Woodward Park City’s grand opening deemed a success with more than 2,500 people in attendance
The snow was falling hard, blanketing the highways, streets and sidewalks. The wind was blowing and the temperature hovered around freezing.
For Parkite Lexi Rohner, the conditions were not going to stop her from taking her family to Saturday’s grand opening of Woodward Park City. So she loaded her three kids in the car and off they went, eager for a day filled with fun, excitement and laughter.
“It was super energetic and just a lot of fun in general,” Rohner said. “I’m super happy and pleased from the few hours we spent there. It was packed with tons of people, and you could just tell there was a certain type of feel to the environment that made it special for everyone there.”
Rohner was far from the only person who wanted to check out the new action-sports and ski resort, as Woodward sold out of participation tickets prior to opening at 9 a.m. According to Tucker Norred, a spokesperson for Woodward Park City, more than 2,500 people attended the grand opening and participated in a multitude of activities organizers had lined up.
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“I would definitely deem it a success considering how many people showed up and participated in everything we had to offer,” Norred said. “Not only did we open our doors on time, we opened them to show the local community that we are trying to put our best foot forward and truly be a part of this community. The turnover throughout the day was incredible because it allowed a lot of people to enjoy what we offer both indoor- and outdoor-wise.”
Norred said Woodward Park City donated all of Saturday’s proceeds to six local charities, including the Youth Sports Alliance, Live Like Sam and the National Ability Center. In all, Woodward donated more than $20,000, he said.
“All of these different groups that we aligned ourselves with are because they inspire participation in sport like we do,” Norred said. “We wanted to prove that we are trying to be part of this community and this was a great way to show that.”
The highlights of the day included appearances by numerous Olympic and professional athletes like legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg, gymnast Shawn Johnson and BMX biker Ryan Nyquist. Many of the athletes wowed attendees by showing off their skills during demonstrations of the amenities.
“It’s really cool because you got to see the demos taking place from the professional athletes, but Woodward is more than just that,” Rohner said. “You can tell that they’re not looking to produce the next great, elite athletes, but rather give the kids in the area a place to go and learn new abilities. I think that’s part of what makes this place special and sets it apart from others that are maybe like it.”
The action-sports and ski resort, located on the hillside north of Pinebrook and visible from Interstate 80, is one of six Woodward locations owned by Park City-based Powdr. Outdoors, the 126-acre campus features skiing and snowboard terrain as well tubing, while a 66,000-square-foot indoor facility offers a skate ramp, trampolines and other amenities. It caters to athletes of all skill levels and ages.
According to Rohner, one of the best things about the campus is its attention to detail and Woodward’s desire to build young athletes from the ground up. She said the staff, for instance, took time to make sure her children were getting the most out of their experience.
“I really like how it was described to me as Woodward’s approach is about being a stair-stepper in learning,” Rohner said. “I thought that was a really great thing because it shows that not only do they have an interest in teaching, I actually witnessed it. You have to know your audience, and I think they really do because they’re interested in developing these kids.”
Norred said that philosophy is a vital part of the Woodward ethos.
“For us, it’s about respect and developing that through these kids when they are with us,” Norred said. “We are here to empower and inspire the next generation of action-sports athletes and build them up the right way.”
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.