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Ruby Hill Rail Yard Opens Monday

DENVER (CBS4)- Ruby Hill Rail Yard will open on Monday, Jan. 21. The free urban terrain park for skiers and snowboarders has become a winter tradition in Denver.

Staff and volunteers hope to keep the rail yard open for a full six weeks but unusually mild weather may cause the man-made snow to melt faster than expected. Last year the park did not open at all because of lack of snow and unusually warm temperatures.

Snowmaking equipment used to make snow for the park is on loan from Winter Park Resort. So far more than an acre of snow has been produced in the park.

Ruby Hill Rail Yard is located in Ruby Hill Park at the intersection of Platte River Drive and Jewell Avenue in Denver.

"After losing the 2012 season to Mother Nature, it was nice to see the snow machines in action this past week," said Lauri Dannemiller, Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation. "The Ruby Hill Rail Yard is an amazing opportunity for Denver residents to experience winter sports activities close to home. We have wonderful partners that are helping to make this happen again this year and we are hopeful that the weather will cooperate long enough to give us a nice full season."

The Ruby Hill Rail Yard was created in 2007 with a partnership between Denver Parks and Recreation, Christy Sports and Winter Park Resort to offer a winter sport experience in an urban setting.

Winter Park provides the rails, terrain park design and staff; Christy Sports provides free rental equipment; and Denver Parks and Recreation provides the location and related youth programs.

More than 30 volunteers work tirelessly each season to help make the rail yard possible.

"Since its inception in 2007, Ruby Hill has brought the joy of skiing and riding to countless kids and it's a privilege to be able to contribute to this effort," said Winter Park Resort Pres. and CEO Gary DeFrange.

Ruby Hill Park and the Ruby Hill Rail Yard are open to all visitors daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Free ski and snowboard rentals will be available Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., while supplies last.

For children and young adults under the age of 17, equipment rentals require a release and waiver completed and signed by a parent or legal guardian. Forms will be kept on file at the rail yard for the season, allowing each child to rent multiple times without the need to present new forms. Equipment rentals are not available for young children under age 8.

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