Bike Parks and the Evolving Ski Resort Economy
REI Co-Op Journal

As summer activities continue to prove their value to once winter-only resorts, mountain biking stands above the rest—and outdoor educators are taking note.

If the mountains could talk to the humans who’ve been carving swathes of forest into ski runs and putting up lift towers for almost a century, they might look at the recent explosion of summer activity at ski resorts and say, “What took you so long?”

The summer shadow of a skier may well be a mountain biker. What appeals to the winter gravity crew—lap after lap of flowing descent made possible by energy-restoring chairlift rides, food and drink options scattered around the mountain and in the beer-soaked village below, all set in a landscape that allows for pause to revel in the beauty—well, this is pretty much the same stuff riders want, too. Add in the option to pedal around the mountain on XC trails, and really, all the ski hill has to do is throw on a pair of shorts.