Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre in Lynchburg, Va., has been up and running for just over a year, offering skiing and riding on a plastic surface.
The park is owned and operated by Liberty University, a private evangelical school. It opened for skiing and riding in the summer of 2009. Admission is free to LU students, like Sarah Graley, a senior, who was among a few dozen people on the slope that day. It costs $5 an hour for others. The park is served by a Poma lift that runs up the left side of the slope as one faces uphill. The slope itself is divided into jumps on the Poma side, and rails on the far side.
Chris and Sam Stimpson, two visitors from Massachusetts, spent an afternoon recently sampling the venue.
Chris,17, and Sam, 14, took a run through the rails, then spent most of the rest of their visit launching off the various ramps Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre had built.
Their assessment: "Awesome."
It was play for them, and a busman's holiday for their mom, Carolyn Stimpson, whose family operates Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton.
The center has a base lodge suitable for a much larger facility, with full rental shop on the ground floor, and sitting area above. Walls in the upper lodge are decorated with the mounted heads or skins of most of the mammals that roam North America, including three brown bears, a black bear, a polar bear, eight deer, caribou, moose and elk, red fox, wolverine, coyote, wolf, lynx, mountain goat and big horn sheep.
The Barrick-Falwell Lodge is named after Dr. Al Barrick, a major supporter of Liberty University, and university founder Jerry Falwell.
More information. Or call 434-582-3539.