As attentive Instagrammers and Tahoe locs may already know, Kingvale Terrain Project, the once-popular local hang just a handful of miles west of Boreal on Interstate 80, is rearing up for a return this winter. Kingvale has been out of operation since the winter of 2010/2011.
After more than a decade away from Kingvale, owner/operator Day Franzen is hanging up his hat at Donner Ski Ranch, where he worked as general manager for the last four years, to give Kingvale another go, now a bit older and wiser. “Why not give it another try, I know all the mistakes not to make,” he says, laughing. Franzen is now part owner of the actual property as well, which should help the operation steer clear of the leasing troubles that ultimately shuttered the resort last time around.
The vision for the place remains the same as it originally did - to offer an affordable place to ride with a good vibe - though Kingvale 2.0 will feature a few noticeable upgrades, mainly a new location further uphill, making more terrain available, and the addition of a 1,200 foot Towpro.
The park will feature some old classics, like the tanks, and a mix of new and salvaged items. “There is not a ton of money backing this thing, as usual,” says Franzen. “It’s going to be on a shoestring (budget), so you will see some creative uses of found objects, I am sure.”
It’s still early days in the reopening process, and many details - opening date included - are still being worked out. “I really just started this whole project about a month ago,” says Franzen. “Our goal is to be spinning by January 1st to the public, but I want to put in the caveat that there are a lot of things that need to be worked out in that time as far as lifts and inspections, so it could be delayed. But that’s our goal. I am not doing any season passes yet because I don’t want to take people’s money until I am positive that I have a product for them.”
How’s that for honesty? The hype is out there, though, among newcomers and Kingvale vets alike. Former Kingvale regular, Lane Knaack, who knows a thing or two about boarding and building parks had this to add: “Kingvale is the shit for a couple of reasons. It’s built by people who know snowboarding, came from skateboarding, and want to have fun with a unique eye for different and out of the ordinary features. Tranny all over the place. You go there to have fun. That’s the main reason, everyone is on the same page. Just have fun. Can’t tell you how much this world needs Kingvale. More than any other resort. It’s a beacon of possibilities.”
Sure is. Stay tuned for more info on the park and a firm reopening date.