The History of Woodward Park City
Established: Dec 14, 2019
Claim to Fame: Woodward Park City is Utah’s first action sports hub and training facility. It’s open year-round for adventure seekers and gravity enthusiasts. Woodward is also Utah’s newest and 15th ski area! It is home to Utah's longest snow tubing lanes.
Unique Character: Formerly the Gorgoza Tubing Hill, Woodward Park City is now a one-lift wonder for adrenaline junkies replete with a learning area for beginners, halfpipes, tabletops, and numerous features for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. In the summer, the same terrain is sculpted and well suited to BMX and downhill mountain bikers with numerous trails and features to practice the art of flying through the air, cornering and more.
Unlike any other resort in Utah, Woodward’s terrain isn't limited to the great outdoors. Thanks to their 66,000-square foot action sports hub facility, visitors to Woodward can practice their tricks indoors in a controlled manner before progressing to the elements outdoors.
What’s in a Name: Camp Woodward
Rewind the decades—half a century in fact—to a simpler time: hot and lazy summer days in rural America. Ed Isabelle founded a sleep-away summer camp in the splendid mountains near Woodward, Pennsylvania in 1970. In short order, it became world-famous for honing the skills of Olympic medalists thanks to programming in action sports, gymnastics and cheerleading. Campers from all across the globe would travel to Woodward for serious training. The camp attracted Olympic medalists and college coaches to provide youngsters with top tier training and conditioning.
In the 80s, Camp Woodward added BMX racing which immediately exploded in popularity as the facility scrambled to add more ramps and features to appease rabid gravity enthusiasts. Adding a gritty edge to Woodward's action sports offering, the burgeoning BMX scene quickly attracted like-minded skateboarders and feisty inline skaters. When the X-games dropped to much fanfare in 1995, Woodward’s popularity climbed to the stratosphere when these action sports hit mainstream culture.
Woodward set its sights to the west, and in 2008 Copper Mountain resort in Colorado welcomed guests to Woodward at Copper. Adrenaline junkies could chase their kicks in a massive indoor skate bowl, enroll in winter camps or enjoy week-long summer camps with dryland training. Not long afterward, Woodward Tahoe opened at Boreal Mountain Resort near Truckee California. Woodward Park City is the newest Woodward action sports campus.
Woodward Sets its Sights on Utah
As a former home of the Winter Olympic Games, the Woodward crew knew that Utah contained an overwhelming abundance of athletic talent. Following their hunch, Woodward debuted in Utah with a temporary installation at the Snowbird Village in 2018 with the Woodward WreckTangle. It was an instant success, and Woodward made plans to identify and locate the ideal site for a permanent outpost in the Wasatch Mountains.
The Site is Settled
Powdr Corp, Woodward's parent company, owned and operated Gorgoza, a local tubing hill nestled between Parley’s Summit and Kimball Junction along the I-80 corridor. This perfectly pitched 125-acre sledding slope would lend itself nicely to the hopes and dreams of young groms (and adults) looking to step up their game. Powdr and Woodward determined that Gorgoza was the perfect fit, thanks to its history as a one-time ski area and its potential to enhance recreation for the local community. Additionally, its location near Parley's summit along Interstate-80 was ideal to serve residents of and visitors to both Park City and Salt Lake City.
Construction was a challenge further complicated by an aggressive timeline and bountiful snow. "After an extremely wet 2018–2019 winter and 2019 spring, Jacobsen’s people, their Woodward partners, and subcontractors all stepped up to the plate,” said Project Executive Reed Price. As opening day drew near, the massive construction project was lagging behind. “It was a sprint to the end in the last eight to nine weeks,” confesses Price.
The race to complete construction raged on until the very last moment. The finishing touches on the 66,000 square-foot Action Sports Hub took longer than anticipated. Anyone and everyone stepped up to finish each job before the highly anticipated Grand Opening. This included painting the parkour zone, pouring concrete for the expansive skate park and dumping foam into the foam pits. Everyone pitched in!
Finally on December 14 of 2019 Woodward Park City threw open its doors to its 2,500 eager fans. The official permitting and inspection actually took place just hours before the Grand Opening, and their Certificate of Occupancy was handed over that day. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, skier Tom Wallisch and fellow action sports celebrities were on hand to introduce Utah's newest and most adrenaline-packed attraction. Not long after, the facility was recognized as the Most Outstanding Project for Private Builds Over $10 Million in 2019 by the Utah Construction & Design group.
The groms you see busting out impossible moves at Woodward Park City today will be the future athletes earning medals at X-Games, Olympics, and countless other contests. Thanks to their vision, the athletes of Utah can dare to expand their dreams and chase their hopes.
QUIRKY FACTS & ZANY LEGENDS
Benson, L. (2020). "Woodward is in, and Gorgoza is gone," Deseret News, Feb 33, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/2/23/21147231/park-city-skiing-extreme-snowboarding-woodward-is-in...
Jacobsen Construction. (2019). "Action sports hub Woodward Park City debuts after impressive ‘sprint to the end,’" Jacobsen Construction Blog, Dec 20, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.jacobsenconstruction.com/action-sports-hub-woodward-park-city-debuts-after-impressive-sp...
Wikipedia. (no date). Woodward Camp. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodward_Camp
Woodward Park City (2021). Website. Retrieved from https://www.woodwardparkcity.com/