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You Ain't Skiin' Dixie

News
posted: 02/12/2007

It's snowing in Colorado, Utah, California, and now Georgia?

Stone Mountain Park, a theme park 16 miles outside of Atlanta is building a 13,000-square-foot snow playground featuring tubing, snowball fights, and areas for making snow angels. And though logic would dictate to at least add a bunny hill, skiing will not be available at the Coca-Cola Snow Mountain Park.

Opening in November, the park aims to give families in the south a chance to experience real snow by pumping in over 200 tons a day.

"This is a new technology that allows us to stay ahead of the meltage rate, says Christine Parker, Public Relations representative of the theme park. The park will primarily only be open on the weekends, and it will be the first on-snow experience in Georgia since Sky Valley Ski Area closed down two years ago. (Once famous for 210 vertical feet served by a single chairlift, the resort now operates a country club and golf course, which isn't surprising given the state's snowfall average of 2.1 inches.)

"Research indicated nearly 70 percent of Atlanta-area kids had never experienced real snow, says Gerald Rakestraw, Vice President of Stone Mountain Park.

"It will be an area that is really magical, Parker says. "We will also have targets in the snowball area that will encourage kids to play in the snow, but safely. Kids will be able to throw the snowballs at themed targets rather than each other.

Parker says these activities among others will bring families together more so than skiing would. As for actual Atlanta area skiers?

"I got into skiing at three years old, says Rob Phillips, a skier who had to relocate to Atlanta from Vancouver. "I think this idea is really cool, but I don't think it will be a mountain that serious skiers will take a trip to.

During the summer, Snow Mountain is home to a rocking "Laser Show Spectacular, but Parker says their objective is for families to play together in the great outdoors.

Which is fine. But unless they add a rope tow and a few handrails, we'll save our vacation dollars for Utah. Or Six Flags.

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