Copper Mountains’ Woodward Barn is buzzin’ |

Copper Mountains’ Woodward Barn is buzzin’

Bob Berwyn
Copper Mountain, CO Colorado

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colorado ” Local riders swapped licks with national champs at Copper Friday, taking turns swooping off the ramp and plopping into a pillow of blue foam cubes in the new Woodward at Copper training barn. The aerial display paused only for a few minutes as company executives, coaches and the wider Summit community marked the ceremonial opening with an unusual ribbon-cutting.

Instead of the traditional scissor-snip, a snowboarder soared across the banner. Then, Copper chief Gary Rodgers thanked the community for backing the project.

“We’re proud to bring this to Summit County and our sport,” Rodgers said.

The cutting-edge training hall has been open for brisk business for a month, and Woodward at Copper is exploring several options for partnering with community educational programs, groups and camps, according to Copper spokesperson Lauren Pelletreau.

Upcoming is locals week, with 25 percent off for a full menu of sessions, including a required intro program.

About 15 people are working there right now, a bright spot for a recreation industry that has taken a few dings in the recession, including layoffs and pay cuts. Woodward has been touted as an important evolution of snowsports training, with an emphasis on preventing injuries by developing a progression of skills in a safe environment.

The hall will close for a while during off-season, but summer sessions at Woodward could be busy with locals and visiting groups from the Front Range and even out of state.

County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said she is trying to set up access for local gymnasts, who could practice challenging dismounts into the foam pit.

“I think it’s a pretty cool facility,” said County Commissioner Thomas Davidson. “I think you’re going to see a lot of Summit County kids here the next few decades. I hope to see an Olympic athlete come out of here,” Davidson said, after accepting a custom Woodward skate deck.

“You’ll have to get your own trucks and wheels,” Rodgers said to Davidson, who was honored along with Stiegelmeier, State Sen. Dan Gibbs, State Rep. Christine Scanlan, Colorado Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll and Intrawest Chief Executive Officer Bill Jensen.

“I’m going to have to come back and get upside down,” Jensen joked, before turning the spotlight back over to the acrobatic kids.

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