Cardboard Classic gets new downtown venue

Joy Ufford photo The Bell family – father Steve along with Avery, Heidi and Dutch – spent some quality time sledding at the Burzlander Park sledding hill. The longstanding Cardboard Classic will take place on Saturday, Feb. 16, on this hill in town rather than White Pine Ski Resort.

Not everyone is happy

about it, but the Pinedale Town Council approved

the use of Burzlander Park sledding

hill for the Cardboard Classic, a sledding

contest that enables families and friends to

create homemade sleds for a timed event

during the Pinedale Winter Carnival, Feb.

15 to Feb. 18.

The council voted at its Jan. 28 meeting

to commit staff to moving snow and grooming

the hill for the event.

Traditionally, the sledding event takes

place on Sunday of the Pinedale Winter

Carnival weekend at White Pine Ski Resort.

However, this year the skijoring competition

was expanded to two days, including a

sanctioned event that will draw competitors

from outside the community.

To eliminate conflicts, organizers with

Main Street Pinedale originally scheduled

the 2019 Cardboard Classic for Saturday

at White Pine Ski Resort. However, White

Pine Chief Executive Officer Alan Blackburn

took offense, saying he received late

notice of the change and moving the date

takes business out of his pocket.

Blackburn issued a statement this week,

saying the ski resort must close the tubing

hill for the annual Cardboard Classic. He

was notified of the changed date only four

weeks before the event.

Main Street Pinedale Board Member

Monte

Bolgiano, vice chairman, said the change in

scheduling had come after the skijoring

competition was extended. They expect to

attract larger numbers of competitors and

observers and would be able to increase the

prize purse and increased entry fees would

provide funding for Main Street Pinedale.

“We have spent four years attracting

tubing hill business. Many travel from

Sweetwater and Fremont counties for a fun

afternoon of tubing,” Blackburn said in his

release.

“It’s the biggest tubing revenue day of the

week and White Pine simply cannot afford

to turn away business. And we don’t want to

be in a situation where customers drive two

or more hours to come to White Pine only to

be told that they cannot tube because of the

Cardboard Classic,” Blackburn said.

White Pine absorbs all the costs in preparing

for the Cardboard Classic, even on Sundays,

and the only source of income is from

entry fees, Blackburn said.

One solution proposed was moving the

time of the Cardboard Classic to Saturday

morning, before the tubing hill opens in the

afternoon.

However, that recommendation was

turned down due to conflicts with the annual

pancake breakfast.

Radakovich and Bolgiano appeared at

the Jan. 28 council meeting and asked the

town to help host the Cardboard Classic

at Burzlander Park. The council approved

the move and also approved employee assistance

in moving snow to the location and

some grooming to prepare the hill.

Bolgiano said the change was last minute

for this year. He said parking at the ball

fields and at areas businesses would be used.

“I am disappointed by this reaction as the

numerous events that White Pine hosts bring

a great deal of business to the lodging and

catering businesses in the town,” Blackburn

said in his prepared statement.

“The key people who will truly miss out

will be the youngsters. White Pine’s Junior

Snowsports Club members is comprised

of more than 160 students, kindergarten to

eighth grade, and they had planned to build

crafts to participate in this year’s event,”

Blackburn said. “So as not to disappoint our

young skiers and snowboarders, a cardboard

event will be added to the ski resort’s Spring

Fling, which forms part of the final weekend’s

celebrations at White Pine at the end

of the season, March 24.”

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