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China Peak popular attraction for Fresno State students

By | April 11, 2012 | Arts & Entertainment

Too often, we underestimate the convenience of the Central Valley. Fresno is centrally located in the heart of California, and is in a perfect location to take a short trip to the coast, the city, and some of the country’s most beautiful national parks. And then there’s skiing and snowboarding at China Peak, which, at a mere 65 miles from Fresno, is one of the most popular winter getaways among students at Fresno State.

China Peak, under new ownership since the 2010-2011 season, has since tried to restore itself to its former glory as it once was 28 years ago. Executives have worked to restore the resort’s close-knit environment, and improve the features on the mountain in order to catch up to the advances of other premiere ski resorts in the country.

“I love going to China Peak because it’s far enough away from home that I don’t feel like I’m in Fresno anymore, but it’s close enough to go up for the day,” said Kristen Bergmann, a recent Fresno State graduate. “Plus it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll know other people up there making it that much more fun; that’s not easy to find at any other resort.”

China Peak introduced the “99 Problems But A Pass Ain’t One” college deal in 2010, a money saving package intended to increase attendance among students. The package offers a six-pack of season passes to full time students for $99 each. China Peak offers discounted daily prices for college students, as well.

China Peak recognizes the financial hardships of college students, and created this discount package in order to make it easier for students to be able to ski and ride as much as possible for the best price. China Peak will continue to offer this package next fall for the 2012-2013 season.

Parker Wood, a Fresno State student and member of the Fresno State Ski and Snowboard Club, is ecstatic about the discounted deal.

“It’s great that they offered this to students,” Wood said. “It’s a great way to attract the college crowd up to the mountain. I have seen a lot more people my age up here the past couple years. It makes the competition in the park a lot more heavy, but I love it, that’s what makes us better.”

Lower Tollhouse, a run more commonly known as “The Park,” is one of the most popular places on the mountain to find college-aged skiers and riders. The run itself is intermediate, but it is set up with features such as jumps, rails, boxes and other additions that attract daredevils to stay on the run all day.

“I really like what the Park Crew has done this year,” said Mike Duran, Herb Bauer Boardroom employee. “They are really stepping up their game trying to help China Peak advance its features. Getting more creative is what we need if we want to have a park that can compete with other mountains in California.”

Local Olympian and professional snowboarder Andy Finch is also making contributions to the park this year. He designed the terrain for his very own Andy Finch Invitational that was held this season.

As each season continues, China Peak advances, adding more fun and features to the resort. Look for what is in store next season, and remember six-pack season passes go on sale next fall.

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