Frisco Adventure Park tubing hill opens to the public Saturday
summit daily news
Toss on your long johns and stocking hats, Frisco – your Adventure Park awaits.
The Frisco Adventure Park opens to the public today at noon, adding a tubing hill and soon a terrain park to the town’s amenities.
Members of the media and town employees and council members took turns making runs down the new tubing hill Friday night, and though the fresh powder slowed the tubing action down, reviews were generally glowing.
“It was pretty sweet, other than the shots of powder I took to the face,” Farmer’s Korner resident Trish Lamar said with a huge grin after her first run.
Frisco employees rode on the hill Thursday, as well, and said the lack of snow yesterday made the hill faster. Nonetheless, even Mayor Bill Pelham had fun Friday evening.
“I got the patented Hoover spin,” Belham said, referring to park manager Matt Hoover, who brought his expertise from working at Keystone’s tubing hill to Frisco.
The tubing hill measures 600 feet in length and will have three lanes open today with the option to expand to eight to ten lanes if there’s enough demand. Some lanes are faster and longer than others, according to director of recreation Lynn Zwaagstra. The park has two snowmaking machines to maintain an adequate snow base throughout the season and a snowcat to groom the lanes.
The hourly rate to go tubing at the park is $25, and Frisco residents receive a 20 percent discount on all park activities. A 10-punch transferable pass is available for $199. The tubing hill is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., and Monday from noon to 5 p.m. The hill is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“I’d definitely come back (at that price),” Lamar said, “especially if I had friends or family in town who didn’t ski or snowboard. It’s the perfect for that.”
Besides the tubing hill, the Adventure Park will add a terrain park in January where skiers and snowboarders can hone their skills. For $29 an individual can hit the rails, boxes and jumps for a full day. A combination pack featuring a full day at the terrain park and an hour of tubing runs $49, and an unlimited, non-transferable season pass costs $299.
The entrance to the Adventure Park comes through the new Day Lodge, where customers can enter and sign up electronically before receiving a brief orientation on whichever activities they chose for the day. The 4,000-square foot lodge has indoor and outdoor seating, free WiFi, restrooms, lockers, flat-panel televisions and a snack bar during kitchen hours, which are the same as the tubing hill’s hours, except that the kitchen closes 15 minutes earlier each day.
The lodge can also be reserved for private functions at a rate of $150 per hour or $900 for the day. Frisco residents and nonprofits receive a discounted rate of $100 per hour or $600 per day. Frisco director of recreation Lynn Zwaagstra said she expects Day Lodge reservations to be popular, especially for weddings in the summer.
“The view from the top of the tubing hill is spectacular,” she said. “I could certainly see people wanting to get married up there and hold a reception in the Day Lodge.”
Now they’ve built it, will they come?
The Adventure Park marks another step toward Frisco’s ultimate goal of becoming a destination town. The total project will run about $5.3 million when all phases are completed, and the town expects to reel in $153,765 this year and $629,595 in 2011.
“With our central Summit County location. proximity to five major ski resorts and the addition of the Frisco Adventure Park, we are now poised to become a destination in our own right,” said Penny.
Both Copper Mountain and Keystone Ski Resort have tubing hills, as well, but neither the town nor the resorts see each other as competition.
“It’s really a different product,” Whaley said. “A lot of the folks staying in keystone are here for another activity, and the tubing hill is a supplement to that.”
The Frisco Adventure Park set its pricing along the same lines as Keystone and Copper. Frisco is $4 less per hour than Keystone or Copper during peak season, though Copper offers off-peak pricing in line with Frisco’s $25 per hour.
There is also no bad blood between Frisco and Keystone about Hoover switching affiliations. Whaley said the resort is happy to see Hoover thriving in his new role, and the town has benefited from his and Zwaagstra’s collective expertise.
“We could not be where we are without them,” Penny said. “They have been invaluable at bringing this project to fruition.”
The nearby sledding hill that Frisco residents have enjoyed for years will remain open and unregulated, according to Zwaagstra, and the town does not see it as competition for the Adventure Park.
The tubing hill and terrain park represent the first phase of renovations to the Peninsula Recreation Area. A skating rink will likely be added next year, and the skate park will be moved within the park to make way for an additional 100 parking spots. The Nordic Center will be expanded, as well, for additional storage space.
A long time in the making
The Peninsula Recreation Area has been the subject of controversy in the Town of Frisco for many years. The Breckenridge campus of Colorado Mountain College nearly ended up in Frisco, but in an election residents voted the idea down. A nine-hole golf course was also considered and shot down. But the tubing hill and terrain park fit with the other peninsula activities like cross country skiing and Two Below Zero Dinner Sleigh Rides.
“We’ve been looking to do something here for a long time,” Pelham said. “We hope it’s going to be a great amenity for the town for many years to come.”
CORRECTS earlier version regarding CMC on the Peninsula.
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