Fishbowl Terrain Park expanding

Tue 21 August 07

Whitefish (Big Mountain) resort are set to enlarge the park creating a new beginner freestyle area and improve the existing obstacles

Fishbowl Terrain Park expanding

Fishbowl Terrain Park expanding ©

Whitefish Mountain Resort (formally Big Mountain) President Dan Graves announced today that the board of directors has committed additional resources to the Fishbowl Terrain Park and Superpipe in an initiative to open the popular features by Christmas, as well as to expand the offerings in the park for all ability levels. A new dedicated Park and Pipe Groomer position has been created who will coordinate closely with the terrain park crew and work exclusively in the terrain park and superpipe. The resort will also seek input and involvement from local skiers and riders.

Whitefish resort logo“With the completion of the Day Lodge and the centralization of our services, the park and pipe are a high priority in our winter planning and we have focused our operating model around opening the pipe by the Christmas holiday,” said Graves. “We also intend to have beginner and intermediate lines built in time for Christmas and will offer a small rail park on the back side between opening day and the opening of the main park.”

This fall, as the events department begins to implement this new initiative, they will make further announcements and solicit feedback from locals interested in the future of the Terrain Park. The department hopes to educate users of the park and pipe about the phasing of the new features, answer any questions, and listen to suggestions that may be helpful in their planning.

Local snowboarder and photographer Brendan Rohan said, “It is encouraging to see the new board of directors take the initiative to upgrade the on-mountain experience for the new generation of riders. It will also be a great opportunity to dialogue with the mountain about the plan and it will be awesome for local riders to train here and not have to move elsewhere in search of better facilities.”

Board member and investor Paul Coe, a native Montana freestyle skier said, “Bill Foley recognized the need to improve the ski and snowboard experience for the next generation of locals, as well as give visiting guests an incredible experience. The first thing he did when coming onto the board was to approve and initiate the building of the Superpipe in time for the 2005-2006 season. Now to expand on that vision, we are investing resources and working with the local community to further improve the Terrain Park for our guests to enjoy throughout the entire season.”

In 2005, the resort invested $250,000 to build a 500-foot long Superpipe to Federation of International Skiing (FIS) competition standards. Additional snowmaking, lights, and a sound system were also installed, and the resort purchased a new Zaugg Pipe Monster grooming implement, the industry standard Superpipe groomer.

“We’re already getting excited for the winter and stoked that we will have more dedicated grooming and snowmaking resources in place to make this the best winter ever for the park and pipe,” said Josh Knight, events manager for the resort. “This year we will have about 20 features in our quiver and will try to offer as much variety as possible, offering different choices and different set ups. We will be able to offer a good progression of features within our progression of parks.”

This winter, the Fishbowl Terrain Park will undergo an expansion to offer a progression of features for all ability levels. A dedicated beginner area will be made up of smaller and less intimidating rails, boxes, rollers, and jumps. In addition, two distinct runs will flow from the top of the Chair 3 area all the way to the bottom: an intermediate line will begin adjacent to the superpipe, and park and grooming crews will take advantage of the headwalls and breakovers on Hope Slope to create an expert line that includes bigger jumps and longer landings. The bottom half of these two lines will run parallel to one another and feature a variety of rails and boxes.

Jumps in the park this winter will include a 10-foot table top, 25-foot step down, 30 foot table top, with features including a 14-foot flat beginner rail, 16-foot flat box, 16-foot shotgun rail (double bar rail), 28-foot rainbow rail, 28-foot triple kink rail (flat down flat), a long 40-foot rail, a 20-foot flat box, a 20-foot c-box (a banked and curved funbox), and a wall ride, 8-feet high and 12 feet wide, with a sliding surface on front and top.

In order for these initiatives to become reality, the resort is increasing its electric and water supplies in the area that will triple the snowmaking capacity in the pipe and park. The resort has also purchased new snow fence to catch more of the manmade snow for the pipe, which will significantly increase the efficiency of the snowmaking operation. Dirt work for the Beginner Park will also serve as a mountain bike park in the summer months. The only factor that is beyond the resort’s control is sufficient natural snowfall that is needed to supplement the manmade snow.

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