On July 11 and 12, New Hampshire's Highland Mountain Bike Park will be invaded by the fastest gravity racers in North America as it hosts both the Gravity East Downhill Series and the Gravity East e.thirteen Dual Slalom series. It's only fitting that Highland Mountain will host the largest gravity racing series in North America. With new additions and continued expansion, the focus of the venue's staff and management is on building a world class bike park.
The Highland Mountain Bike Park is almost unrecognizable from the dilapidated remnants of the Highlands Ski Area that greeted owner Mark Hayes and riding buddy - turned-business partner Will Gaudette when they started running the venue in 2003. According to the New England Lost Ski Area Project, Highlands Ski Area opened in the mid-1960s, although the mountain was known to have been used for skiing as far back as the 1930s. Skiing continued through major expansions in the 1980s until closing somewhat mysteriously in 1995 as a result of "a broken snowmaking system and due to the worst winter in the Northeast's history."
Hayes, Gaudette and their staff revitalized the facilities, dropped skiing from the program and set about turning Highland Mountain into a mountain bike park. The 2009 season features no less that 17 different races and jump contests, countless photo ops and 15 staffed camps in addition to July's Gravity East weekend.
"Hosting a Gravity East race weekend is just one more way for us to reach out to new riders," said Hayes.