PCMR helped set the stage for snowboarding’s success
Park City Mountain Resort is rolling out the red carpet for the snowboarding world this weekend and, hopefully, those who participate in the World Superpipe Championships will take a moment to recognize the resort’s role in making it all possible.
As it did with Alpine ski racing, PCMR made a commitment early on to bring world-class snowboarding competitions to Park City, devoting its considerable race department expertise along with new resources to create top-notch features like terrain parks, half pipes and super pipes.
With the addition of snowboarding to the Winter Olympics PCMR had to step up its learning curve in what was then considered to be a radical new sport. The effort paid off when the United States swept the men’s halfpipe competition, winning gold silver and bronze medals at PCMR in 2002.
Since then, the resort has continued to expand its offerings for recreational snowboarders and competitive snowboard athletes and the rewards have been substantial — not just for PCMR, but for the entire snowsports industry.
According to statistics compiled by the National Ski Areas Association, last winter the number of snowboarders (6.3 million) surpassed skiers (5.9 million) for the first time. Those numbers are confirmed by the National Sporting Goods Association which has watched the gap between skiers and snowboarders shrink substantially over the last two decades.
Those statistics are especially remarkable considering the fact that snowboards were not even permitted on a lift until a resort in Vermont welcomed them in 1982. Today, only three of the 492 ski resorts in the United States prohibit snowboards.
It is inarguable. Snowboarding has provided a vital infusion of participation and excitement to the ski industry and PCMR has played a major part in making that happen. From practice jibs and jumps to the radical rails and funboxes, from Chicken Jams to the Olympics to this weekend’s World Championships, PCMR has been at the forefront of nurturing a new sport that, in turn, is now a significant factor in ensuring the success of the ski industry..
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