Jeremy Jones: Progressing Sport at Woodward

By Tom Kelly Feb 25, 2021
Founded as a gymnastics camp in the hills of Pennsylvania a half century ago, today the Woodward brand is bringing progression in sport for kids of all ages to snow-covered mountains across America. Last Chair visited the new Woodward Park City to catch up with freestyle skate and snowboard legend Jeremy Jones
Jeremy Jones: Progressing Sport at Woodward

Growing up in the Salt Lake Valley in the '80s, Jeremy Jones developed a knack for searching out urban skate and snowboard venues to feed his passion. Today, the sport legend has found it all under one roof as snow manager at Woodward Park City.

Founded as a gymnastics camp in the hills of Pennsylvania a half century ago, today the  Woodward brand is bringing progression in sport for kids of all ages to snow-covered mountains across America. This episode of Last Chair: The Ski Utah Podcast take you to the brand new  Woodward Park City which features a mountain sports park with progressive features and a fun-packed, kid-friendly indoor action sports hub with skate ramps, trampolines and more.

My guide for the day and podcast guest was the legend himself, freestyle skater and snowboarder Jeremy Jones, whose persona and sport background is a magnet for young athletes. A Utah native, Jones grew up skating as a kid but quickly morphed into snowboarding when it got too cold in the winter. He was hooked. Jones can tell you pretty much any urban rail or feature down in the city. But now he oversees snow programs for Woodward Park City, creating the same environment he had to search out in the city as a kid - but all self-contained in a fabulous new indoor and outdoor facility right on I-80 between Salt Lake City and Park City.

Jeremy Jones Portrait

Since opening for the 2019–20 season, Woodward has been a hit for locals and Utah visitors alike. It offers a crazy mountain park with a well-conceived progression of features, an indoor action sports hub and a tubing park. You can buy monthly or daily passes, then just reserve a session of your choice.

What really struck me about Woodward Park City was its welcoming atmosphere. If you've never been to a Woodward facility, you'll feel comfortable from the start. A start park will greet you when you walk onto the mountain. And up top, there's a right to left progression across the hill with everything from simple rollers and snow-level rail boxes, to 50-foot jumps and big rails.

It's inspiring to see the kids just want it so much and feel the confidence to give it a try.

The day Jeremy and I rode at Woodward, rising star Brock Crouch was in the house. Olympic champion Red Gerard had been there two days earlier before leaving for a film shoot. "All the pros are hitting me up to ride Park City," said Jones. "And I love it - I'm just 'yes, please come, test it out, tell me what you think, how can we make it better?'"

Jones told the story of a few days earlier when Crouch high-fived a group of campers on the hill. "This one kid was just - he got juiced up and he's like, 'hey, Brock, come watch this.' And he had that moment in front of one of the best professional competitive snowboarders. There's nothing more powerful than that experience. And, you know, that's just Woodward!"

What is Woodward's approach to sport?
When you walk in, you have start parks and progression parks and you can level up before you even get on the chair. You're going over rollers and berms and getting a carpet experience up the mountain. And so you learn gravity without having to get on a chair. And whether you have a lesson or you're just showing up, you can walk in there and start snowboarding in a totally safe environment. Every single hill and pitch in that is low enough grade and mellow enough and feeding you into the hill. There's nowhere for you to go. It's not a catcher's mitt. You're actually working against gravity. And we build it so that that's in your favor.

How have you integrated the stars of the sport at Woodward?
Red Gerard and Danny Davis - they're great snowboarders, the best there is - they're different generations. Danny has Peace Park, which is a really cool product, and he's built that up himself. It was really authentic and he wanted to share that with Woodward. We also piggybacked off Red's Colorado house where he has a little rail park at the back of their family home - Red's BKYD. We brought that in because people want that element of accessible snowboarding, how you can go in the streets, you can go in your backyard, you can set things up and then come to Woodward and experience it at a really refined level.

Jeremy Jones Airing Hip

Your kids are teens now - what do you do together for family fun?
We snowboard together and skateboard together. And play music together, they're just kind of becoming my little friends. My son has challenged me. He's been into things that I was never into - traditional sports like lacrosse, basketball, football. And so I've been so grateful for him because he's taught me to tolerate that more than I ever did. And he's taught me to actually love it because I watched him fall in love and I watched him progress and I became the student and he enjoyed that.

There's plenty more in this episode of Last Chair: The Ski Utah Podcast.

  • Jeremy's sport heroes growing up in Utah.
  • How the sounds of a shopping mall inspired him as a kid.
  • Of the dozens of films in which he's appeared, which is his favorite?
  • Most renegade place he's ever ridden!

Take a listen today. Tune in to Last Chair: The Ski Utah Podcast presented by High West Distillery on your favorite podcast platform. Subscribe to get first access to every episode.


Woodward Park City is one of a network of Woodward sport parks on mountains across America. It offers an innovative approach to sport for a new generation of ski and snowboard enthusiasts - locals and Utah visitors alike. Lessons, rental gear, food - it's all there.

What's Outside?
Beginners can kick off their experience in the magic-carpet-served Start Park. Off the Hot Laps Chairlift, you'll find a right to left progression with multiple terrain parks, box and rail features, Peace Park, Red's BKYD and more. Oh, and don't forget the tubing hill!

What's Inside?
The indoor Action Sports Hub features 66,000 sq. ft. of fun with action sports concrete park, pump track, mini ramps, parkour zone, spring floor, Olympic grade trampolines and foam pits.

How to access Woodward? Visitors and locals can buy a membership or a daily pass, then reserve your session time for any of the facilities.

Where is Woodward?
Woodward Park City is located right on I-80 between Salt Lake City and Park City.

Last Chair S2 Ep12 - Jeremy Jones

Tom Kelly: |00:00:00| Welcome, everyone, to Last Chair, the Ski Utah podcast. Today, we're coming to you live from Woodward Park City. There is a lot of activity here today. It's so much fun to come in this facility and see all the kids. And yesterday, I had a great opportunity to do a mountain tour with our guests today, Jeremy Jones. Jeremy, thanks for joining us on Last Chair.

Jeremy Jones: |00:00:19| Hey, thanks for having me. This is cool. I'm excited.

Tom Kelly: |00:00:22| You know, it really was so much fun. I've been driving by Woodward since it opened about a year and a half ago and finally had a chance to get up on the mountain. And you gave me a great little tour. Man, it was snowing big time yesterday.

Jeremy Jones: |00:00:36| Yeah, we had some coming down. And it's like its own ecosystem here. You know, we'll have sun and race out there to get the good light. And then the next thing you know, it's dumping. And I mean, what was that yesterday we had our first run was kind of sunny and by our third run it must've snowed close to an inch.

Tom Kelly: |00:00:54| We were --- the visibility was really pretty sketchy. And we're standing on top of one of the features and, you know, the features. I don't I'm sitting there. I think I'm really close to the edge, but I can't see.

Jeremy Jones: |00:01:06| Yeah, it can get it's a little nerve-wracking sometimes. So, yeah, knowing the terrain is definitely key on the flat light days up here for sure.

Tom Kelly: |00:01:14| What was the most fun for me though, was seeing the kids. We spent a little time in the center here and lots of little kids out playing in the different recreation areas and, you know, kids up on the skate deck and then going outside and seeing more of the same on snow. That was really fun to see.

Woodward Indoor Features

Jeremy Jones: |00:01:30| Yeah, it's really cool. It's a lot of action up here. And, you know, it's inspiring. It's inspiring to see the kids just want it so much and feel the confidence, you know, to give it a try. They feel like the environment is providing that. I mean, you can just see it even without hearing it from people. I mean, I've watched snowboarding, I've watched skateboarding and BMX, skiing, you know, for thirty-five years. And so and I pay attention to the athlete like the body in the way that it moves. And kids just learn at a different pace now. And, you know, you see it, you can tell that they're seeing something that we didn't see when I learned they come out of the gate swinging at a different pace, you know, and we just need to provide a little safer environment for that because of how hard they come out.

Jeremy Jones: |00:02:22| You know, like day one of a kid on a snowboard is just so much different than day one twenty years ago. And, you know, it's important to give them the environment that they can learn safely and actually get somewhere with it before they get to hurt and camp.

Tom Kelly: |00:02:38| It was interesting to see even on the mountain, you have a progression direction. And we're going to talk more about progression a little bit later and about Woodward Park City. But I want to talk first about your background. I know you grew up here in the Salt Lake Valley, became a legend, but answer this for me right out of the chute. There are two Jeremy Joneses out there. Which one of you dudes is the real one?

Jeremy Jones: |00:03:02| I'm the real one. No, just kidding. I actually had in 2003, I had a Trans World Magazine...TransWorld Snowboarding mag interview, and they titled it The Real Jeremy Jones. And so they gave me that name and it sort of stuck.

Jeremy Jones: |00:03:20| And so I was kind of jokingly the real Jeremy Jones for some time but not self. I didn't claim it myself. It was just sort of put on me. But I think we're both the real Jeremy Jones.

Tom Kelly: |00:03:34| And, you know, to be totally clear, it is pretty interesting because you both come from a little bit different sector of the snowboard culture. And, you know, I've learned a lot more about you and planning to come up here and chat about Woodward Park City. So you grew up in Farmington, which is just a little bit north of Salt Lake City. How did you ultimately get into skate and snowboard?

Jeremy Jones - Tom Kelly - Woodwardjpg

Jeremy Jones: |00:03:56| Well, skateboarding just came up going to school ... Shopping for back to school clothes with my mother. We went to Fashion Place Mall in Sandy and we drove up from Farmington. So that's a big trip. And it was a rainy day. And we were walking in and there was a pavilion and it was dry. And, you know, in your walk in those pavilions with roofs, with a building gets real echoey. You know, the sound can be echoey. And I'm walking in and we're about to walk in the doors. And I look over and I call him the long hairs - there are these two long hairs and 80s style shaped skateboards, you know, pointy noses, really short nose from the wheels, bigger tail, and one of them all lead, which is a crack of the tail. And the board lifts up when you jump simultaneously with it. And he must've got off the ground two feet. And the crack of that sound of his ... of that plywood hitting the concrete under that pavilion in that moment of rain and seeing these kids just like find a zone that they could do this, it just hit me, just struck. And all I could think about from that day on was. How do I do that, how do I hear that sound, how do I feel what I think that guy felt like and I just started chasing it. I mean, I chased it from that moment, you know, from looking for school clothes. It was like, OK, what does the skateboarder wear? Because at night it was imprinted. They had on, like, hobey shorts. And that I was like, where do I find those shorts? Where do I find those bright colored shorts that that dude had on? Because that's me now.

Jeremy Jones: |00:05:41| And I it just that was it. It was as simple as that. And then my brother got ... my younger brother got a skateboard that Christmas and I pretty much stole it and that. And then I just I've never stopped since. And then that ultimately led me into snowboarding because I loved skateboarding so much. The winters were so cold, you'd slap your hands on the concrete and it just stung and it was so painful. And how do I do this? How do I do this in the winter? And, you know, wasn't really indoor skate parks and things like that that we have now. And I was like, well, I can't remember how I saw snowboarding, but something tipped me to it. So I took my skateboard, took the trucks and the wheels off, and then I spun it so that the tail was the nose and I screwed in two inner tubes from a bike tire and had two little stirrup straps. And then I was bombin' this goalie for a full season and my buddy's back yard in Farmington. So that next year I bought essentially a Kmart snowboard that had metal edges because I learned that you had to have that to get up at Brighton and they allowed that even then they were really progressive in in allowing, you know, more than skis on it on a mountain. And so that's where I ended up. I just sort of, you know, we'd go to Nordic Valley and Powder Mountain and they were kind of on that, too. And it was much cheaper up there. And we were a little closer than in Farmington. And so I was the first few years just kind of figuring it out.

Tom Kelly: |00:07:17| Jeremy, how old were you when you and your mom, when school clothes shopping down in Fashion Place Mall?

Jeremy Jones: |00:07:24| That was going into seventh grade, into junior high, so out of sixth grade. Yeah. So what year is that? It was 1987. Yeah. So it was just, it was just coming on. Yeah.

Tom Kelly: |00:07:40| You know we're going to talk a little bit more about this later, but I really love something. You said that, you know, it was the sound that triggered it. And then pretty soon it was what is the dude wearing and how can I be like that? Sport really is about all those things. It's not just what you do. It's how you look. It's the lifestyle and the culture it represents, isn't it?

Jeremy Jones: |00:07:59| Absolutely. I mean, it was for me, you know, it was the whole package and that ultimately was the hook. And it is the sounds and snowboarding's the same way. There's so that's why I like street snowboarding so much, because the sounds of my board on the steel and the sounds of my board clacking off concrete and. Man, I just it just hooks me in I don't I, I don't know what it is. I can feel it like my bones seeing to it almost in a sense. And, you know, powder's great. I love powder. There's not a feeling like that to ride powder on a snowboard. I've never experienced that. I've skied powder. I've served without bindings. I've snow skated. You know, I've still strapped my skate deck but it's just a traditional snowboard ripping through the powder floating man. It's like. I mean, I guess it's what flying would feel like, I imagine, or the closest thing to that.

Tom Kelly: |00:09:01| Have you been hang gliding?

Jeremy Jones: |00:09:03| I haven't. No.

Tom Kelly: |00:09:04| It's still on my checklist. I've got it. Maybe he's even listening, but I've got somebody who does hang gliding down in Salt Lake down at Point of the Mountain, and he keeps bugging me all the time. When are we going out and know how to do that?

Jeremy Jones: |00:09:19| I know I debated. I'm a little nervous of it. I used to want to, you know, skydive and hang, glide a little bit and then. I think it might have passed me by.

Tom Kelly: |00:09:29| Yeah, yeah, yeah, I did learn to fly, so I've got that part down. That was a while and that's behind me now.

Jeremy Jones: |00:09:34| Congratulations.

Tom Kelly: |00:09:35| Well, thank you. Thank you. It was a real task. I just ... my wife gave me lessons for Father's Day. I think this is back in the early 90s. And I just hammered at it and I knocked it all off down at Salt Lake and in about six months. And I flew for quite a few years. But, you know, there's just if you don't do it that often is just too many things that can go wrong.

Jeremy Jones: |00:09:54| You've got to be tuned in to it.

Tom Kelly: |00:09:56| Totally do. So you eventually took this from a passion that you learned in seventh grade and you parlayed it into quite a pro career as a freestyle rider.

Jeremy Jones: |00:10:08| Yeah. I mean, I, you know, had. I don't know, a lucky path, I guess, but it wasn't without its efforts and it's hard work and navigating a lot of. You know, negative energy from people because it was a path unknown, it was a. It was something people hadn't really done, you know, there were people before me for sure, but. You know, it just wasn't a career option, it wasn't a way to. It was just another way to be a ski bum, essentially, you know, and that's the way it was viewed, no one took it seriously. And so but I did like I mean, it was the most serious thing I, I knew still kind of is, you know, and. So, yeah, it was just how am I doing this, how am I doing this forever? And that's that's it. That's the drive. That's, you know, actually, Tanner Hall said it best in the podcast I was listening to this morning. And he just said, I mean, he hit it on the head. He just said that everything he says, he gets that question a lot. What's the drive? Why do you keep doing it? Why do you keep coming back? And he's just like, so that I can ski so that I can feel it. That's what that's the drive. And, you know, you want it to be your character. You want it to be who you are. And you're just going to go hard at everything. But the truth is, like, I just want to feel the snow under my feet on a snowboard hitting rails and making patterns like that's it.

Tom Kelly: |00:11:47| By the way, listeners, if you want to get the three-hour and 20 minute version of Jeremy Jones, go check out the bomb hall podcast that he did just a few months ago. It's really a fascinating listen. We're going to be a little bit less than that. We're going to talk about Woodward as well. So you have landed a great role here at Woodward Park City. And we're going to talk about Woodward and the facilities it has nationwide. But give us a little bit of a four one one on what your role is here at Woodward Park City.

Jeremy Jones: |00:12:16| Well, I'm a sports manager. I'm actually employed by POWDR, the parent company of Woodward and sport manager for snow. So I just keep essentially an eye on the mountain product, heavy involvement with the team riders that come and visit us skiers, snowboarders that come through here. You know, we just work film shoots, make sure the parks around and good and try to have progressive designs in the park. And so I just helped facilitate that and manage that.

Tom Kelly: |00:12:48| And are you able to get out on the hill every day?

Jeremy Jones: |00:12:51| In my job description, I think that's kind of the deal. In reality. Not quite. Work tends to take over. But I mean, I'm, you know, back to the driven thing, I need snowboarding. And so if I don't get up on the hill here, on my way home, I'm going to stop and hit a rail somewhere, if there's snow in the street. Like last night, after we rode, I went home and had my first street session and called a filmer and was out until 11:00 at night filming a street spot. I hadn't done it in four years. I got hurt four years ago. And so it's my first time filming back in the street. And it was just a great feeling. And then woke up an hour early this morning before coming in to work so I could stop the rail gardens and hit some rails there because there's snow in the city and it's feast or famine. When there's snow down there, you have to get it because it goes quick.

Tom Kelly: |00:13:46| So anybody else there today?

Jeremy Jones: |00:13:47| No solo.

Tom Kelly: |00:13:48| Yeah. If there were, would they know who you were?

Jeremy Jones: |00:13:52| The snowboarders probably would. Yeah, yeah. I mean, some, you know, I'm getting older faster and the kids are getting younger. And so, you know, the amount of those young ones that know me is, is definitely starting to fade. But I think I'm still kind of a household name, especially around here and at the rail gardens particularly. That's a very local zone. And one I'm known to be a, you know, heavy hand in.

Tom Kelly: |00:14:19| Woodward has really helped to revolutionize what you did as a kid who you didn't have Woodward when you were a kid. Now, how has the company, not just here in Park City, but at its locations around the country, played a role in really revolutionizing what kids can do today? Things that you had to go and kind of go renegade and search out when you were a kid?

Jeremy Jones: |00:14:42| Yeah, I mean, it's just providing a facility that is managed well. You know, sport leadership is something that we're really chasing in innovative environments that are progressive and progressive in design and also progressive in safety. Like how can we keep people safer? You know, you're always going to get hurt. You're always going to pay the price for a big trick eventually, you know, if you keep pushing it. It's going to end up taking you at some point. And so how can we just get people there safe or how can we get, you know, their body awareness to be more programmable so that when they need it, take it to the street or to a real jump up there on the hill from the phone put inside? You know, they've had those repetitions and they've done it over and over and over. And so when they come off of the lip on the snow. They know that they can just close their eyes and be in the foam pit. They're coming around to their feet and they'll put it down. And so, you know, it becomes just that mental switch at some point because you can program the body so well and so safe. And that's what we provide, truly.

Tom Kelly: |00:15:57| Are you able to draw on the experiences from the other Woodward facilities? I know that this actually is a pretty progressive new facility for the organization. But you have resources, Copper, Eldora, the original facility in Pennsylvania, Killington and others. Do you guys work together and share ideas?

Jeremy Jones: |00:16:18| Absolutely. You know, there's an integration element from, you know, powder and then the Woodwards as a whole, all of their locations. You know, everyone every location should absolutely have all the freedom to build their best environment. And that's different in Killington to Park City or Park City to Bachelor. You know, we have different terrain. And so it's about coming up with, OK, let's theme things. Let's come up with a level of excellence that everything has to meet. And then you have all the freedom in the world to design locally and build the best environment wherever it's at. So some things, you know, Park City. Woodward Park City is. Sort of a testing hub, you know, we can apply things on the mountain here, and then if it works, we can suggest other locations apply similar stuff and similar tweaks. And that's that's a really cool thing and unique. No one. No one's had that. And no one's doing that in a space, especially a covid space, where so many companies and resorts are pulling back on this park, you know, and putting the labor into the park, the cat time into the park, the design. And that's where they're pulling money from to put back. And you survive really. And Woodward is just feeding it. Like, let's let's put the foot on the gas, let's keep our parks insane and let's provide the best space, especially in a space where everyone's pulling back. And so we're just doing that. We're going so hard and just trying to be the best at that. And because we feel like we are we feel like we can offer we at least have the network and the resources to provide the best. It's just a matter of lining it up and building it.

Tom Kelly: |00:18:27| Talk to me about the progression that you have on the mountain, and that was one of the things that really stood out for me yesterday where you have very well-organized structure on the mountain right to left, actually really easy to really allow people to move up, skiers, snowboarders to progress right on the mountain in a really easy, safe way.

Jeremy Jones: |00:18:48| Sure. And that's you know, that's a huge part. There's a few layers to that. But if you just go straight to the heart of it, it's John Cumming. And he truly just wants to integrate the best facilities. How can we raise athletes safely? How can we give them the best stuff to ride? And then that's where my boss comes in. Chris Gunnarsson and I worked with him in snowboarding on and off on different projects over the last 20 years. He ran a snow part built company, Snow Park Technologies, and he built the X Games courses since 91 in Crested Butte, you know, day one pretty much. And then he's now this is his vision, his vision of what we experienced on the Hill yesterday. And he built the team. I'm part of that inside that. It's you know, John, John Cumming is saying, I want this. And this is a guy I think can do it. And we're just trying to make it happen. And that's what it is. It's a safe progression. And you saw it right to left. So it's very thought out. We have what we call a playbook, Woodward Mountain Park Playbook. It's essentially our Bible. We constructed that first and we always said it. And in the last 18 months, as we were, you know, we were building the plane as we were flying it. So we were a little I always felt a little bit behind. We knew our vision and what it was, but we were like, we are acting in real-time and applying things in real-time. So it was pretty chaotic and then COVID shut us down. And so this year is really where we needed to come through. And our product is great out there right now. I'm really happy with it and our products. The other Woodward locations are just unbelievable. I mean, the part crews are putting in such amazing work from the cats, from the design and then the handwork that the part kids are doing, you know, it's phenomenal. They've just leveled up and they've risen to the challenge. And sometimes the challenge is felt kind of impossible because I know what the vision is and it's grand and we're barely even touching it, you know, and it's still pretty impactful from what I'm seeing so far.

Tom Kelly: |00:21:06| I know that a hallmark of the company has been build quality and really, you know, fine-tuning things. You've talked about it a little bit. Give people a sense, though, of some of the details that that gets into. I mean, it's really, really precise to have that high level build quality, both from a performance standpoint and also for safety.

Tom Kelly: |00:21:25| Yeah, it is. I mean, there's so many things that go into it. And, you know, I don't have a ton of that experience on snow where I'm in a cat. I don't know what that feels like. And but, you know, you get the right people. They have to pull jumps and transitions. You know, correctly. You can have kinks. Everything has to be running smooth. Snow quality weighs into that. You can have pits, you can have soft spots that will be hidden by a clean room. But you come down and, you know, there's so many things rales can be off pitch tipping set wrong jumps can be too low to close. There are so many little things. And then branding too. And visibility. You know, we experienced that yesterday. How can we animate a mountain with features everywhere? That is, you know, and claim a safer environment, but we need a market, we need to brand it, we need it. Show people how to get down without just flying off something, you know, when they can't see. And so that's where the right to left concept is very it's supportive of that, because if you have that, if you understand that system, you know how to get down. You know, you can go to the right you know, you have a green trail that's going to take you to the bottom with nothing in your path. And if you can't see, that's your escape route, so to speak, you know, and yeah, I just think the philosophy is great and people seem to understand it. I mean, you caught on to it quick. You followed me. You know, we went to progression three, which is three levels up from where you should start, probably. But you trusted me and you followed me over the rollers and you felt it. You saw you saw the vision, you know, with my brief description and then and then trusting that you could take my speed and follow over me, that you weren't going to go over anything that was going to surprise you and, you know, send you off some drop or some big step down jump.

Tom Kelly: |00:23:33| You totally explained exactly what was in my mind. It's that trust. You know, I trusted you. But it was fun because I would never hit that on my own. I mean, we weren't doing anything big, but I would have never gone over a roller like that.

Jeremy Jones: |00:23:47| Right.

Tom Kelly: |00:23:48| But I just said, OK, Jeremy's going over it. I'm following him. He's not going to drop me off the lip. I know that. And it was really, really fun.

Jeremy Jones: |00:23:57| And it was so cool that was rewarding for me because, you know, just seeing you follow through and then you said to me when we stopped, you're like, I get it, that I understand what you're talking about. And, you know, that gave me a bit of the chills. And it is kind of now because that's what we've spent so much time on. We just that's what we want. We want that response where, you know, you've driven by it. You've seen it, you know, on 80 and. It's never felt like a place that's pulled at you that you wanted to go ski because there's big jumps, you see, you know, it looks like you have to be at a level to be here from the street. And then when you walk in, you have star parks and progression parks and you can level up before you even get on the chair. You're going over rollers and berms and getting a carpet experience up the mountain. And so you learn gravity without having to get on a chair that's whipping around a body, which is extremely terrifying for a lot of people just getting on a chair.

Jeremy Jones: |00:24:58| And so how can another element to this is, you know, the first thing you see when you walk across the bridge here at Woodward Park City is the start park. And whether you have a lesson or you're just showing up, you can walk in there and start snowboarding in a totally safe environment. Every single hill and pitch in that is low enough grade and mellow enough and feeding you into the hill. There's nowhere for you to go. It's not a catcher's mitt. You're actually working against gravity. And we build it so that that's in your favor. And then you level up, you move over to the carpet and then you're into some berms and you learn to use your edges and rollers. And then new experienced P3, that's your first lift experience. And we start to introduce jibs, little rails and boxes that are in the ground. Ride on, you don't have to jump up to them. And then you just go from there and, you know, it's. It's beautiful, it's so cool.

Tom Kelly: |00:25:59| When you took the job here, what was it that motivated you to join the Woodward team?

Jeremy Jones: |00:26:06| Well, I mean, I was like you following me on those jumps. I trusted Gunny, you know, Gunny - Chris Gunnarsson - he gave me the, you know, I'm like, really? You want me to come in on this? I mean, OK. And he's like, you should do it. This is good. Here's my vision. And here's ... I have the green light to move on this stuff. And I just trusted him. I was like, all right, I'm going to hop on this train and hope that you don't take me over a cliff because I see your vision and I'm back in it, you know, and that's ultimately what pulled me in. And then I just got to see the environments more. And I've been a part of Woodwards on some camps and as a pro guest, pro visiting. And so I experienced it to some level. But, you know, the last two years, they've all just leveled up so much in build quality, sport, leadership and just the innovative environment that we're pushing across all of that, you know, and that's just what we can do? That's just not the same thing this year. Slopestyle run down the hill straight down, you know, which has tons of value. There's no reason that has to go away. But how can we add to it so that families can ride together so that kids can be safe, so that adults can learn tricks and not just be, you know what? I'm old. This is where I'm at. Like, doesn't have to be that way. You can learn no matter how old you are, you just have to find what that flow is. I mean, you can get into a foam pit and try a front somersault off of the corner just standing there on your feet at 70 years old, if you would like, you may not ever transfer it to the snow. But you might have never done a flip. And now you can, you know, even if it's just standing there diving in a foam pit, it's just you just need to find what your paces and find where you're willing to learn. And, you know, a lot of my friends come and they say, man, can you imagine if we had this when we were kids? And I'm like, my response every time is you have it now. You're younger than me. I'm 45. I know you're 40. What are you complaining about you know, I learned to back flip out there at 45 on my BMX bike. I don't even ride BMX. And I was able to put down a backflip just because I was curious and I wanted to figure it out. And I safely worked my way into that. And then did it like, why what? There's no just find the pace, find where you're at and then see where you can push it. We have the environment for it.

Tom Kelly: |00:28:55| When you look at sport and it can be any sport, really, what are the value points that kids take away from sport other than the athletic aspects or maybe the tricks that they do, but what are some of those kind of life long character traits that they take away from being involved in sport?

Jeremy Jones: |00:29:17| Again, something that evolves, and I think that package of what you take away just gets better and better as time goes on, you know, for me it was independence. It was the confidence to drive my own path and do what I wanted to do, even though it was seemingly against the grain at the time. And then to see it get accepted, to see my participation in it be accepted. I think there's there's huge lesson in that. I mean, that's given me the tools that I need to move into this position, you know, from snowboarding. I've been a pro athlete for 25 years. You know, that's my background. And what did I learn in that 25 years? And how can I now transfer that? Without, you know, this without this pedigree of school, essentially, how can I show people my value? And, you know, there was a time I I was just confident, like, I, I I'll do this, this and this and I'll do it better than anyone else. And I know that I can. And even if I don't know it, I'll learn it. I have that confidence. And that's because of snowboarding. It's because of skateboarding. And it's because of that. For me, it was the resistance that was placed on me that built that thick skin and just made it on. You couldn't penetrate it. You can penetrate me in any other direction, you know, and now it's tuned up. Kids learn the same thing that you learn community. They learn how to interact with people. They meet friends and they are driven by their friends. They meet really cool coaches up here that support them. They see pros, visiting pros. You know, campers yesterday learned how to hit the big or not the bigger, but the last big jump in main line, which is our biggest jump next to the single big air. He hit it for his first time, a camper, you know, because Brock Crouch was here just ripping and the kid was all fired up. And Brock stopped by the campers and high fived them. And the kid was just ... he got juiced. And he's like, well, you can come watch this. And the kid did it, stomped it, you know, and he progressed to that so that he could. But he had that moment in front of, like one of the best professional snow competitive snowboarders that exists right now. And that's you know, that's Woodward. I just. That's an experience and you can't I mean, I don't know that nothing is more powerful than an experience.

Tom Kelly: |00:31:59| You have really integrated some of the top riders into what you do here at Woodward, we saw Brock writing yesterday, but you've also integrated Red Gerard and Danny Davis and others talk a little bit about the importance of having their expertise up on the Hill and what they've helped to develop and just having them essentially as role models for campers and and and skiers and snowboarders who are here at Woodward.

Jeremy Jones: |00:32:25| Yeah, I mean, that's exactly it. Red, Red Gerard, and Danny Davis, they're, you know, great snowboarders, they're the best there is and there are different generations, you know, the best there is for different reasons. Danny has Peace Park, which is a really cool product, and he's built that up himself. It was really authentic. And he wanted to share that with Woodward. And so we partnered up with him and started building Peace Parks across all five locations now. And, you know, the Peace Parks there, it's just so everyone can ride. Danny wanted people to shred. He wanted everyone to shred together so that not be terrified of a 30, 40, 50 foot jump. How can everyone shred and have a good time? Snake runs little hips and you can go small and it's safe or you can go big if you want and find the gap rather than be forced to the gap, you know? And that's a great concept and it fit perfectly into what we were doing. And so that relationship is just wonderful. Danny's great good branding behind it and Red Gerard, same thing. We piggybacked off of his Colorado house. He has a little rail park at the back of their family home that they run, Red's Backyard. And we just, brought that in because people love that we want that element of accessible snowboarding, how can you can go in the streets, you can go in your backyard, you can set things up and then come to Woodward and experience it, you know, at a really refined level, like will pimp out the lips, will pimp out the rails, will make sure everything's sliding and get we're going to brand it Red's and Red might be popping in here and then and, you know, it's just a cool experience. And aligning with those athletes and is is our authenticity. I mean, that's how we need to do it. We can't claim something if it's not tested. I don't think. And these riders are here. You saw it yesterday. Brock Crouch, Red was here two days ago. He took off for a film mission, but he was here riding you know, all the pros coming through town now are hitting me up. Can we go to Park City? I want to ride the jumps. They want a tune up. You know, they want to tune their skills and. Man, it's just so cool, it's so cool to see and it's caught on, you know, the calls you line one person up and then the calls are just like boom, boom, boom. And I love it. I think I'm just like, yes, please come test it out, write it. Tell me what you think. How can we make it better? Because to me, to me, it's feedback. To me it's getting them here is awesome. Them enjoying it is even more awesome. But getting feedback from them, that's the best. Because then I can go take it to the crew and we tweak and we make it better and just and all those small things we referenced back, you know, how is the lip? If it is shifted like we need to be on two knees multiple times a day, like let's level up our whole process, let's be the best.

Tom Kelly: |00:35:33| So how do we participate in this? So if I'm in the Salt Lake Valley or if I'm a tourist visiting Utah for a snowboard trip, how do we get engaged here at Woodward Park City?

Woodward Foam Pit and Trampolines

Jeremy Jones: |00:35:48| It's just come up. Come up, and there are people here to help you - walk you through the whole thing. You can get a tour, you can be the novice of the novice. I mean, you can almost show up. I mean, show up in your clothes, please, show up in your winter clothes. We don't rent that. But for the most part, you can just roll up and experience skateboarding, BMX, roller boards into the foam pit when it opens back up, if it does soon, and or the resi, where it's a soft landing or the mini ramps or the trampolines, you know, you can rent snowboards, you can rent skis, you can we can provide the experience. Just show up. It's inexpensive compared to everything around here. You can book intercessions. It's on a membership kind of system so you can buy a membership. You're paying very little for an all access, which is indoor and outdoor. And you can buy outdoor only, which is, you know, you can buy a month outdoor only and it's cheaper than most day tickets around here.

Tom Kelly: |00:37:01| So just to give people a concept, particularly those who are coming to Park City, haven't been here for a few years or really anywhere you're going in the Salt Lake area, it's pretty accessible, right, I-80. So you can bring the kids up here. They can spend a couple hours up on the snow and then they can go spend a couple of hours inside. Is that right?

Jeremy Jones: |00:37:22| 100 percent. Three hour blocks on snow you can buy. So your commitment isn't ... You know, you can commit to the whole day if you want, but you can buy a three hour pass ten to one. You can go ride the lifts and then. You know, maybe you want to take a break, but at two o'clock, indoor trampoline session or skate session, eat some lunch at the Hive upstairs, you know, grab yourself a burger, take a little break, and then you're on the tramps for an hour and a half session and go home, you know, or just do a three hour session inside or a tubing session. You know, it's I mean, the tubing is so fun.

Tom Kelly: |00:38:04| I love tubing!

Jeremy Jones: |00:38:06| It just goes so fast. And your first time you won't you won't believe it. And it's an experience. And so, yeah, you just you just need to show up, you know, like they say, just show up. That's it, it's it's here and it's for everyone truly, you know, it really is pretty simple.

Tom Kelly: |00:38:26| It was fun for me to be up in the mountain. There's a lot of history, actually, just to diverge a little bit. But they've been skiing up on this hill since, I think, going back into the 1920s and 30s. So there's a long history of skiing here. And to be up there, you get just a whole different perspective. It looks from the highway, it looks kind of like a little hill, but you get up there and there's a lot of terrain. You get some really nice viewpoints. And it's just magical being up there.

Jeremy Jones: |00:38:51| That was great hearing that for you. It was you know, I hadn't heard that. I hadn't heard someone say this is more terrain than I expected. And, you know, I get a little numb to it. I walk these grounds all the time, summer and winter. I'm very familiar and I feel like I can cover the ground pretty quick. So it does feel sometimes small to me. And so to hear that was cool because that means we're using good space, good use of our space that we have and cramming things in, but also giving enough space so that you can breathe on the way down and get down safe.

Tom Kelly: |00:39:25| I was here for the proverbial groundbreaking a few years ago and the plan was just coming to fruition. A lot of us were really excited to see this because we knew we knew what Woodward would bring to our community as it has to others. So it's been a great asset. One more serious question and that we're going to move into some fun stuff, Jeremy. But as you look at you've been here now for a little bit of time and you know what Woodward represents. But when you look at this organization that Woodward has put together, the heritage that has been developed over the last few decades, what is it at its core that really means something to you and to the kids who come here and participate?

Jeremy Jones: |00:40:06| Good question. There's a bit of fluidity, I think, in that. But to pull it all together as one little kind of nucleus, I'd just say it's it's the community. And it's that ... It's knowing that someone has my back, you know, like and I say my back and in reference to all of snowsports currently, you know, I felt like I didn't have that. I felt like I didn't have anyone really having my back when I introduced this to my world, you know? And I just think Woodward provides that. They have your back. The coaches have you back. John Cumming has your back. Chris Gunnarsson has your back, you know. All the locations have your back, they want you to come back, they want you to ride, have a good experience and come home safe so that you'll go back and experience it again, you know, and again. And again and. I think it's just that community, it's that support, and that's ultimately what Woodward is to me. They just offer it and they offer it in a progressive way, like we'll not only get your back, but we'll show you how to level up. And I mean, that's so special to me.

Tom Kelly: |00:41:37| Well, it's an amazing place And so I have this wristband now so I can come back and I can go back up there and I can progress a little bit.

Jeremy Jones: |00:41:45| Absolutely. We'll send you off the lips next time in progression three now.

Tom Kelly: |00:41:51| We'll stay away from the big one. Jeremy Jones, thank you so much. We're gonna move into some hopefully fun stuff for you, what I call Fresh Tracks, a few. I always say they're simple questions and you're good friends. I know, with Chris McCandless, who is on the podcast talking about the gondola project in our last episode, and he's saying, 'jeez, these are not easy questions,' but we'll start it out with did you have a sport hero when you were growing up in Utah?

Jeremy Jones: |00:42:17| Yeah, I know, I hooked into snowboarding and skateboarding, so Bones Brigade was an early skateboard hero(s) ... it was more of a team, but, you know, that's Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero. Really. I like style. I was really driven by style. And that's what attracted me. Snowboarding was the street kids from Wisconsin and a couple of guys from Tahoe. Noah Salasnek was, man, the best style. And so he would have been my snowboard, OG snowboard idol and then the Wisconsin kids, Russell Winfield, Nate Cole, Dale Rehberg, those guys in the street and riding rails just made it look so skate and their style was on and that was it. Those were, you know, I don't know about heroes, but definitely people that I looked to, to pull from. And that was my influence. Absolutely.

Tom Kelly: |00:43:16| It's all a part of the culture.

Jeremy Jones: |00:43:17| The culture.

Tom Kelly: |00:43:18| Really is a favorite place you've ridden. That could be a resort street, whatever your favorite place.

Jeremy Jones: |00:43:27| Brighton. Brighton, Utah. That's. I mean, no matter how it's that's where I grew up, it's what I know the best. We have the greatest snow on earth, as you know. So there's that short pitches, dope, little drops everywhere and little jibs everywhere. I love that place.

Tom Kelly: |00:43:47| Most renegade urban venue you've ever skated or snowboarded. Renegade urban venue, I could be any place, any place did not have to have a lift ticket.

Jeremy Jones: |00:44:06| Oooh, so many. Definitely on the snowboard side, we've gotten to some pretty misty zones. Probably going to have to go up to Montreal and we found this castle on the top of a hill. And you had to hike into it and we found this cat driver that we paid 100 bucks to tow us up there. So about half a mile tow yet it was actually a loader that he used and he was like scooping his own trail to get us up there. So we ended up getting up there and we spent two or three days up there. We filmed the night we moved snow inside. It was just all abandoned, graffitied everywhere. We were jumping out of the windows from three stories into landings. We were riding the sides of the walls. It was probably one of the most renegades or we got the most out of it. And visually, it was just. The visuals in the footage was phenomenal, fog, dark, just moody, and it was so we had a great time there.

Tom Kelly: |00:45:12| Love that! You have been in dozens of films. Do you have a favorite?

Jeremy Jones: |00:45:18| I think so. I'm going to have to go with Shakedown by Mack Dawg Productions. That was 2003 and I had switched from Forum to Burton the previous year. And so that was big for me. A lot of people a lot went into that one. I rode my best. I had a great year. I got the last part in the movie, which was huge. It was my first last part. And I was on a new board company and again defied the, you know, the mumblings of my career being over and then ran another 15 years off of that. And so, you know, that was another just big pivot. So it was a good one.

Tom Kelly: |00:46:09| So, Jeremy, what are some fun things you like to do with your kids? And by the way, you've got what I'll call mid teens.

Jeremy Jones: |00:46:16| Yeah,

Tom Kelly: |00:46:16| That's when things are changing, like every day.

Jeremy Jones: |00:46:18| Yeah. Yeah, 16, 14. They're all over the place, but stable to some extent.

Tom Kelly: |00:46:26| What do you like to do for fun with them?

Jeremy Jones: |00:46:28| We snowboard together and skateboard together. And play music together, they're just kind of becoming my little friends, you know, they do do their own thing. My sons challenged me. He's been into things that I was never into, traditional sports, lacrosse, basketball, football. And so I've been so grateful for him because he's taught me to tolerate that more than I ever did. And he's taught me to actually love it because I watched him fall in love and I watched him progress and I became the student and he enjoyed that. It was a good, good experience for me and him, you know, to say, teach me how to throw this football so that you can get better, teach me how to, you know, play lacrosse so that you can get better. I can help you level up. And it was really cool. It was humbling for me and I think inspiring for him to be like, yeah, my dad's got my back, he's down.

Tom Kelly: |00:47:31| Cool. And we're getting down to the end here. Now, I ask all of my guests this, and if you've listened to a few podcasts, you probably know this, but groomers, moguls, glades or powder.

Jeremy Jones: |00:47:46| Powder.

Tom Kelly: |00:47:47| Got to go with it.

Jeremy Jones: |00:47:48| Yeah, I mean, yeah, for sure, this yeah. Powder, yeah. Steel in there. I should have done then I think still then I would go steal. Steel and powder.

Tom Kelly: |00:48:02| So here's your challenge sometime this year. You've got to get me to ride a rail.

Jeremy Jones: |00:48:07| All right, progression three, that's your zone. Actually, we're going to bring it down to progression two for you and it'll even be lighter. So we're going to ... we'll do it. You'll be skiing around Jeremy.

Tom Kelly: |00:48:19| Last one. In one word, what does sport mean to you? What has it meant to your life?

Jeremy Jones: |00:48:30| Passion.

Tom Kelly: |00:48:32| It's about passion, isn't it? You have a lot of it, and I tell you, it is on display here at Woodward. So gratifying to walk in here. And I remember vividly this little girl bouncing on the trampoline when I came in yesterday. And I can see that same sparkle in your eyes when you're up on the mountain. So, Jeremy Jones, thank you for joining us on The Last Chair.

Jeremy Jones: |00:48:53| Hey, thanks, Tom. I appreciate it. This has been great.