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Sunday, September 13, will be the official grand opening of the resort's first official downhill trail, Divinity, a mile-and-a-half intermediate flow trail featuring berms, tabletops, rollers and wall rides, constructed in cooperation with local trail organization Trails 2000 and the U.S. Forest Service. A soft opening was held over Labor Day Weekend.
The grand opening will also coincide with the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Worlds, including the return of many of the medaling athletes such as Ned Overend, Todd Wells, Greg Herbold and Travis Brown who will be among the first to ride the new trail. The event also serves as the finale of Todd and Ned's Durango Dirt Fondo.
The mountain bike world descended upon Durango for the first UCI World Champs in 1990. | Photo courtesy Todd and Ned's Durango Dirt Fondo
"After having the worlds, we had this kind of 'ah-ha' moment for the whole community about the importance of mountain biking," Purgatory CEO Gary Derek told MTBparks.com about the signifigance of the event in the history of the sport and the region. "Durango's really become a mountain bike mecca."
Purgatory will operate the lift for free all day from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and again from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. The trail will be closed from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. for a ribbon cutting ceremony and to allow the athletes to perform an innagural ride. The trail will be accessible via chairlift on weekends through the end of September. All-day lift tickets will be $40, will single rides will be $15.
The resort sent staff to other bike parks to learn what works before they began building. | Photo courtesy Purgatory Resort
“This being the first critical lift served flow trail in Durango is pretty essential to establishing what we can do for the future," says a trail builder in the video. "We’re working together with the forest service and they’re paying really close attention to how it all unfolds, and so far they’re really happy, and the idea is that it can grow a lot more.”
Despite the Durango area being a popular destination for mountain bikers, the closest lift-served bike parks are Mountain Village in Telluride, CO, and Angel Fire, NM—more than two and four hour drives respectively.
While the resort is being relatively tight-lipped about exactly what the future holds for downhill at Purgatory, this looks to be just be the first of many changes following a recent purchase of the mountain, although the trail was approved prior to the transaction.
Although the trail is designed to be beginner friendly, there are optional advanced features such as wall-rides and bridges. | Photo courtesy Purgatory Resort
"This is the first of what we hope to be many trails," said Derek. "Each year we’ll make minor upgrades to this one, plus hopefully add others. Our first step is to see how this goes. We’ll look to see in the lower end of the trail what we can do to add more features. We’ve tentatively identified other routes.”
Updates will be posted as they become available.
Check out the video below from 4CornersTV for a look at the new Divinity flow trail.
by Don Stefanovich
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