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Kissing Bridge launches changes and a new website for 2012-13 season

HERE COMES THE SUN — Recent mild weather has meant that snow machines have remained silent at local ski resorts, although forecasted cold weather may bring long-awaited snow to the slopes. Photos by Lizz Schumer.

BY: Lizz Schumer | December 21, 2012

SPRINGVILLE — Although the necessary snow to launch the season has yet to arrive, Kissing Bridge Western New York Ski and Snowboard Resort is still gearing up for the powder to arrive. This season, visitors to the Glenwood resort will notice several changes, at the resort and a new, redesigned website.

First is a stunt air bag called the BigAirBag, manufactured in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The BigAirBag made its debut in 2005 and was used at the Red Bull Gap Session in 2005, when snowboarder Travis Rice did a double backflip backside 180 onto it and snowboarder David Benedek landed a frontside double cork 1260 onto it.

The bag that Kissing Bridge purchased, which cost about $24,000, is approximately 1,800 square feet and consists of two chambers: a firm, bottom compartment that provides stability and an upper, soft chamber for landing. Internal air pumps maintain the air pressure.

Rachel Fanelli, a public relations and marketing representative for Kissing Bridge, said that the BigAirBag is the first of its kind, in Western New York, and that it will be located at the bottom portion of Holly, visible from the Holly Quad and Willies.

“It’s designed to help skiers and snowboarders practice bigger, better and badder tricks,” Fanelli said. “It’s very exciting because, before you go out and try something on the hill, you can try it there, first.”

Fanelli said that the bag will be housed in its own, fenced-in area and that skiers will be charged extra, to use the bag.

Kissing Bridge will also unveil three new terrain parks, this season, according to Fanelli. The first of these is the beginner park, which will be located at the top of Coal Chute. A press release from Kissing Bridge said that the beginner park is “designed for the beginner rider, who wants to learn to ride the rails and hit the jumps,” in a more scaled-down environment.

The progression park will be located on Twist and continue down Twister. The stated purpose of this park is to acclimate riders to larger, more complex features and jumps. The main park will be located in the same place as the terrain park had been in years past, but will now include 13 step stairs, built by Destroy Lab of Maine, as well as larger features, according to a Kissing Bridge press release.

Kissing Bridge also has several new lifts and trails, for skiers who might not be interested in doing tricks. The first is a Borvig Double lift, at the North Area. This new lift, named the Tanglewood Chair, will have 88 carriers with a capacity of more than 1,020 skiers per hour. It will be located to the right of the Slalom Quad and will travel up the Exhibition slope, providing access to Dream, Exhibition, Slalom Run and the starting shack.

A new trail will cross Crazy 8s and Blackjack, to Moment of Truth, allowing skiers and boarders to reach the World Chair, from those locations.

“This will go a long way towards easing of the congestion the north area has experienced, on weekends, when [lessons] are in session,” Fanelli noted.

Kissing Bridge has also launched a new website that focuses on the terrain parks, www.KBgrind.com. The new site will include a 3-D, virtual map of each park and will allow the staff to update customers on changes to any park features.

It will also include pictures, videos, competitions and blogs, as well as interactive portions, where riders can post their own pictures and videos from when they hit the slopes.

Although Fanelli said that she and the rest of the resort’s staff members are nervous about the lack of snow, so far, the resort has been making snow when the mercury dips low enough.

“We need at least three days, straight, of [temperatures] below 26 degrees, in order to make enough snow to open,” Fanelli explained, noting that an unfrozen ground can be detrimental to snow creation. “If it doesn’t get cold – real cold – there’s not much we can do.

“We’d love to be open for Christmas,” she continued. “We’re going to try as hard as possible to make that happen. But, what we do know, is that when we do open, it’s going to be big and it’s going to be great.”

In the meantime, the Harvest Room will be serving food on Friday nights, starting at 4 p.m.

“It’s something different, for while we’re waiting for the snow to arrive,” Fanelli said. “People can come down, have a delicious fish fry and get psyched for the season.”

More details about Kissing Bridge Ski Resort’s opening hours, rental packages, visitor information and more can be found on www.kbski.com or by calling 592-4963.

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