Wrightwood, CA — Capitalizing on the growth of snowboarding has become an increasingly important part of resort management. New participants. New excitement. The sport itself seems to be alive with its own sense of vitality, personality and morality. But, out of over 500 winter destinations in the United States, Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood has risen to the top with more snowboard visits this season than any other resort in the country. Of their 577,000 visits, close to 80% of them were snowboarders accounting for more than 460,000 guests. Why so many? Their outstanding commitment to terrain parks is one reason. Their incredible influx of first-timers is another.
Each season, roughly 30,000 guests enter the sport through Mountain High’s New Snowboarder Program, more than any other resort in the region, and thanks to return programs, their retention rate is over 15% higher than the national average. “Mountain High was the first place I ever snowboarded back in 1985,” remarked Kurt Hoy, Special Issues Editor for Transworld Snowboarding. “They’ve been dedicated to it for a long time and the response this season shows that their hard work has paid off.”
Mountain High, through their Vertical Uprising campaign, has also done an excellent job of attracting the youth and/or snowboarding market. “From Learn to Snowboard Programs to specially designed terrain parks to snowboard oriented chatrooms, we support the sport of snowboarding and are doing everything possible to generate more participants,” says John McColly, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.Snowboarding is now the fastest growing sport in the nation according to both the 2000 NSGA Sports Participation Report and the 14th annual American Sports Data Superstudy. Though the percentage of increase differs between the two, they both acknowledge a significant jump in the Southern California market. With its enormous crossover between board sports, the region offers a natural propensity to snowboard and resorts that recognize this have seen a tremendous response. By being snowboard friendly, Mountain High has positioned themselves as a prime destination for the skyrocketing market and their numbers have grown accordingly. In addition, Southern California is home to the largest concentration of snowboard manufactures, apparel companies, and more making Mountain High perfect for product demonstrations and research & development.
Though they have been gaining recognition steadily, Mountain High’s terrain parks took a giant leap forward this season. With four separate areas, the resort offers fun and exciting terrain for all levels and their commitment to maintaining their features is unmatched. “We found the best way to help our guests excel was to provide terrain for all abilities levels, especially beginners,” states Brad Wilson, Assistant General Manager. “We’re also not afraid to try new things. Our intermediate terrain park is filled with new and innovative features that challenge our riders and keep their visits interesting.” No matter what level rider you are, Mountain High has terrain and terrain features for you. Of their four parks, two are beginners, one is intermediate and one is advanced. They also have two competition halfpipes, each with new handle tows, making them easy to access. For the socialites, Mountain High is the only resort in Southern California open every night from 5:00pm to 10:00pm and that includes three of their four terrain parks and one halfpipe. “Management has made a commitment to provide the best terrain parks possible,” said Chuck Allen, Director of Snowboarding. “Thanks to the hard work of many people and our terrain park sponsor, Vans, we’ve really stepped up our program this year.”
Like the terrain parks, the Vertical Uprising campaign, responsible for attracting Mountain High’s multitude of snowboarders, has undergone an evolution as well. Beginning as a small positioning statement for the resort’s growth expectations, the campaign has provided Mountain High with an identity and platform that its riders have rallied behind. Without saying we’re the best or we’re number one, the Vertical Uprising conveys a message of continuous improvement and, in essence, invites riders to learn with Mountain High, grow with Mountain High and stay with Mountain High. Now at the top of snowboarding’s attendance curve, the resort looks forward to developing relationships with companies and that may have overlooked them in the past. “We have the largest concentration of snowboarders in the country and that means a lot of people to learn from,” states McColly. “With their help, we plan to continue improving our parks and designing unique programs to entice new participants.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, please feel free to contact John McColly, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, at (760) 249-5808, ext. 231.