Meade Parks: More than your average restaurant manager
As Meade Parks takes a 10-minute break from his duties as general manager of the Blue Spruce Inn in Frisco, he takes a moment to goof off in the parking lot on his new skateboard.
“I try to learn one new sport every summer,” Parks said as he scans the ground in front of him for aberrant pebbles. “This year it was skateboarding and golf.”
Parks doesn’t really need to learn a new sport in the winter, because as he puts it, “I keep myself really busy.” Specifically, he fills his free time while the snow is on the ground by competing in alpine snowboarding events and doing well at it.
In 2001, Parks earned a gold medal in giant slalom and a silver in slalom at nationals at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
He has been to nationals four times and regularly competes at Copper Mountain.
“It’s not really the mainstream halfpipe or boardercross stuff,” he said as he sat at a table in his restaurant shortly before it opened on Monday afternoon. Parks instead concentrates on the hard-boot style of snowboarding.
“I started racing as a fun kind of thing in maybe 1992 or 1993,” he said. “It makes a whole world of difference riding around a gate.”
When he’s not on course and not at the Spruce, Parks is a volunteer coach with Team Summit.
He went with the team last season to Sunday River, Maine, and loves working with the children.
“We’ve got some kids that are really good around here,” he said, “which is enlightening to see.”
Parks had never really thought much of snowsports before he came to Summit County.
“We cross country skied a lot because there weren’t very many big hills nearby,” he said of his youth, which he spent in New York near Syracuse.
He then went on to water ski competitively during his time at the University of Central Florida, where he graduated in 1985.
It wasn’t until after four years in the banking industry that he realized he wanted to spend more of his time playing outside.
In early 1990, he passed through Summit County to visit some friends, and much like anyone who lives the Summit County cliche, decided to stay.
Parks, who now lives with his wife in Silverthorne, started riding alpine snowboards shortly after arriving in the county.
With his strong background in water skiing he tried alpine skiing, but then some friends talked him into snowboarding.
He first started working at the Blue Spruce in 1992 as a busser.
“I enjoyed it,” he said. “No responsibility and going skiing every day.”
By 1994 he was a manager at the Spruce and has watched it grow along with his snowboarding career.
The new season starts for Parks in early December when Copper Mountain fires up it’s series.
Until then, however, there’s still a touch of summer left, and no doubt Parks will continue to work on his skateboarding.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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