DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — When Red Bull Crashed Ice was held in St. Paul last weekend, 120,000 people showed up to watch. It’s evidence that the new sport is increasing in popularity.
Three Minnesotans – two of them pros on the world tour – have made not only a Crashed Ice course, but they’ve made history.
The first permanent Crashed Ice course in North America opened Saturday at Mont du Lac, nestled along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border just south of Duluth.
Crashed Ice-pro Reed Whiting says Mont du Lac is a perfect place for the course.
“Mont du Lac is really trendy. They’re into doing new things to attract new crowds of people,” Whiting said. “To our knowledge, there’s never been a permanent track at a resort with a race besides Red Bull Crashed Ice events in North America.”
They started making it three weeks ago, and it’s pretty close to the actual professional length.
“Just a lot of motivation for us to have a place to practice and expand the sport,” he said. “I mean, as athletes, the only time we get to ride a track is during the big huge Crashed Ice events. I think every one of us wants something like this, so we just collectively got together and made it happen.”
And Crashed Ice fanatics are taking note.
“We started opening up registration on Tuesday and got over 68 people with a four-day notice,” Whiting said. “We had people flying in from Canada, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, all over the U.S. for this. So just the passion is there, people want this, we’re just making it available.”
It isn’t open to the public yet, but that’s the plan starting next winter, and every year going forward.
“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Whiting said.
And hoping it’s only the first of many to follow in the U.S.
“We’re hoping this can spawn a lot more interest and a lot more resorts to kind of take the initiative and do something similar.”