As you see, Kim & I are trying to answer questions we’re getting, as posts, so everyone who’s interested can see the answers. This one’s to Peter, James, et. al. about Crystal’s (lack of) half-pipe. Answer #1 is about Crystal, and answer #2 is about national trends you might find interesting.
#1) Did you notice that the half-pipe that used to be in the ground on Quicksilver was in kind of a screwy place? It didn’t get enough snow (wrong elevation, wrong aspect) to consistently be useable. It wasn’t as easily accessed chairlift-wise as customers usually expect for pipes, and it made the Quicksilver trail unaesthetically narrow. I don’t know how much those things figured into the bosses’ decision to fill it in, but those are the guest complaints I’ve been harangued about on the chairlift. In the future, if Crystal builds a half-pipe, it’ll probably be in a different location and made from snow.
#2 Let me mention some national trends:
Across North America, half-pipes are gradually fading from favor because they don’t make great business sense. "How can that be–they’re always so crowded," you ask?
Generally, half-pipes require lot’s of staff-time to cut, shape, maintain, rope-off and supervise, compared to the business they generate. 20 -30 jibbers hanging around a pipe makes it seem pretty popular, doesn’t it? But if you compare that to the–I dunno–probably around 1000 passengers-per-hour of the average chairlift, you see that they’re not always such an efficient use of acreage.
People assume "liability" figures into it, which is kind of right and kind of wrong. Yeah, of course business dislike lawsuits. But more importantly, the nice people that run most ski resorts hate seeing other people suffer! Some injured guests get out of the hospital and they’re right back up doing what they were doing before–they (and probably their families) embrace adventure and risk, and view their recuperation time as "healing" rather than "suffering".
But others are (from families) adverse to adventure and risk. Yeah, it sucks when they try to blame others for the decisions thay made. But it sucks worse to know another human is so miserable about something the rest of us find so dang FUN!
As time goes on you’ll see more and more resorts having signage, rules & supervision aimed at keeping people OUT of half-pipes and larger terrain parks unless they (and their parents if they’re minors) really understand the risks they’re taking and embrace the responsibility and consequences of crashing. Some big resorts that have enough resources already require that park & pipe users–and their parents–sit through a class and take a test before they’re allowed access!