Keystone Bike Park returns along with the resort’s summer operations this week
When Keystone Resort opens for summer lift operations on Thursday, June 24, the lift-served Keystone Bike Park will open for the first time since it was closed in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keystone Bike Park Manager Mike Daly said the park, which was open seven days a week in 2019, will be open Thursday through Sunday through the summer. Daly said the park will open in really good condition after two winters worth of snowpack has flattened almost everything out on trails.
“It buffed it out for us,” Daly said. “It’s looking really, really good.”
Daly said when Keystone opens the bike park, just under 100% of the bike park’s rideable terrain for the 2021 summer will be open. The 24 trails to open Thursday include all of the bike park’s beginner-friendly green trails, all of the park’s intermediate blue trails and all but one of the park’s advanced trails. Daly said the park’s remaining advanced trail will likely open within the next week.
For its summer opening day Thursday, Keystone will open scenic lift rides on the River Run Gondola, hiking on resort trails and activities in Lakeside Village, including gemstone panning and bungee trampolines.
Like the bike park, Keystone’s summer operations will be available Thursday through Sunday, through Labor Day. The bike park and other resort activities will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Hours for scenic lift rides are extended on Fridays and Saturdays until 7 p.m.
In Lakeside Village, the Keystone Adventure Center will offer paddleboat, stand-up paddleboard, kayak, canoe and bike rentals daily.
The resort’s golf courses and Keystone Stables horseback rides are already open, and this weekend’s Bacon and Bourbon Festival will be the first festival at the resort since the onset of the pandemic.
Keystone’s bike park will provide a different outlet to the many locals and visitors to Summit County who have fallen in love with mountain biking in the last year amid COVID-19, Daly said.
“It’s been on the rise for a while now, but I think with COVID it’s gone to a different level,” Daly said. “For us to be able to provide a different experience for people as opposed to trail riding — lift-access riding — it’s huge for the entire community.”
Daly said this year Keystone wants to create a bike park that is more inclusive to riders of all ability levels. That includes the reroute of the Suz’s Cruise trail in the park’s green circuit. Daly said Keystone worked with the U.S. Forest Service to reroute Suz’s Cruise for environmental purposes off of a ski trail. The new Suz’s Cruise will provide riders with a wider, more progressive flow trail as opposed to a more traditional singletrack, Daly said.
“Our park is pretty old, and as we move into the future we want to make the park more inclusive, more everybody,” Daly said. “Any time we go in and build a new trail, we want it to fit into being more inclusive, and that means it has some flow, progression, is smooth, and is more enjoyable for anyone to ride.”
Daly said some of the bike park’s traditional trails will not open this year, but may open again in future years. That includes TNT, Logger’s Way, High Speed Dirt and Jam Rock.
On-mountain construction work at Keystone this summer, including the replacement of the Peru Express lift and the removal of the Argentine lift, shouldn’t affect available trails this summer, Daly said, though diversions are possible. Daly said when helicopters fly parts for the lifts in and out, openings could be affected.
Daly said the bike park doesn’t have any events planned for this summer.
“Hopefully next year we can start getting some events back on,” Daly said. “…We are just really excited to have the bike park up and running. It’s awesome for the community. It’s great for the biking community and employees. We’re excited to have it open.”
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