Mountain Biking

Utah’s Latest Ski Destination: Woodward Park City – The New York Times



The new sports facility and ski resort was designed to offer something for everyone, from first-time skiers and snowboarders to those at Olympic-training levels.

All Woodward Park City in Park City, Utah, needs is skiers, snowboarders and other action-sports enthusiasts.Credit…Austin Tucker

Woodward Park City, an action-sports destination and ski resort, opened in Park City, Utah, on Dec. 14. The 125-acre property includes indoor and outdoor facilities designed for year-round use, with camps and programs dedicated to skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding and more.

Woodward has been operating athletics-driven summer camps for 50 years; the first location was a gymnastics camp in rural Pennsylvania. Since then, the camps have evolved to focus on action sports like skateboarding and bicycle motocross along with programs dedicated to cheerleading and parkour. In 2011, Woodward was acquired by POWDR, a Park City-based company that operates ski resorts, produces adventure sports content and offers experiences like heli-skiing and white-water rafting. Woodward Park City is considered the company’s flagship location.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to dream everything from the ground up, on the hill and on-site,” said Tucker Norred, Woodward Park City’s senior marketing manager.

The property includes nine ski and snowboard terrain parks, more than 10 tubing lanes, three lift-serviced mountain bike trails, two outdoor skate parks, and a 66,000-square-foot indoor facility featuring a 10,000-square-foot concrete skatepark, trampolines, a spring floor, airbags and foam pits. There’s also a cafeteria and a third-floor cafe with a full bar that overlooks the indoor facilities below.

The idea, according to Mr. Norred, is to create something for everyone, from first-time skiers and snowboarders to those at Olympic training levels. All facilities are closely designed with skill development and progression in mind.

Skiers may already be familiar with Woodward — four POWDR resorts, including Boreal Mountain in California and Copper Mountain in Colorado, previously included Woodward features ranging from one-off “pop-up parks” to half pipes. This winter, those resorts, plus two more (including Woodward Park City), will debut full “Woodward Mountain Park” experiences, which center on progression zones that start with beginner offerings, leveling up to expert terrain parks.

“It’s all about rethinking the terrain park experience,” said Megan Baroska, POWDR’s senior vice president of corporate strategy and communications. “The Woodward Mountain Park has an intuitive progression of zones that builds up and progresses as you develop skills.”

On the mountain, first-time skiers and riders will begin, fittingly, at the Start Park, where they will learn basic building blocks, like how it feels to lean forward in your boots to move. After developing more advanced skills, skiers and riders can try their hand at the Peace Park, a freestyle terrain park designed by the Olympic snowboarder Danny Davis, and at Red’s Backyard, a “rail garden,” inspired by the Colorado backyard of the Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard. Rated like typical trail maps, the Mountain Park is meant to function intuitively as a self-guided experience with on-site coaches available to offer tips, or can also be explored with an instructor or through a camp program.

Killington Resort in Vermont started rolling out Woodward offerings in November, with plans for the full Mountain Park to be open by late December.

“We’re excited to be able to tap into Woodward’s focus on progression, and have already had a great response,” said Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “It’s helping us bring a new type of experience on the mountain to all different kinds of skiers and riders.”

Woodward Park City’s summer offerings will include mountain biking, skateboarding and the full range of indoor and outdoor action sports facilities. Summer and winter camps will be available (winter camps are for ages 7 and up, and are three to five days long, $399 to $799), but Woodward Park City also allows for drop-in experiences — a lift ticket for skiing or mountain biking for the day, a daylong ski or snowboard lesson, or a two-hour tubing session. Also available are monthly memberships for unlimited access to the facilities.

While Woodward’s programming primarily targets children, Mr. Norred emphasized that Woodward Park City has offerings for all ages.

“You can take an adult-specific ski or board beginner lesson. We have yoga classes and ‘adult swim’ — adults-only time at the indoor skatepark,” he said. Or the parents could stay in the cafe: “Mom and Dad can hang out up there and watch the magic happen.”

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