At Urban Snow we love to ski and snowboard, and we live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’re also busy people, and we find it’s increasingly hard to get up to the mountains.
We hear these same concerns a lot. You love to ski and ride, or you want to introduce your kids to the sport you grew up with. Or maybe you are interested in learning yourself. But you don't want to spend the time sitting in traffic and spend the money on a day pass. And with such a short season your opportunities are limited.
We can help.
Urban Snow is an indoor ski and snowboard center and fitness facility coming to the Bay Area. We will make it possible for skiers and snowboarders to spend more time doing the sports they love. At Urban Snow you will be able to:
- Ski and ride affordably, close to where you live and work
- Take a clinic or a lesson to build new skills
- Spend time on the slopes or at the gym with friends and family
- Meet new skiers and riders
Drop in in the evenings, at lunch, on the weekends, anytime that works for you. We'll make skiing and snowboarding as convenient and affordable as going to the gym. We’re going to create the ski gym.
Skiing and Fitness Under One Roof
Urban Snow will offer skiing and snowboarding, lessons and clinics as well as equipment rental. But it’s really much more than that. With your day pass or membership you’ll have access to a full fitness facility with weights and cardio, and fitness classes like yoga and Pilates.
We realized that by combining skiing and fitness under one roof we could create something unique. How much do you typically pay for a day pass at a resort? How much are you paying for your fitness membership? What if you had access to a year-round slope and all of the amenities of a typical gym open under one affordably priced membership? Urban Snow may be the last gym membership you ever own.
Our friends across the pond have been riding on and improving synthetic snow technology for more than forty years. When properly lubricated with water, the latest surfaces ride like natural snow they are completely safe for equipment. And unlike man made snow-ice they don’t require energy intensive snow making and refrigeration equipment.
Here's what some of our guests had to say after our last meetup:
- "Slippery like snow..."
- "I got to ski in the summer!"
- "Really looking forward to you guys getting funded"
- "Can't wait for this to be a reality"
People fall in love with it after three turns, just like we did. Imagine what it will be like with a 300' slope.
Why the Campaign?
We're running a Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell memberships for the first Urban Snow facility. We want to build a community of skiers and riders who care about the future of the sport and want to work with us to create something special for the Bay Area. That's why our perks all have to do with participation at Urban Snow, and connecting with the Urban Snow team.
For our "First Tracks" members, who will literally be getting first tracks at Urban Snow, we will work with you to review plans and solicit your feedback for elements of the facility design, the gym amenities and the features of the slope.
We will put every dollar that we raise back into Urban Snow. The money will be used to advance the business to the point that we can seek funding to build the facility, which we expect to initiate early next year. This includes completing detailed construction cost assessments, generating architectural renderings and continuing to build the Urban Snow community.
Take a look at some of the photos from our first community events, a series of meetups we held this summer.
One of the perks we are offering with our "Fresh Tracks" memberships is an invitation for you and a guest to our Founder's Party. This is a chance for you to meet other community members, talk to the founders and the Urban Snow team and learn about our vision for the future of snow sports.
I Love it... but Where?
We haven't selected a site yet but here is some more info: we are targeting the North San Jose region, between Sunnyvale and Milpitas for our first facility. The exact location will be picked as we raise capital for land and construction. Knowing this, if you purchase one of our "First Tracks" memberships and it turns out that the final location just doesn't work for you or your commute, or if you leave the area, your membership is 100% transferable. If you can't find someone to take it, we'll refund your money. We're not about locking you in to something you don't want.
Will it Get Boring?
Riding on a featureless slope over and over again would be boring. Don't do that!
At Urban Snow we've developed a patent-pending technique that enables us to quickly switch out the topography of the slope. So one week your might have a big roller on a run, the next week it might have two banks. Maybe we build a cornice feature. And if we get really fancy maybe even moguls. You've have new and exciting terrain on a regular basis to keep it interesting and challenging.
If you are a terrain park rider, or interested in becoming one, we'll have a constantly rotating collection of rails, boxes and other features, and we will work with the community on designs and flow.
Can I Gift Urban Snow
Absolutely! If you know someone special who would love nothing more than an early membership to one of the most significant innovations (our opinion) in the ski industry, we'd love you to sign him or her up. Our "First Tracks" memberships are 100% transferable up until we open the doors. We'll follow up with each order individually to ask who it is for.
What if I Don't Like It?
We haven't found a single person who has tried riding on our demo slope who hasn't liked it. But, tying you to something you don't like is not our style. For "First Tracks" memberships if you try riding at our forthcoming facility and you don't like it we will pro-rate any unused months and refund your money (minus apparel). There's really no reason not to try it.
A Last Word
The vision of the ski gym started nearly two years ago. We've talked to a lot of people, refined our plans and learned a lot. With all of this, it's really the feedback that we've gotten from you the community that tells us we are doing something special. There is a lot more to do. With your help, we believe we can get it done.
Risks and challenges
There are many challenges left before we open the doors. Our biggest risk will be raising money for land and construction of our first Urban Snow facility. We'll need to convince a combination of VC and real estate investors that a ski gym will generate the customer traffic required to pay for a 5 story building with a footprint of over 30,000 square feet. We know the experience is great, and our market research and time we've spent with operators in the U.K. shows that the demand and the revenue are likely to be there, but the ski gym is a new concept. Fortunately we've recruited an advisory board with experience in health and fitness operations and management, and the synthetic snow sports industry. And some of our early investors have experience bringing companies through A-round funding.
Our next biggest risk will be navigating the complexities of zoning restrictions and building codes for something that hasn't been built before. Our plan is to work with a real estate investor/developer with experience in both of these areas. We have started initial discussions about how this might be structured.
As with any startup there are a number of other risks. but with a strong and passionate team, a great advisory board and a supportive community we believe Urban Snow is achievable.
Come join us, it's going to be a fun ride!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)