VERNON, New Jersey — The most powerful snowmaking system in the nation has blanketed Mountain Creek resort’s trails with snow since taking back winter in early January. The resort is continuing to strategically focus this snowmaking power to reopen the few remaining runs, and the South Base will open this Sunday, February 11th. Part of that state-of-the-art system was recently put to work creating enough snow to build a winter wonderland right in the heart of Manhattan.
Mountain Creek is a sponsor of The Union Square Street Sessions on February 8, 2007, New York City’s first major pro-snowboarding rail jam competition, presented by Jeep. The landmark event, produced by Aura360 in cooperation with NYC Parks and Recreation, the NYC Parks Commission, and sponsors including Mountain Creek, is free and open to the public.
The resort will bring their expertise in snowmaking as well as the legendary skills of the JibLab, Mountain Creek’s in-house custom rail fabrication team, to the event. Twenty-four of the world’s top professional snowboarders, including two-time Olympic Silver medalist and hometown hero Danny Kass, Mark Frank Montoya, Louie Vito and Eddie Wall, will compete head-to-head for a prize purse totaling $30,000. The invitational pro field of top riders will be augmented by up-and-coming athletes selected at the three Street Session qualifiers, as well as Mountain Creek riders Jarred Baker and Tom Weiss.
“The Union Square Street Sessions will expose residents to the thrill of a professional snowboarding rail jam set in Union Square Park, the gateway to downtown Manhattan,” said NYC Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. Dan Gacetta, partner of Aura360, “We are proud to bring a championship field to this breakthrough event in a world class venue to demonstrate the long standing involvement of urban communities in the sport of snowboarding.” Mountain Creek’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Bill Benneyan said, “We live everyday to connect people with the camaraderie of snowboarding. Being located right outside New York City puts us in a unique position to bring a lot of converts to the mountain, and in this case, bring the mountain to the city. We love doing these kind of urban events. It’s a formidable challenge, it’s outrageous, it’s a conspiracy of fun. To us, it evokes the very spirit of the sport.”
Riders will show off their skills on the largest customized rail ever produced for an event of this kind in New York City. Fabricated by Mountain Creek’s JibLab, this custom 40′ urban rail has a 2007 Jeep Wrangler built right into it, so competitors will actually ride over the Jeep. In all, there will be five features, including the debut of Mountain Creek’s much-anticipated Stair Set incorporating three separate features, a downslope box, round bar handrail and ledge box with handrail, plus the Jeep Wrangler Rail and a battleship rail on the flats. The Stair Set is impressive, weighing in at approximately 3500 lbs, and measuring 20′ long x 16′ wide x 10′ high with a 31 degree angle.
On Tuesday, February 6th at 9:30am five dump trucks will be loaded with 10 tons of snow and set out for the city. This is a testament to the awesome power of Mountain Creek’s SnowLab26 which has been working around the clock, now some of that firepower which would otherwise be dormant has been focused to producing the snow for this unique event. Explained Mountain Creek Vice President of Operations and Managing Director, Greg Pack, “Due to the way our snowmaking system is set up, we are able to make excess snow in the base area where the water is gravity fed, so we simply run it through a fan gun that can operate independently of the rest of the system. This same capability allows us to stockpile additional snow in the base area to help us extend our season, as the lower elevations are the first to go come spring.”
On Thursday, February 8th The Union Square Street Sessions will begin with athlete training at 3:00pm, leading up to the rail jam competition at 5:30pm. During the contest, Union Square will be transformed into an action sports block party with celebrity judges, music and a sponsor village featuring the Mountain Creek Lounge and a variety of action sports retailers. Event partners include Jeep, as the presenting sponsor, as well as supporting sponsors Mountain Creek, Burton, FuseTV, Snowboarder Magazine, Lat34.com, Boost Mobile, Plantronics and Killington Resort.
The winter celebration will continue in New York City on Saturday, February 10 with NYC Parks & Recreation’s Winter Jam, a pro/am rail jam and winter carnival, with snowshoeing and cross country skiing in Central Park.