What does a little hill in Connecticut have that Squaw Valley, even with its immense snowpack, couldn’t seem to pull off? The answer: year-round skiing.
Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort in Middlefield, CT, is taking a daring leap and offering an alternative method to keep patrons sliding through the four seasons. The only catch: there is no real snow involved. Rather, an artificial turf-like surface will be used.
Sean Hayes, the CEO of the resort, explains his motivation for the upgrade, asking:
“Where do people have the most time to get outdoors and enjoy a sporting activity? Summer. So when better to go skiing?”
To make this concept come to life, the resort has put down one run with 500 feet of vertical by 100 feet wide of this new surface, called 365 Synthetic Snow and designed by Yiippi. And the resort attributes some high praise to this new technology, writing that:
“365 Synthetic Snow by Yiippi uses high quality plastic polymer ‘fingers’ that provides a slippery surface, (without water) but still provides the user the ability to carve for turning and stopping.”
“The secret lies in the design of the pins whose cross-section profiles design allows the ski to control to edge, while the minimum resistance to the Ski provides when or flat running slide.”
“The top ski surface design is known for its gliding properties known to give less friction and more speed. The surface design of “365“ is not only a unique artificial snow surface, but it also offers additional cushioning.”
The 365 Synthetic Snow Park plans to open on September 2, offering one run for skiing and boarding and two lanes for tubing. Tickets will be priced at $32 for a full day of skiing and boarding, with access to the magic carpet; $18 for four hours; and $12 for two hours. And by next year, Hayes wants to expand the coverage to 2,800 feet. Stay tuned to see how this goes.