Boreal to open Woodward Tahoe

A rendering of the new Woodward Tahoe facility, which will be built at Boreal ski area. Courtesy of Woodward

California's Boreal Ski Resort, located on Donner Summit, will be opening a new indoor action sports training facility in the summer of 2012. The training center, called Woodward Tahoe, will be a part of the Woodward company, which includes Colorado's Woodward at Copper Mountain and five other facilities around the world.

On July 7, California's Nevada County Planning Commission approved Boreal's plans to build a 33,000-square-foot facility, the largest of its kind in the U.S. Located at the base of the resort, the training center will include trampolines, a ski and board ramp, foam pits, and an urban-style skate and BMX park.

"Being a winter operation we were certainly looking at opportunities to expand our business in the summer," Boreal's president and general manager Jody Churich told ESPN. "And because we are so heavily in the park and youth action sports niche, we felt that Woodward was a perfect fit."

Boreal started ground excavation on the project this week and hopes to have the facility open in one year.

On July 3, Woodward officially joined Powdr Corp, the company that owns Boreal, Copper, Park City, Killington, Mt. Bachelor and other ski areas. There's a chance some of those other resorts owned by Powdr Corp could be opening Woodward facilities in the future: In a release, Powdr Corp said the company is "currently looking at new locations to develop the Woodward experience."

Copper Mountain opened its Woodward facility, the country's first ski and snowboard-specific site, in February 2009. "We wanted to take everything that Woodward was doing for skateboarding, BMX, and other action sports and translate it to skiing and snowboarding," said Copper's public relations coordinator David Roth. "We're now in our third year and we've been seeing great year-over-year growth."

Pro skiers and snowboarders like Seth Morrison, Gretchen Bleiler, Simon Dumont and Bobby Brown have all used the Woodward at Copper facility in recent years.

Other resorts around the world are starting to consider similar year-round indoor training facilities. Laax, Switzerland, recently opened Europe's first indoor ski and snowboard training facility called the Laax Freestyle Academy. In February, a new facility called the Antigravity Center, with trampolines, foam pits and an indoor skateboarding halfpipe, opened in Edwards, Colo.

Copper's Roth said that they get calls on a weekly basis from other resorts looking to build similar programs. "People call saying, 'We've seen what you've got going on and can we pick your brain?'" he said. "We want to help grow the industry, so we're happy to talk to them."

Boreal staff visited the facility at Copper over the last year and the development of the new facility will be a full partnership between the two centers, Churich said.