Park made of the white stuff
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
New Zealand's foremost freestyle park, Snow Park, is all systems go after a delayed opening and staff are gearing up to host some big international events, one of which is still to be announced.
Snow Park opened on Friday with a mix of natural and artificial snow, and swarms of skiers and snowboarders have been flocking there ever since.
Snow Park NZ general manager Robin Sadowski-Synnott yesterday said the opening and current snow conditions could be put down to a massive team effort.
"At one stage our snowmaking team set a Snow Park record – making snow for 100 hours straight, having an eight-hour break, then going for another 60 hours after that," she said.
"At the moment we're grooming the half-pipe and triple [jump] line in preparation for some natural snow and our roster of big international events."
These include the Junior Slope-Style, the Billabong Bro Down, the Free Ski Open, and another "key international event" which is yet to be publicly announced.
Large investments had been made by the park's management company, Alpine Ventures Ltd, in a park school and rentals department, and a new focus was being put on skiers and boarders of all levels, Ms Sadowski-Synnott said.
"We want to make sure Snow Park is not only recognised as the best terrain park in the country by professional riders and skiers, but by skiers and riders of all levels, and families too," she said.
New features including learners' butter boxes had been installed along the west side of the park, specifically to cater for learners of park style, Mrs Sadowski-Synnott said.
It was gratifying to be part of a huge international and local community that "treated Snow Park like home," and to foster coming talent in the Snow Park team, Mrs Sadowski-Synnott said.
`It's just great to see so many smiles on faces and people having a fantastic time and to see young guys like Jay Walsh and Hank and Finn Bilous from Wanaka developing really quickly. As part of our team we want to see them be the best they can be, and maybe they'll be big names of the future."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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