Head To The Park: Wintertime At Woodward Expands Into New Venues
Growth in mountain terrain parks, action "hubs" and programming define Woodward as the action sports company enters its 50th year in operation -- and the second decade on the snow.
For the 2020-2021 season, the newest mountain parks at Mt. Bachelor and Killington are online, joining Colorado's Eldora and Woodward's first winter stand-alone hub outside Park City, Utah, as the latest additions to the Woodward portfolio.
Each Woodward installation caters to the individuality of each mountain and its clientele. Numerous "park zones" can be found all around ski and snowboard mountains. For instance, Woodward Tahoe at Boreal has nine zones plus an indoor hub; Copper Mountain has 13 zones and a hub; and, Mt. Bachelor has 16 zones, Killington 11, and Eldora five.
And this season, many mountain parks will now include "start parks" and "peace parks" in order to expand participation.
A Start Park truly begins at the beginning, with flat and gentle slope terrain to get folks comfortable with sliding across the snow. Then, the experience progressed through several stages that add pitch and contour to introduce the feeling of turning and gaining speed, and then simple freestyle park features like rails, boxes, and modest jumps.
"Our demographic skews to the young and the young at heart," Woodward Park City GM Chris Gunnarson told SnoCounty.com. "Our goal is to get more participation with families, and different age groups and abilities."
Also, new this season is the Peace Parks as an alternative to traditional terrain parks. It's an effort to bring in a more diverse crowd, incorporating more modest features -- ala BMX or skateboard -- to be experienced at a more mellow pace.
"I think of it as surfing the Earth," said Gunnarson. "More like the neighborhood skate park in terrain. We call them 'Dad parks' where a family can feel comfortable learning together."
Peace Parks can be found at Mt. Bachelor, Boreal, and Killington -- with more to come.
Teaching and training through "progression" have been Woodward's mantra since its beginnings in 1970 as a Pennsylvania gymnastics camp. Whether rank beginner, weekend warrior, or top-level competitor, Woodward facilities are set up to foster improvement through their design and training/coaching.