Local riders put Beaver Creek in the spotlight | VailDaily.com

Local riders put Beaver Creek in the spotlight

Lauren Glendenning
photo by Douglas Bruder/Special to the Daily

Beaver Creek has a loyal following of local snowboarders ” a following that local rider Rich Staats wanted to showcase within the valley and beyond.

There are plenty of Web sites out there that shine light on Beaver Creek’s touristy offerings, but Staats saw a void for a site that truly represented the locals who call Beaver Creek their home mountain.

“I think the park crew is looking for something a little more edgy, not tourist-based,” Staats said.

Staats, a 28-year-old from New Jersey, lives in Edwards and feels right at home at Beaver Creek. He works at Beano’s Cabin, a restaurant on the mountain, and just feels like Beaver Creek has more character than Vail. The self-proclaimed “Web strategist” decided he’d embark on designing a site that showed what local riders can do. It would be a forum, a place to shine in the spotlight ” a place all about “the Beav.”

He launched http://www.ridethebeav.com in early December. He said it was a premature launch of a site in progress, so he launched the site quietly and told mostly people within the tight-knit riding community about it.

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What helped bring things together was the site’s photography, done by his childhood buddy Douglas Bruder. He told Bruder about the idea to create the site, and Bruder, being both an avid snowboarder and photographer, jumped at the chance to help out. He was living back in New Jersey and packed his car up and moved out here in November. Since then, he’s been shooting Beaver Creek riders almost daily.

People around the mountain have come to know Staats and Bruder now. The park riders are loving the action shots being taken, Bruder said, and the site is getting more and more traffic all the time.

“We’re showcasing them, and in turn, it’s making them ride better,” Bruder said. “For us, to see a smile on their faces as they land tricks and we get the shot ” it’s amazing to see someone so excited.”

The guys are spending most of their free time working on the site. If they’re not shooting or talking to people on the mountain, they’re at home in front of the computer. Bruder spends hours editing photos, while Staats deals with a lot of the Web design and coding.

They eventually hope their hobby will turn a profit, and they can call it work.

“It’s something we love to do,” Bruder said. “It’s our hobby; it’s our passion. It’s really not a job for us right now.”

Staats is the brains behind the project, Bruder said. He developed the ideas and creates a lot of what’s on the site. He’s calls it all an experiment, and the ideas for where to go next just keep piling up.

His next project within the project is something called “lunch break.” It would be a way to make fun of all the nine-to-fivers around the valley who would rather be on the mountain.

“I want to do live streaming park feeds once a week, right at lunchtime,” he said. “While they’re at their office job, they can log on, and it’s kind of a joke at them.”

There’s a rail jam for breast cancer awareness in April that Staats is working on with the help of Beaver Creek Resort officials, he said. And Bruder and Staats plan to continue to build the six main areas of the site: parks, the Beaver Creek Park Crew, people, news, the forum and photo and video galleries.

“We’re showcasing our abilities, so hopefully it will pay off,” Bruder said. “It would be awesome if we could get something out of it.”

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