A ski and snowboard slope near Sand Springs?

Wednesday, July 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Get your snowboard out or track down those skis. As News on 6 reporter Heather Johnson tells us, Sand Springs is about to become the place to hit the slopes.

"The problem being a skier in Oklahoma is first of all there isn't any place immediately close where we can go." John Sieler has been skiing since childhood, but like many Oklahomans into the sport, he doesn't hit the slopes as often as he'd like. "People are limited both by budget and the amount of vacation they have and they just don't get very many opportunities where they can make a substantial investment in a trip."

Well if you can't go to the mountain, bring the mountain to you. That's exactly what new technology called Snowflex is set to do to a Sand Springs hillside. Creators say the synthetic material offers the same feel as snow, the fiber sits on top of a shock layer, responding under the skis just like a real run. It's called Dryslope, and it doesn't have to be in season for you to break out your snowboard. It may not be the first activity that comes to mind on a day like this, but project organizers say when its transformed into an 1,100 foot slope, you'll be able to ski, no matter what the weather.

“The Slopes" is billed as the nation's first outdoor year round ski and snowboard park. Keeping skiers in state is sure to bring a lift to local shops. Evan Uyetake, Sun & Ski Sports: "I think ok a really untapped market as far as skiing goes because there's a lot of people in this area that do like to ski."

While he says snow business in the Sooner state is better than you might think, having synthetic ski runs only a few minutes away will likely get more people into the sport. "They don't have to spend a couple thousand dollars on a trip they can go locally and when they do feel comfortable go to the bigger mountains and feel more comfortable with it so if anything I think it'll help the ski industry." Dryslope skiing is already very popular in Europe.

“The Slopes" ski and snowboard park is set to open in Sand Springs on New Year's Eve.