After the closing of Camp of Champions, the next tradegy reached to us: The closing of one of Austrias most iconic Snowparks, the Superpark Dachstein. Existing for more than 15 years, Superpark Dachstein was one of the first Snowparks in Austria and also, in the last years, the only Snowpark in Austria opened after May. Many people from all around Europe appreciated the perfect Park and pretty much made up 100% of the ones using the ski lifts in Summer. The official Statement released by the operator of Superpark Dachstein, the „Planai-Hochwurzen Bergbahnen“, states the decrease of glacial ice in the area of the park as one of the reasons for the closing. The other reasons are not contained in the statement. Even tough the park is closing, normal skiing will still be possible and thousand and thousands of tourists will still be visiting the top of the Dachstein, 255291 People in 2014 to be exact (as stated in this statistic).
reasons for the closing
Compared to this number, the amount of Freeskiers and Snowboarders is truly small, as approximately on a average sunny day on a weekend 50-60 people will be riding the park. It somehow is understandable that with the constantly increasing tourist numbers and steadily decreasing numbers of Freeskiers and Snowboarders, the closing of the park was a understandable step. Especially as the cost of maintaining a park, especially during summer months is really expensive due to the high number of Shapers needed. Unfortunately this decision destroyed a great community of Skiers, Snowboarders and Shapers and one of the best Snowparks in Austria.Looking at the official statement of the Planai-Hochwurzen Bergbahnen, the glacial reduction is listed as only one of the reasons which cause the park to close permanently. Of course our glaciers need to be protected, but the most likely is another reason for the closing of this park, the decreasing number of people riding the Parks of Austria.
We can slowly see a development which is causing Parks getting replaced by „Funslopes“. For example, last season the Pro Line of Superpark Planai, the other Snowpark which is operated by the Planai-Hochwurzen-Bergbahnen, got replaced with a said Funslope. To stop this development, we all need to find a way to make our sports more touchable for the public.
At this point, Freeskiing and Snowboarding simply are sports untouchable for people not participating in them. The only videos they will ever get to see are videos showcasing incredibly high levels of riding. Therefore the first thought coming to their mind will be:“I will never be able to do that“. The problem with most content out there at this point is that the fun which we all have messing around with our friends, doing the sport that we love, is often not showcased.
our part in stopping this development
Luckily, we all can help to stop this developement. When you see a „Jerry“ in the park, don’t be a asshole to them, even if they don’t know how things work out in the Park. Talk to them, help them out and be nice to them. Everyone started at some point and if you feel a general negative attitude against you from the higher level riders, chances are high you won’t be participating in the sport for a long time.
As we also see it as one of our responsibilities to stop this development, we will be offering a camp for Freeskiers of any skill level, at the lowest cost we possibly can, at the begining of the upcoming season here in Austria. Further information coming soon.
Last but not least we want to thank all the Shapers for always providing a perfect Park and the amazing times we all had up on the glacier.