Real Estate & Construction  October 13, 2023

Winter-recreation area to open in Windsor

WINDSOR – Hoedown Hill, a 12-acre sledding, tubing, skiing and snowboarding area, will open this year adjacent to the RainDance National Resort and Golf property in Windsor.

At 1,200 feet, “we think it’s going to be the longest tubing hill in North America,” said Martin Lind, president of the Water Valley Co., who is developing the site at 1775 RainDance National Drive, adding that “it’s going to fulfill the circle for the destination resort we’re building, all of our hospitality.”

Water Valley also manages the American Hockey League’s Colorado Eagles, the 18-hole RainDance National and 27-hole Pelican Lakes golf courses, The Grillhouse & Sand Bar at Pelican Lakes, Ted’s Sweetwater Grill, The Marina at Water Valley and various other retail, commercial and residential projects. Lind also has proposed a nearby hotel and water park.

Once Hoedown Hill opens, probably around Thanksgiving or early December depending on weather conditions, Lind said, the winter-recreation area will be the first on the region’s plains since the Sharktooth Ski area near Greeley, which opened in 1971 and closed in 1986.

“This is sort of a tribute to the childhood memories I had and the inspiration from Sharktooth,” Lind said, “so we’re naming one of our ski runs the Sharktooth.”

Sharktooth had one open slope and a single Poma lift, a device with a disk the size of a dinner platter that skiers put between their legs for a surface trip up the hill.

Hoedown Hill will have four conveyor lifts, three of which are fully enclosed and enhanced with lights and audio. It will offer 10 tubing lanes, including a nearly 1,200-foot-long run, and a terrain park. Its 133-foot vertical drop will be 17 feet less than what Sharktooth had.

Hoedown Hill will include areas for “tubing, skiing, snowboarding, a ski and ride school, MoonBikes and two ever-changing terrain parks,” according to a Water Valley news release. “The final trail design is being created and will feature multiple green, blue and black ski runs. Initial plans are to operate five days a week, with Hoedown Hill being closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.” Lights are being added for nighttime operations.

Manmade snow is sprayed from a machine at the Hoedown Hill site during last year’s “beauty contest” to pick the best manufacturers for the site. Courtesy Water Valley Co

Guests will check in at the Grainhouse, a more than 6,300-square-foot hospitality building that remains under construction. Once open, it will also serve food and beverages and offer a small meeting space.

Lind tried this idea once before, envisioning an area he called Pelican Falls, which was adjacent to the nine-hole executive golf course of the same name.

“We experimented with it in 2004,” he said. “We were playing with snowmaking. Now that Raindance is done, this is a long-term permanent location for it.”

Lind held what he called a “beauty contest” for four different manufacturers last winter to choose the ideal snowmaking and grooming systems for Hoedown Hill.

The winners: 15 Demaclenko snowmakers with built-in automated weather stations and two snow groomers including a new Prinoth Bison X.

“We have a very sophisticated snowmaking mechanism encompassing the entire 12 acres, and miles of underground high-pressure plumbing for the snowmakers,” Lind said.

“Hoedown Hill will provide fun and adventure at an affordable price for the entire family of all ages to gather year-round,” he said, adding that warmer-weather activities could include concerts, mountain biking, hiking, and “we’ll eventually have a ground coaster and a zipline type thing.

“The parking lot for golf in the summer will be the parking lot for this in the winter,” Lind said.

“It’s going to be a hoot.”

Just one caveat, according to Hoedown Hill’s website:

“We would appreciate it if you please refrain from accessing Hoedown Hill until its official open date.”

WINDSOR – Hoedown Hill, a 12-acre sledding, tubing, skiing and snowboarding area, will open this year adjacent to the RainDance National Resort and Golf property in Windsor.

At 1,200 feet, “we think it’s going to be the longest tubing hill in North America,” said Martin Lind, president of the Water Valley Co., who is developing the site at 1775 RainDance National Drive, adding that “it’s going to fulfill the circle for the destination resort we’re building, all of our hospitality.”

Water Valley also manages the American Hockey League’s Colorado Eagles, the 18-hole RainDance National and 27-hole Pelican Lakes golf courses, The…

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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