Howelsen Hill, SSWSC takes big air terrain park to next level
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Before leaving the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club after eight years as the snowboard program director, Tori Billings planted a few seeds. Now, one is starting to come to fruition as Howelsen Hill, the SSWSC and Nick Roma of The Mountain Projects Co. plan a big air terrain park that would allow snowboarders and skiers alike to improve their skills and have the best facility possible.
Currently, SSWSC staff and coaches design the park, but using technology and his experience, Roma could get the absolute most out of the area and snow to give athletes of all ages the best experience at the park.
“This is kind of the brainchild of Tori Billings, former winter sports club snowboard program director,” said SSWSC Athletic Director Dave Stewart. “She really worked hard over a long period of time to make sure the snowboard program had the features that it needs for progression.”
Roma at The Mountain Projects Co. maps the area where features could go, and makes the most of that space. Putting jumps in the right place saves construction time, snow and money, according to Roma’s social media post about the project.
Project Update: Phase 1.0SSWSC/Howelsen HillSBX/Big Air Training Area..We have spent the last couple months working…Posted by The Mountain Projects Company on Friday, November 13, 2020
“He’s helped us with making some improvements to our existing jump line,” said Howelsen Hill Manager Brad Setter.
Roma has built Olympic venues and more than 65 international venues and actually got his start at Steamboat Resort in 2009 before heading off on his own in 2012. For the past eight years, he’s honed his craft and is now taking what he calls an “Olympic mindset” to Howelsen Hill.
“The Howelsen Hill project is a pretty special one because I think we started that conversation maybe 10 years ago when I first came to Steamboat, working with Jon Cassen and the guys at Howelsen Hill then,” Roma said. “It was pretty cool that 10 years later we’re doing it.”
When creating a new jump line at Howelsen, Roma is focusing on progression. He wants athletes who are 10 and athletes who are 16 to feel comfortable yet challenged and prepared for a competitive event.
“It’s all about doing it fast, repeatable, with the good vision of everybody involved,” he said.
Efficiency is high on the priority list. Whatever is built this year can be easily repeated or improved upon in years to come. Eventually, to combat the fickleness of snow, Roma hopes the Howelsen Hill crew can use dirt to build the base of the jumps and use snow to cover them.
“I’m excited to work these guys,” Roma said. “Robbie (Shine) and Brad with the city are very excited. We’re going to use some technology that’s going to save some money in the future and that’s a big goal, to help Howelsen Hill to be super efficient. … I want to build a world class training facility.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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