The Frisco Adventure Park kicked off its third season Thursday debuting its tubing hill operations with nearly 600 people, a record-breaking opening day attendance, celebrating the sunny Thanksgiving Day.
In the first year of
operations, the tubing hill was more popular than expected, according to tubing
hill staff. Since the first season, the tubing hill's reservations have
continued to increase.
“We have seen great growth from the first season
to last season and expect to see growth this season,” said Jennifer Printz,
guest services manager. “With the beautiful days we're going to have, the tubing
hill is one of the few places to find snow to play on. I know a lot of people
would like to see a snowstorm and ski runs opening up like crazy but we don't —
this is the best alternative for sure.”
Mike Immer from St. Louis,
bringing with him a group of 11, a handful from Los Angeles and “the balance”
from Missouri, said the activity was great for the whole family but he was
disappointed with the amount of snow.
“In general we're disappointed that
there's not more snow. We arrived here 15 years ago for a similar vacation and
there was a ton, it's a little disheartening that there's not more snow,” he
Snowmaking operations for the tubing hill began Oct. 15 but having
the conditions to open, has been a challenge, Frisco Adventure Park operations
manager Josh Olson said.
“It's been a bit of a struggle with the
temperatures and weather we've had — we've only had one cold week for snowmaking
since we started,” Olson said. “But we're really happy being able to open on
Thanksgiving, we scraped it together and managed to get it open and we're pretty
excited about that.”
Even with the lack of snow in the county, the
holiday spirit among the families that traveled far for Thanksgiving weekend and
the employees working the holiday, was abundant.
Park employee Brayden
Pappenfort from Silverthorne benefited from the good graces of his colleagues
who let him go home early after not feeling well Thanksgiving
“This is a great job and I'm so thankful for everyone I work
with,” Pappenfort said. “It's really fun to be out here on the holiday, everyone
looks like they're really having a lot of fun.”
The hourly rate to go
tubing at the park is $25, and Frisco residents receive a 20 percent discount on
all park activities. A 10-punch transferable pass is available for $199. The
tubing hill is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., and Monday from
noon to 5 p.m
The tubing hill measures 600 feet in length and will have
three lanes open today with the option to expand to eight to 10 lanes if there's
enough demand. Some lanes are faster and longer than others, according to Olson.
The park has two snowmaking machines to maintain an adequate snow base
throughout the season and a snowcat to groom the lanes.
park and tubing hill slid off its inaugural season Dec. 12, 2010, with
snowmaking operations and construction still under way. Since then, the hill has
opened Thanksgiving Day.
This season, tubing hill staff anticipates
opening five to six tubing lanes, all with different gradients, to accommodate
tubers and the beginner ski and ride hill by Christmas.
Nature cooperates and we have the right conditions, our goal is to have those
areas opened by Christmas,” Olson added.