What are Alpine Slides & Why do they Work at Ski Resorts?

“How Alpine Slides Work
The best way to describe the function of an alpine slide is to compare it to its cousin, the bobsled. Unlike the bobsled, the alpine slide is a smooth, continuous track that is often built into the side of a hill and does not need ice to operate. Ski resorts typically install these slides as a way to attract business year-round when the weather is too warm for skiers and snowboarders.

Riders sit in a one or two person cart that has a hand control in the middle. What makes this ride unique and a preferred choice for thrill seekers that may still be a little intimidated by the experience is that the hand control allows the rider to have full control over their speed. Controlling the speed of the cart is essential to prevent accidental roll-overs or injuries.

Why Do Ski Resorts Spend Money on Alpine Slides?
As previously stated, alpine slides are installed and managed by ski resorts as a way to supplement income during the summer months. In places like Colorado, where skiing is limited to certain months during the year, installing a slide helps resorts stay relevant with summer travelers. In fact, over the past several years, many ski resorts throughout the country and across the globe have noticed a trend in travelers booking summer vacations just so they can experience the thrill of the alpine slide.

Where Are the Popular Alpine Slides?
Colorado is one of the most popular destinations for alpine slide seekers. Resorts like Breckenridge Ski Area, The Winter Park Resort, Durango Mountain Resort, Heritage Square and Howelsen Hill all boost world-class alpine slides. Riders can expect a trip down one of these fast slides to cost anywhere between $8 and $15 dollars, depending on the length of the slide and the age of the rider.

Finding Alpine Slide Locations in the United States
Because these slides are built into the sides of mountains, this does limit the parts of the country where you can find premier alpine sliding. At present, there are approximately 23 slides located throughout the country. These slides can be found in states such as Kentucky, Wyoming, Vermont, Montana, and California.

However, some of the more popular and well-known slides are found in ski resorts throughout Colorado. For instance, travelers visit the Winter Park Resort in droves to take a ride on the state’s longest alpine slide. At over 3,000 feet long, riders must board a chairlift to take them to the top of the slide where they will then proceed to experience the thrill of the 610 foot vertical drop. This is a slide that is not meant for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights!

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