State-of-the-Art Adaptive Ski & Snowboard Center Gives Disabled Community a New Adventure

A man on skis pushes a child in adaptive skiing equipment through the snow

In Park City, Utah, a brand new state-of-the-art ski and snowboard facility will cater to the needs of adventurers with disabilities.

The National Ability Center, a nonprofit that provides adaptive recreation and outdoor adventures for disabled individuals and families, is celebrating the opening of The McGrath Mountain Center at Park City Mountain.

The NAC has provided countless adventures in its nearly 40-year history, but the 9,400-square-foot Mountain Center is certainly a monumental upgrade, compared to its humble beginnings in a double-wide trailer decades ago.

The McGrath Mountain Center in Park City, Utah
The new facility offers a number of much-needed accommodations and amenities. Photo courtesy of the National Ability Center

The NAC is known for its ski and snowboard lessons, and although those will be a focal point of the new facility, this space will elevate the organization’s offerings with improved programs and year-round seasonal activities and events. 

Thanks to a historic land lease donated by Vail Resorts, and the support of the McGrath Family Foundation, the NAC team can now continue its important work on an even larger scale. 

Plus, it can be hard to have ADA-compliant accommodations in a trailer in the mountains. So, it’s the small upgrades that mean the most — especially to Tracy Meier, the chief program and education officer at the NAC, who has been with the organization for over 21 years. 

“We are excited to just have enough space for all of our adaptive equipment, which has been stored in storage sheds adjacent to the double-wide [trailer]. We also have plenty of room for our participants to sit inside to put on their snow gear,” Meier told Good Good Good. 

“Our new center also has 6 accessible restrooms which were not in our past location. We are so pleased to have a new center that can serve our participants in a quality manner.” 

These restrooms are especially important, as the NAC long relied on public restrooms, which were a short walk from the existing center.

Additionally, this new home base will provide adequate indoor space to properly fit participants in adaptive equipment, and will even have an artificial surface that will help transition participants directly onto the snow.

A webpage from the National Ability Center describing its adaptive skiing equipment
NAC offers a variety of adaptive skiing and snowboarding equipment. Photo courtesy of the National Ability Center

Separate locker rooms for instructors and adaptive competitive athletes, laundry facilities, specialized sensory rooms, and multi-purpose training and education rooms are also an exciting upgrade.

NAC’s co-founder Meeche White has witnessed the growth of the organization and is excited to welcome adventurers to the new facilities.

“Having a new mountain center completes my original vision for the evolution of our facilities,” White said in a press release. “After seven years of planning, I am thrilled to celebrate this joyous occasion with the community.” 

That community is made up of a wide range of participants, such asveterans, competitive adaptive athletes, and children and families who engage in self-esteem and skill-boosting camps.

NAC also offers support in other activities, like adaptive horseback riding, cycling, archery, water sports, indoor rock climbing, and more.

Spaces like this new mountain center allow the organization to reach more people and provide meaningful and dignified outdoor adventures to all. 

“Our NAC family draws from decades of experience working with people of all abilities, harnessing the power of specialized equipment, techniques, teaching methods and over 1,900 volunteers,” the NAC website reads. 

“We are the seekers and explorers, the fun-makers and adventurers. We believe life doesn’t stop unfolding just because we have a disability.”

Header image courtesy of the National Ability Center

Article Details

September 25, 2023 7:55 AM
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