Stevens Pass: Joel Martinez, Keeping It Real
6 Mar 2014
Joel Martinez, VP of Operations over at Stevens Pass, has nothing but passion when it comes to the bike park. Check out the goods below and we think you will find passion too!
Q&A: Stevens Pass Bike Park!
Who are you and what do you do at Stevens Pass Bike Park?
I am Joel Martinez, the VP of Operations at Stevens Pass.
How long ago did Stevens Pass become a Bike Park? Who or what was the driving force?
We are entering our 3rd summer of operations. The process took 7 years to get approved. We are going on 10 years since the idea started! There were a number of people over the years that were pushing for this idea. We owe it all to Whistler Bike Park. I looked at what they were doing and we were looking for some summer opportunities so the idea was born.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season? What was your biggest day ever on record?
We will do about 400 riders a weekend, with just over 7000 visits last year. Our biggest days are during the NW cup races, which we have been hosting a stop for last two years.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
Slingshot Wookie has been the go to trail for a majority of the riders since we have opened. Late last summer we opened a new trail called PBR (Powered by Rudolph). PBR is named after our late marketing director, my partner in crime, and good-good friend. It is an advanced jump trail that quickly became the new favorite last year. It will be 100% completed this summer.
Do you have plans for a new trail this year or plans to re-develop an existing trail?
Our first priority will be to finish-off PBR. Then, we will work to complete our beginner trail, which will satisfy the 5 trails that we currently have approval for. We are working with the Forest Service, as we speak, to gain approval for another 7 trails to begin building this summer if all the approvals fall into place.
What is the mountain bike scene like at your resort?
I would call us a young DH bike park with a lot of heart. It took a lot of time, work, and energy just to get this thing approved. We have always said we were going to do it right from the start, or not do it all, and we have continued to hold onto that motto.
Tell me a little bit about Leavenworth. I imagine that out of towners like to stay there. Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to hang?
Leavenworth has been for a long time an unknown, but it has been coming on to the scene as a riding hot spot. We have a good mix of trails from XC to full-on shuttle DH trails. All within close proximity to our little faux Bavarian town. You can get beer and brats 365 days a year! Muchen-Haus restaurant/bar is great spot for brats, beer, and music. It is outdoors, and you can come as you are after a ride. Icicle Brewery is new in town, and they are brewing up great beer with an outdoor deck to boot! There are plenty of other options in town right down to your traditional Bavarian faire.
Do you have any big events going down at your bike park this season?
We are going to be hosting another NW Cup race this Aug 22-24. We will also be hosting our 1st annual “Turn and Berm” event sometime early this summer. We tried last year to have this event in September, but we got snowed out. We will also be hosting clinics this year with Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson on some selected dates this summer.
How has the snow been over the winter? Will it affect your opening date? Do you have an opening day in mind yet?
Snow was a little slow to start, but has been nuking the last few weeks! Right now, we are planning on opening Fri June 27th. We will start pushing snow off the trails as soon as we close to help the melt.
What does the future hold for your resort?
When we get approval for another 7 trails, it will be enough to keep us busy building for a couple of years. We are out to provide some great trails for all abilities. We have really been feeling a push from the beginner/intermediate riders, so our beginner trail this summer will be great for helping to deepen and grow the sport. I don’t think we can build trail fast enough for our expert riders, but will continue to make the push in that direction.
I am excited to see the first 5 trails come to completion! These trails were a long time in the making, and I will be psyched to see phase 1 come to a finish. We will continue to push and build trails for everyone and aim to do it right, or don’t do it at all.
We want to Thank our DIA members for their support and confidence with this project. Without them, this would have never happened. They believed in us when we were just spinning a dream, and they committed with cold hard cash. Thanks!
Follow the website below. Stevens Bike Park.