The 2007-2008 ski year began with 4 ski resorts holding on to their outdated policies of banning snowboarders from using their mountains. Having seen enough, Jake Burton called on snowboarders everywhere last winter to peacefully poach these policies away. Now the 2008-2009 ski year will start with just 3 resorts unwilling to release the aforementioned ban from their kung-fu death grip.
While Mad River Glen, Alta, UT., and Deer Valley, UT continue to hold their collective noses in the air regarding snowboarders, Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico finally relented and opened their resort to any and all in March of ‘08. “The time is right for skiers and riders to share the slopes here at Taos Ski Valley,” said Adriana Blake, Taos Ski Valley Marketing Manager. “At the end of the day, it’s not important how our visitors get down the mountain, as long as we can all enjoy this special place.”
As for the other three? Although there has been speculation for years that Alta would finally lift the snowboarding-ban, it’s still a skiers-only affair up there in ‘08-’09. However, I would guess Alta to be the most likely of the three to let the ban go. It would be a huge financial benefit to allow an all-access pass between themselves and nearby Snowbird opened up to both skiers and snowboarders.
Deer Valley? Honestly, at $83 a lift ticket……who cares? Maybe that’s just my slim wallet speaking but they can keep those ludicrous prices to themselves. With Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons serving as very worthy alternatives for snowboarders in the area, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of pressure on Deer Valley drop the ban.
Mad River Glen….”Despite the fact that snowboarders account for 25% to 30% of all lift tickets sold in the United States, don’t expect Mad River Glen to lift its ban on snowboards any time soon.” That was an excerpt of a June ‘07 press release by Mad River Glen Marketing Director Eric Friedman. He was sure to include a “Dont hold your breath” line in the concluding paragraph of the statement just to make their stance crystal clear.
Banning snowboarders from resorts is an out-dated policy that eventually will go away. It may take some time, effort, and peaceful poaches, but with time the sabotage on stupidity will be complete. Jake Burton and the snowboarding community will make sure of it.