Denver Big Air, which will take place January 25 and 26, will draw an international audience and some of the world's top skiers and snowboarders. The event is a kickoff to Mile High Snow Week and the Snowsport Industry in America meeting in Denver.
The ramp itself will go up over the next 8 or 9 days, built by Populous Design Firm, a local company.
"It's a pretty substantial structure," Kevin O'Grady, with Populous, said. "We're looking at over 100 feet tall, 300 feet long and--some of the specs on the ramp--the in run is going to be about 40 degrees steep, which is steeper than most of our ski runs in Colorado."
O'Grady says once the structure is up, they will bring in snow guns from Copper Mountain in hopes of producing 600,000 pounds of snow for the event.
"We're looking forward to some cold temperatures," O'Grady said. "That would make the snowmaking side of it much easier."
For the first time in the history of the FIS World Cup Big Air event, it will be contested on American snow. The event debuted in Rotterdam in 2007 and has also called London, Moscow, Barcelona, Seoul and Stockholm home.
"Really for us, it's heady company," KieAnn Brownell, of the Metro Denver Sports Commission, said.
With the ramp in Civic Center Park, located at Colfax and Broadway, surrounded by the State Capitol, the City and County Building, the Denver Public Library and the Denver Art Museum, Brownell says the event will really showcase the city.
"This is an amazing venue that's going to be very unique," Brownell said.
Sue Baldwin with the Metro Denver Sports Commission says the event will be emblematic of what the Mile High City is all about.
"We try to come up with interesting events that are going to brand the city and look for national and international exposure, and that are just great events for the community," Baldwin said.
The first day of the event, on Jan. 25, will feature the Nature Valley Ski Big Air Challenge. Baldwin says it'll be a battle of the brands event, with skiers competing to pull off the best trick.
Day two, Jan. 26, will be the main snowboarding World Cup event, the LG FIS Snowboard Big Air presented by Sprint.
Among the big names who will be competing are Tom Wallisch, Freeskier Magazine's Skier of the Year.
"Lot's of Colorado athletes will be here," Brownell said.
But, before any of that can happen, Populous, which has worked on 26 Super Bowls, nine MLB All-Star Games and nine Olympic Games, must complete its fifth project here in Denver: the massive ski ramp.
"This is just day one," O'Grady said on Thursday.
Tickets are $45 for a one-day pass or $80 for both days. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit DenverBigAir.com.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)