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Ruby Hill Rail Yard Snowmaking Begins

snow making at Ruby Hill Rail Yard

Marking the start of its tenth season, volunteers for Denver Parks and Recreation and Winter Park Resort have begun making snow in anticipation of the January 2016 opening of the Ruby Hill Rail Yard.   Although freezing temperatures and accumulating snow in the city aren’t generally welcomed by most residents, the recent cold snap delivered the perfect mix of weather conditions to start preparing the Ruby Hill Rail Yard for the 2016 season.  Volunteers from Denver Parks and Winter Park Resort began making snow on December 28, bringing the excitement and energy of skiing and snowboarding to Denver with a free urban terrain park.

“This is a one-of-a-kind program that gives our residents and visitors a true Rocky Mountain experience without having to step foot outside the city limits,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock.  “For our younger residents, this free urban rail yard experience helps them stay active when outdoor activities are more limited during the winter months and, in many cases, gives them their first exposure to the mountain sports that make Colorado one of the top locations worldwide for skiing and snowboarding.”

The Ruby Hill Rail Yard features six to eight rails and boxes of varying configurations and skill level.  If the weather cooperates, the rail yard will be open for approximately 6-8 weeks.

“The rail yard at Ruby Hill would not be possible without all of the support we get from our partners at Winter Park Resort and Christy Sports,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation.  “This is a very unique and creative way to keep Ruby Hill Park active during the slow winter months.” 

The Ruby Hill Rail Yard was created in 2007 in a joint effort between Denver Parks and Recreation, Christy Sports and Winter Park Resort to offer a winter sport experience in an urban setting.  Winter Park provides the rails, terrain park design and staff; Christy Sports provides free rental equipment; and Denver Parks and Recreation provides the location and related youth programs. More than 30 volunteers work tirelessly each season to help make the rail yard possible.

“Ruby Hill Rail Yard is the perfect representation of the power of collaboration between Denver Parks & Recreation and Winter Park Resort,” said Gary DeFrange, President & COO of Winter Park Resort.  “We’re delighted to be able to help provide an urban terrain park that enables so many Denver residents, especially kids, an opportunity to enjoy the thrill of skiing and snowboarding in their back yard.”     

Christy Sports has again signed on to be an equipment sponsor, providing free ski and snowboard equipment for use while at Ruby Hill.  Volunteers will staff the equipment area to ensure proper fitting and adjustments. Youth, ages 8-17, will need to have a parent present to sign a release form before snowboards and/or skis will be loaned out.  Equipment rentals will be available Friday-Sunday.

The Christy Sports on-site facility will be open on Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Information and additional details about Opening Day, tentatively planned for the week of January 4, 2016, will be released once the Rail Yard is ready for public use. 

Ruby Hill Park is located off of South Platte River Drive and West Florida Avenue. The park is open every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.  The Ruby Hill Rail Yard is lighted every day from dusk until 9 p.m.