park under BMX is nominal and, frankly, I'm not sure why any terrain park crew worth their salt wouldn't take the 3-4 hours it would require to get one or two of those bad boys in.

Think of the children Al. They are our future. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'd much rather have a detailed map of east wall than jumps in the terrain park. However, if appreciate both!

Anonymous said...

Wu-Tang is for the children

Anonymous said...

If you had park that was actually comparable to the parks nearby I would come during the normal season. However I believe "park kids" aren't the people that A-basin wants there.

Anonymous said...

This is probably the last year my family of four will do Abasin passes, mainly because of my son's feelings about the park features. I grew up skiing Abasin, but unfortunately the kids don't share that interest. When the snow is great, they love it - when the snow isn't, they'd rather be at Winter Park or Loveland, both of which have smallish but accommodating park features. It bums me out, but I get it.

Freeskiing is where the sport is heading for the next generation, you either ensure your product is competitive, or you lose your customer base.

I get what you're saying Al, but you've had ample snow for a terrain park with jumps this year, and you haven't taken advantage. Some thought needs to be given to the next generation of skiers and snowboarders, and the reputation Abasin is building with them.

Anonymous said...

I'm just happy I got some pow turns on lower east wall today! And I'm 16 and snowboard and would rather drop cliffs than do jumps.

Anonymous said...

Oh great, another "drop cliffs" guy.

The park and the cliffs aren't mutually exclusive. You don't have to have one and not have the other.

It may just be there are 2 Park crew guys on staff and they only know how to install boxes and rails. I actually think it is more next level to design a jump. I know Snowpark Technologies is involved with some of the bigger boys.

But yeah, a lot of snow this year and not even a couple kickers in the starter park. Weak sauce.

Al mentions that it isn't a del

Anonymous said...

A few small jumps would be awesome for me and my kids. We love Abasin and would greatly appreciate another reason to call it our favorite.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the park crew guys want jumps and more features as badly as the rest of us. I get the feeling this is a top-down kind of situation.

Anonymous said...

A few small jumps would be awesome and not too difficult to manifest.

Brandon S. said...

If there were jumps @ a-basin I'd probably never go to keystone.

Nobody is going to a-bay looking for 40 ft. kickers. Just a few small to medium sized jumps would be awesome.

Who Killed Kennedy? said...

Top down sounds correct in this instance. Again, weird as A-Basin with the super-beginner park seemed more into developing that scene/sector, but total 180 recently and it seems an afterthought.

It may just be that Breck and Keystone have such a great scene they are going in another direction. Still, A-Basin could hold its own (and certainly has), but it seems like a bit of surrender...or maybe the heavy hand of Vail?

Oooooooooh, conspiracy!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Just what we need--more people at the basin. Let it be. If they don't build jumps, they probably have a good reason and if it keeps a few people out during the normal season I'm happy about it!

Anonymous said...

Leave it be and go to breck or keystone if you want jumps. There is no way the Basin could compare to their parks.

Anonymous said...

Agree with many, the jump line of a few years ago was perfect. Like many ABasin skiers & riders I prefer the natural terrain but for those days when the snow isn't great the jump line provided a great place to play safely and work on some new steez. My usage also falls in line with what Al said, I use the jumps a lot early and late season when the fresh snow is few and far between. Personally im not a fan of rails so the current parks have nothing to offer me. I would rather see a balance of rails & jumps instead of the 100% rail/box parks we have now!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

DITTO to Brandon S.'s comment:

Brandon S. said...
If there were jumps @ a-basin I'd probably never go to keystone.

Nobody is going to a-bay looking for 40 ft. kickers. Just a few small to medium sized jumps would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Features are prime, just put a few more of them in!