A community project with Vail Resorts / Park City Mountain.
In 2016 Ron, Sam’s dad, approached Bill Rock and his management team at Vail Resorts/Park City Mountain to consider doing something in Sam’s honor on the mountain. Throughout the previous year, many local skiers and riders all wore “I ride for Sam” stickers on their helmets, skis and boards. It was clear there was a massive movement locally to keep Sam’s memory going strong especially the ski and boarding community.
Under Bill’s guidance, in October of 2016 we created a working group consisting of Park City Mountain terrain park professionals led by Christopher Ingham, Sam’s coaches and teammates from Park City Ski and Snowboard (PCSS) to form a joint committee with the goal of creating a unique one of a kind world-class park feature memorial on mountain. Chris led many meetings with his team and PCSS coaches and athletes consisting of endless pizza and soft drinks as the consortium reviewed many different conceptual rail and box configurations.
After months of working closely together, the combined teams created a beautiful five section, 60 foot park feature painted Sam’s favorite Color, blue. A week before the park feature unveiling, friends, family, teammates, coaches and community members were invited by Vail Resorts to come participate in a unique rail painting ceremony. In the center of the largest rail section is are two enlarged images of Sam’s actual hand print which are painted gold.
The rail was then set aside for us to paint our own handprints on the rail. Over 50 individuals came to the painting ceremony and used latex gloves and white paint to dip their hands and to put their handprints along side of Sams in the spiritual element of holding Sam up as he held us up our on mountain community. There are also a pictures of Sam face painted on several of the smaller rails with the words: “ I RIDE FOR SAM”.
A week later, on January 19, 2017, we had a large community event where the park features were unveiled publicly for the first time. We had an MC, music and a gathering of close to 100 people from the community. During the jam session, Sam’s dad Ron was the first to jump the rail, where he delicately crashed followed by all the athletes hitting the features and sending love to Sam for a solid hour.
Since then, I RIDE FOR SAM features can be found all around Park City Mountain’s terrain parks bring love and joy to Sam’s home mountain community.