Terrain parks taking over?
This just in: One of the Coors kids is heading up an investment group looking to resurrect the dormant old ski area at St. Mary’s Glacier near Idaho Springs.
The idea: Turn the place into one big terrain park with half-pipes, rails and jumps. At 270 acres, it’ll be bigger than anything the big ski resorts have, and it leads to an interesting question about terrain parks in general. If a significant portion of the 18-25 skiing and boarding demographic is interested only in sliding, jibbing and whatever-ing in terrain parks, and if a park dedicated exclusively to these pursuits can charge a lot less if it’s not keeping up an entire system of trails as well, what’s to prevent little parks from popping up all over the place, cutting into the big boys’ bottom line and putting us all in the poor house?
OK, it probably won’t get to that point anytime soon, but it might be a good idea for resorts to keep an eye on this growing trend of park-only facilities, who no doubt will tout lower prices, greater Front Range proximity and total focus on jibbing and what have you.
Or is a park-only area like a restaurant that only serves dessert? The next few seasons will tell.