The evolution of Stoke Ski Centre: venue for the British Dry Slope Championships in 2019

It is Championship season time and after the British Indoor Championships we have the British Drymat Championships making a welcome return to the refurbished and invigorating Stoke Ski Centre. Stoke has already hosted the Midland and Telford Club Nationals earlier this summer (May) but this is the biggest race that the slope has held this summer. It is the first time since 2013 that the British Championships have been held in England.

Stoke has been regenerated over the last few years with new matting and an impressive new start ramps to get racers up to speed. Many older racers may remember the toboggan run that was beside the course, this has gone and there slope management have invested more in other activities that Dave Hanlon and his team have recognised keep customers at the slope for longer and are keen to diversify into using the other facilities like the skiing.

Slope is not a one slope venue. With three slopes for users to experience, there is a beginners area, a freestyle area and then the main slope plus an area for the ever popular Ringo activity.

Over the last three to three and a half years, according to Dave Hanlon, the centre manager, the slope has undergone a transformation. In that time, what has happened: "We have done quite a bit of new matting on the main slope with new matting having recently arrived that will be added to the slope. There has also been a lot of groundwork under the slope which is something that the people will not see but it means that we haver a better ski surface. We have also put in a rather large start ramp which gets racers up to race speed pretty quick. We have also done a lot of work to the lifts."

It is not also just about changing the features of the centre. "We have also been putting ourselves out and about in the region as well," Hanlon explained.

The days of a ski centre being just about skiing and boarding are long gone. Stoke has invested heavily in bringing people to the slope to use other amenities. Has this been a hard sell to the public? Hanlon is keen to explain that there has been a lot of cross selling to people coming in to use one facility and then also trying out other facilities.

The junior club has grown and the retention of the young participants has also been positive. Hanlon was delighted to see peak season starting earlier in terms of numbers using the centre and lasting longer.

The changes have been management led, Hanlon explained, along with feedback from customers and reacting to that. The owner of the centre has let the youth and the experience combine to develop the centre in a strong and commercial way.

With the improvements to the centre, Stoke is now a major player in the centre of England racing scene. This is something that the management take great pride in.

But they are not resting on their laurels. More changes are in the pipeline that will allow the slope to utilise the facilities even more.

Contact details for Slope Ski Centre:

Tel 01782 204159


To see the atmosphere shots from the Midland and Telford Club Nationals earlier in the summer click on the name of the race.

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