February 9, 2008 in Business

Park features really big toys

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

A guest at Dig This, a Steamboat Springs, Colo., park where people can pay to drive heavy construction equipment for a day, perches atop a bank of snow in a bulldozer Jan. 30. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

DENVER – On this snow course, there’s no putting your weight on one ski. Instead, you get along on much more expensive gear.

It wasn’t exactly what Ed Mumm had in mind, but as mountain towns struggle to dig out from several feet of snow, Mumm has found the snow has given his customers plenty to play with.

Mumm, a New Zealander living in Steamboat Springs, opened up what he calls the nation’s first heavy equipment park last fall.

“People get to relive their sandbox days, only with bulldozers and excavators,” he said.

Because of the more than six feet of snow in his park, customers get to maneuver the big equipment through a course of snow obstacles.

“We take people out of their comfort zone, let them max out the equipment,” Mumm said.

People pony up $750 for a full day in his park to drive a bulldozer and an excavator after some training. A half-day ticket for either rig costs $400.

“The power behind the machines is pretty intimidating. I would start digging these massive holes and the whole machine would shake and I would let go of everything,” said Karen Goedert, a Steamboat Springs resident who recently played at Mumm’s park. “I went, in 45 minutes, from being intimidated and scared to not wanting to leave. I was high from it for days.”


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