Snow sports, wakeboard park planned in Eagle

Credit: Ryan Neptune

A map of the current Eagle Sports Complex, with an orange border denoting the possible location of the snow/wake park.

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by Matt Standal

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBMatt

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 2:39 PM

EAGLE -- A city best known for its high property values and upscale homes could become a major draw for skiers, snowboarders, and wakeboarders.

That's only if the Eagle City Council approves a rather unique business concept introduced at Tuesday's regularly-scheduled meeting.

Boise's Ryan Neptune is a former professional snowboarder and terrain park builder with big ambitions for the Eagle Sports Complex.

Neptune's idea is to create a year-round haven for snowboarders, skiers, and wakeboarders to practice their sport in an accessible and low-cost way.

ACCESSIBLE ACTION SPORTS

Neptune wants to create a reservoir than holds 19-million gallons of water, install snowmaking equipment, and then build jumps, boxes, rails, and even a halfpipe on about 7 acres during the winter.

Tickets would cost about $15 per day and the city would get a cut of the profits.

The clever part? Neptune would use a big hole already dug in the ground to create his reservoir.

"We won't build up anything," Neptune told KTVB. "It already exists."

Neptune says the unfinished Eagle Velodrome would provide a large pit that could be partially filled in to create the reservoir, which would double as a wakeboard park during warmer months.

That's where Neptune would build a 450-foot long wakeboard park complete with cable rope tows that would operate in the summer.

"We're planning on putting nearly a million dollars of capital into the Eagle project alone," Neptune told KTVB.

SOUNDS COOL, BUT WILL IT WORK?

Some might ask, could Eagle really support a ski hill? What about fluctuating temperatures, traffic, and other factors?

Neptune says snowmaking can happen whenever outside temps drop below 36 degrees.

The 38-year-old former professional snowboarder also knows a thing-or-two about creating terrain parks.

Neptune is the founder of Planet Built, a snowpark and skatepark design company based in Boise.

He's designed hundreds of terrain parks, including those used in the Salt Lake City Olympics, X-Games, Dew Tour, and even in the middle of New York City.

"I've built an entire rail jam setup in the middle of Times Square," Neptune told KTVB. "This would be significantly less challenging."

Mike Aho is the Parks and Recreation Dept. Director for the City of Eagle.

Aho supports the design and believes the city council has a good chance of approving it.

"If they give us the go ahead tonight on the project, we'll plan a community meeting for June," Aho said.

Aho added that the current design would be appealing because "it would create a revenue stream for the parks system."

Neptune will present his plan before the city council on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The informational meeting will be the first step in approving the park.

He's already created a similar park in Lansing, Michigan called Hawk Island.

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