Let it snow — at Eagle Island State Park

Boise native Ryan Neptune partners with the state to bring kids winter recreation fun

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comDecember 21, 2013 

Bryce Holloman, right, shoots and scores during the snowfall Friday while playing hockey with friends at Eagle Island State Park. Corey McClintick, left, and Kendall Askew join him. A winter terrain park will open soon nearby.

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com

This weekend, urban terrain park builder Ryan Neptune will fire up his snow guns and start crafting a tubing and snowboard area. But he won’t be doing the work at the Ada-Eagle Sports Park, which has been the subject of a dispute between Ada County and the city of Eagle.

While the two agencies spent the past few months bickering, Neptune and Idaho Parks & Recreation entered an agreement for him to do a one-year pilot program at the state-owned Eagle Island State Park off Linder Road.

“If it is successful, we would love to have him come back next year,” said park Manager Gary Shelley.

Neptune said his goal is a simple one: He just wants kids to have fun. And what is more fun than a big pile of snow?

So he brought his machines and crew to town, and they will work together to make a big pile of snow.

Neptune and his company, Gateway Parks, have built snowboard and skateboard features at more than 200 venues around the globe. He also has competed professionally; in 1999, he was the first U.S. National Boardercross champion.

Eagle Island and the Eagle Sports Park are Neptune’s first snow park projects in his hometown.

The Eagle Island snow park will be a smaller version of the project that Neptune wants to build at the Ada-Eagle Sports Park off Horseshoe Bend Road. It will include a lift, berms and moguls.

The lift equipment is still en route and the snowmaking is just beginning. Neptune said he expects the Eagle Island snow park to be fully operational sometime after Christmas. Until then, he is inviting kids to come check out the venue, watch his crew work and “play in the snow.”

Neptune said that the two snow parks are meant to complement each other and that he is not abandoning the Eagle Sports Park project despite nearly five months of roadblocks.

He said he understands that the city of Eagle and Ada County need to work things out, and he harbors no ill feelings.

The Eagle Island snow park will be open seven days a week, from 4-8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. weekends and holidays. Once the lift is operating, tickets will cost $5 to $10.

The state will receive 5 percent of all ticket sales, as well as the $5 park entrance fee. A state parks passport can be purchased for $10 at any county DMV office.

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

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