Friday, August 7, 2009

Vail Downhill Biking

Ski resorts all over Europe and North America are open for summer activities and Events. The snow has melted off the mountains and the ground is starting to dry out. As a way to stay in business during the off season, ski resorts start the lifts up again for summertime activities. Summer Skiing, Hiking, Mountaineering, Climbing, Paragliding, Mountain Biking, White Water Activities, Fishing, Horseriding, and Golf are just some of the recreational possibilities at ski resorts during the off season.
Vail was among the first ski resorts to see opportunity in mountain biking as a way to boost summer business. That was in the late 1980s, and the gondola to the top of the mountain was outfitted so that bikes could be transported as well. In 1994 and again in 2001, the ski area and town hosted the World Championships.
But while Whistler/Blackcomb, Keystone, Winter Park, and other resorts have made bold efforts to cater to hard-core mountain bikers with rigorous downhill trails, Vail has chosen not to add substantially to its array of trails.
"The quality of Vail’s trails are good – the two that they do have", said Jared Saul, a downhill rider. But the problem with just two, he told the Vail Daily, is that they become boring after not too many rides. "We’re the biggest single mountain", said Brian Peters, a downhill racer. "It’s perfect for downhilling – it’s not crazy steep, but not super flat. And it is huge. One run all the way down is pretty long".
Liz Biebl, a representative of Vail Resorts, the ski area operator, said that the expense of building difficult mountain bike trails is not justified by the income. "We will continue to improve and develop Vail’s mountain bike experience, but we do not have plans to develop a park or constructed experience like Whistler or Keystone", she said.