Snow sports industry leaders and resort executives have said it for years: instead of competing for the same customers, we need to grow the pool. That’s what Burton Snowboards and Jay Peak plan in their new partnership with the Disney Corporation.
Moreover, this growth model begins with children as young as three years of age and intends to create lifetime participants. Jeff Boliba, an executive in Global Resorts with Burton, initiated the conversations with Disney over the summer and then approached the resort where he learned to ride about being the host venue.
The first signs occurred about two weeks ago when Buzz Lightyear arrived in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Toy Story will prove to be prominent Jan. 18 when a five-acre snowboarding playground – the Playtime Burton Riglet Park - opens with carvings of characters the youngest generation recognizes, and can relate to, from Disney Pixar, Jay Resort's J.J. Toland told SnoCountry.com.“
"From the Jay Peak perspective, the chance to work with two worldwide leaders in their respective fields on a project aimed at bringing new riders into the sport was a no-brainer. We all know that if the industry doesn’t do a better job at bringing new people to the sport, the snow sports world will be a drastically different one that it is today.
To that end, the Playtime Burton Riglet Park featuring Toy Story at Jay Peak is built around the idea of giving kids a fun introduction to the foundations of snowboarding through play and guided discovery.
”Burton has a learning center at Jay Peak, but it is anticipated that the presence of the Disney characters will make instruction easier for the coaches and the experience loaded with fun for the kids.It’s that latter point that resonates with Burton and Jay Peak.
"There is no real emphasis on the perfect technique. They figure if the youth are having fun with Buzz and company, more serious riding in later years could be a natural by-product.The youngsters will maneuver through interactive stations surrounded by a cast of kid-sized, wood carvings of Woody, Buzz, Rex, Jesse, the Toy Soldiers and the Aliens," Toland told us.
There will be lots of fun when visitors discover Buzz’s spaceship and many of the other iconic characters from the Toy Story franchise.
Photo: Disney Corporation