- Alyssa Roenigk, ESPN The Magazine senior writer
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After eight years housing professional snowboarders, hosting parties and serving as a backdrop for photo and video shoots, the DC Mountain Lab is up for sale. DC Shoes co-founder Ken Block, who bought the property in 2003, recently listed it with Sotheby's at an asking price just shy of $7 million.
After deciding to sell, Block also began taking down all manmade obstacles in the terrain park, which opened in 2005, because of a scuffle with the homeowner's association. The Lab is located at The Ranches at The Preserve -- a wildlife preserve located just outside of Park City, Utah --and members of the association wanted the property returned to its natural state. Block complied, but is selling the 3,800-square-foot home on 22 acres (a towrope still remains, which will allow the new home owner to access 10 private runs) with plans to build something even more impressive in an area that will cause less noise with the homeowners association.
"The Mountain Lab was an incredible concept because every kid would love to have his own private snowboard park at the back door of his house and his own skatepark in his back yard. And it gave us great insight about what kids want and dream about," Block said last summer. "It was a successful marketing exercise for many years and a lot of fun. We are always looking for new projects like this that will be impactful down the line."
Details about Mountain Lab 2.0 have not been released. But, says a DC spokesperson, "As our snow program continues to evolve and grow, we have plans for a bigger and better facility that will allow our athletes to continue to push snowboarding forward. Progression has always been at the heart of the MTN.LAB and that spirit will continue to live on." DC's riders say they are looking forward to it.
"I have so many great memories at the Mountain Lab," says slopestyle rider Kimmy Fasani. "I always loved flying into Utah and knowing I had a sanctuary. I didn't have to ride at the resort and I could learn new tricks without anyone around or any pressure. Whoever buys the Mountain Lab is buying a lot of history. They have a lot to live up to," she says. "But I'm excited about the new project. It will be a fresh start for us. We will have complete control and will be able to take what we've learned and create something even better."
8hEthan Sherwood Strauss