Powdr acquires Camp Woodward
July 29, 2011
Park City Mountain Resort’s parent company, Powdr Corp, recently announced it has acquired the action-sports training company Camp Woodward.
Begun several decades ago in Pennsylvania, Camp Woodward has an international reputation for its summer camps specializing in skateboarding, in-line skates, BMX bikes, skiing and snowboarding, gymnastics, cheerleading and action-sports video production.
The company today also operates facilities in California and Copper Mountain, Colorado. Agreements to use the Camp Woodward brand have been extended internationally one of which is in Beijing, China.
Powdr Corp became familiar with Camp Woodward’s programs when it purchased the Copper Mountain Resort in 2009. It liked it so much, the firm decided to acquire a majority stake in Camp Woodward itself, said Powdr Corp CFO Jennifer Botter.
"Quite a number of people well known today in all walks of life are known as Woodward campers; it’s a badge of honor," Botter said.
Woodward at Copper is held at a 19,400-square-foot facility known as The Barn in both winter and summer. It offers cheerleading and skateboarding camps, but is primarily a freestyle skiing and snowboarding camp, said Copper resort spokesman David Roth.
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Woodward at Copper allows Powdr Corp to be involved in the development of winter sports athletics at an early age in a safe environment, Botter said. It thereby is attracting and training the next generation of Powdr Corp’s client base while boosting summer business for the company and elevating its reputation in the action sports community.
Prior to the acquisition, Powdr Corp had contracted to bring Camp Woodward to its Lake Tahoe resort Boreal. A large facility is under construction now.
Eventually, it is possible a similar facility will be built at each of Powdr Corp’s resorts including PCMR, Botter said. It also could expand the licensing agreements with firms outside the Powdr Corp family.
"Powdr always looks ahead with what our portfolio of resorts should be doing," Botter explained. "We see that if you train kids to do these tricks and twirls properly, they can transition that onto the snow. We put a snowboard underneath them instead of a bike or a skateboard. It’s teaching the fundamental skills of that athleticism in a safe environment."
There are 118 million children in the world between the ages of 7 and 18 and they like action sports, she added.
"You can see what that demographic is for us," she said. "We want to grow the camps internationally and domestically (Children will) experience the mountains and become part of that ski and snowboarding industry lifelong."
The executives and staff of Camp Woodward have agreed to stay on under the new ownership, Botter said, so the same quality of operations will continue.
It’s possible Woodward at the ski resorts will also be able to introduce mountain biking camps in the future. Botter said the company will be responsive to the desires of their target demographic.
"We want to keep people active and recreating in safe, positive and family-oriented ways," she said.
And the camps are not just for children.
Roth said Woodward at Copper attracts people of all ages. Eight sessions are offered each summer and at least one is open to adults who want to be introduced to the sport in a safe environment or athletes who want to improve their tricks.