BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — On this steamy day, the farthest thing from your mind is probably skiing.
But one Twin Cities ski hill is getting ready to install four acres of an Italian-made artificial ski surface that they say will have skiers and snowboarders on their slopes in September.
Video from Buck Hill’s website shows a trial run for the Neveplast surface earlier this year. Buck Hill’s owner, along with two top snowboarders, had traveled to Italy months earlier to test the product for themselves.
“It felt, for those in the ski industry, a fresh groomed run,” said Buck Hill Owner David Solner. “Consistent speed and just a nice smooth surface.”
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Jacob Olsen, who coaches top junior skiers at Buck Hill, says the extra training opportunities could be a game changer.
“A lot of the competition we are racing against in Colorado, Rocky Mountains, they get to have a much longer season. So we are hoping to gain a competitive advantage by being able to ski all year,” he said.
The surface is in the process of being shipped from Italy and will be ready for skiers and snowboarders in mid-September. The mock-up on the Buck Hill website shows the new surface will include a year-round tubing area and areas for beginners too. Buck Hill will be the only ski area in North America to use the surface.
“It’s a substantial investment but, again, we think taking the season from four months to 12 months is worth it,” Solner said.
Buck Hill is already selling fall passes on its website. And if you are wondering what they are going to do with the snow — that will just go over the artificial surface.