Sweet Tweaks: An in-depth look at Park City’s Neff Land

January 22nd, 2013 by

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Blaze Kotsenburg | Photo: Park City Mountain Resort / Rob Mathis

It is pretty shocking to see the progression of parks over the last several years. Those who have been riding since the 90’s remember the time when hitting jumps meant finding or building your own. Now, with the huge demand for bigger and better features, resorts are fighting to stay ahead of the competition by upping the budget and creativity.

Park City Mountain Resort has been a consistent contender for the top spot when it comes to chiseled jumps and a plethora of innovative features — this season is no different. But, this year they have something that no other resort can claim — Neff Land. Dubbed “The sweetest run on earth,” Neff Land is all about fun. “Neff is such a fun brand, we decided to go with it,” says Shaun Neff, founder and CEO of Neff. “We tried to take a less serious approach with the design and features.”

See Also: Neff Land episode 1 from Park City

Neff Land is clearly not the first brand to get their name plastered across a park. However, this is first time that a company has collaborated with a resort to create a park that is fully inspired by the brand. Candy cane rails, cupcake bonks and a park shack dressed like a gingerbread house lends to the idea that Neff and Park City are onto something new. “We didn’t want people to look at it and say, ‘Oh that looks like this other park,’ or anything like that,” says Neff. “When doing something like this, you have to do it right and I think we accomplished that.”

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Dylan Thompson | Photo: Park City Mountain Resort / Rob Mathis

While Neff Land appears to be some serious marketing dollars at work, for Neff it goes beyond that. “It’s more of a dream come true type of thing for me,” he says. “About a year and a half ago I had this idea while shredding at PC of how cool it would be to start our own snowboard park or land.” With an immense amount of cooperation from Park City’s Terrain Park Manager Jeremy Cooper, and Marketing Director Krista Parry, Shaun Neff’s dream is now open to the masses. “I can’t give it up enough to PC,” Neff says. “They have done so much. Both Jeremy and Krista were immediately on board and so supportive in taking everything from an idea to reality.”

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Matty Mo | Photo: Park City Mountain Resort / Rob Mathis

After drawing up plans and layout, Cooper had the challenge of maintaining Park City’s expansive established parks, while also figuring out how to turn metal into candy, for Neff Land. “When we were dreaming this up, Shaun and I were on the same page, but we had to work pretty hard to get some people to understand where we were going with all of this,” says Cooper. “When we actually got it done, it was better than anyone could have imagined.” For those of who are dying to make it here, but just can’t this season, you are in luck. Currently scheduled to run for the next three years, Neff Land is not a one-off type of project.

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Dylan Thompson | Photo: Park City Mountain Resort / Rob Mathis

As videos have begun to blow up all over social media, we decided it was time to make a trip to the land of Neff to get our sweet tooth on.

First things first, when Shaun Neff and Jeremy Cooper mentioned it was all about fun, and more impressive than they ever thought it could be, we didn’t know what they meant initially. We figured it would be a pretty cool park with a candy theme. However, after unloading from the Eaglet lift, which appears to be painted with frosting and sprinkles, we passed under the enormous sign that welcomes all to Neff Land. We finally understood.

Jumps marked with candy canes, features that are not only accessible for many skill levels, they are so ridiculously fun. The right side of the park having smaller features for beginners, the left is for the more experienced. From top to bottom, it only takes about 30 seconds, making Neff Land a relatively small park. But there are so many features perfectly laid out, it doesn’t feel undersized whatsoever.

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Sage Kotsenburg | Photo: Park City Mountain Resort / Rob Mathis

Each feature was perfectly sculpted for a good time and we are still waiting on the scientific reasoning, but everyone at Neff Land was in such a good mood it had to be mentioned. We think it has something to do with candy and just the overall atmosphere the park provokes.

Being all about having fun and getting loose, Neff Land doesn’t have the competitive nature that a lot of parks seem to have. Everyone was chatting and giggling like little kids about how much fun they are having, instead of talking trash and laughing at the kid who just landed on his face. It all seems to come back to the reason that Shaun Neff came up with the park, for fun. “We need to all never forget that snowboarding is fun,” he says. “In the end it is important to think back when we were 13-year-old kids, just having fun with it.”

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Josh Ruggles enjoys long trips to the whiteroom. Follow him on Instagram at @rugglesworth
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