Local Gnar: New, Cool, High-Tech Ski & Snowboard Simulator Lands in Loveland
Before you say, "I know what that is," you may want to think again. This is not some "rinky-dink" pseudo hill that you use to introduce kids to the slopes; this place is using technology from the Netherlands, and it's in the Sweetheart City.
There are only five of these high-tech facilities in all of North America, whereas in Europe there are over 250. This place is making it so much easier to get the real feel (and more) of skiing and snowboarding while not having to go all the way up to the mountains.
To call this place a "simulator" is a bit of a misnomer, because it's really more than a "simulator." Infinity Slopes in Loveland, near the former HP plant, has recently opened after the owners thought the whole skiing experience in Colorado was great, but not worth it, if you don't know how.
You can take lessons on the Colorado mountain, it's true. The owners, who have kids, were just flabbergasted at the cost of everything: The lessons, the ski/snowboard rentals, the lift tickets, and the gas to get there. Add in just the hassle of lugging all the equipment from one place to the other, it took away from the enjoyment.
The husband and wife, who now live in Windsor, had made ski visits to Colorado when they lived in Kentucky. They wanted to move to the Centennial State and thought that opening one of these facilities would be perfect to start a new life. They invested a lot of money, hoping that other Coloradans see things the way they do: "Why not save time and money, by "getting up to speed" down in Loveland?
Infinity Slopes' "slopes" are very cool: They go slow, they go very fast. They can have nary a slope, they can have a steep incline. The track that you ski or board on is called "Pro Snow" and it crunches and reacts very much like real mountain snow.
As little as 30 minutes on these slopes is like spending a half-day on the mountain, as these slopes keep going, working your core. When you're on the mountain there is stop-and-go. They can also project a map onto the slope, to mark where you should slalom. When I saw it demonstrated, one of their professionally-certified instructors was practicing, with the speed set high: the slope was kicking up cold water. It was very life-like.
IS IT DANGEROUS?
They have someone standing by at all times while you are on a slope, and there are safety bars at the bottom of the slopes. Also, towards the top of the slopes, there are sensors, so if a person goes passed those sensors, the machine immediately stops.
HOW MUCH IS IT?
Non-instruction open sessions run $50 for 30 minutes. Instruction-included sessions run $80 for 30 minutes. Those are good prices considering what you'd be paying overall on the mountain.
DO I HAVE TO BE A BEGINNER?
Not at all. You will see a quick-learning curve as you get accustomed to their "snow," but these slopes are a great way to keep your ski and snowboarding skills up, especially in the off-season.