Enter the fancy Talisker Tower Club, a private club near the slopes of the Deer Valley ski resort in Park City, Utah, where Kotsenburg resides. The club has named a cocktail in his honor, the Kotsenburg Park City Gold. This sales ploy, though, has one obvious problem — and it's not the fact that Kotsenburg is only 20.
No, the real issue is that Kotsenburg and other local snowboarders aren't allowed on those nearby Deer Valley slopes. It's actually a point of contention for local snowboarders. Kotsenburg, his brother Blaze and fellow pro snowboarder Todd Richards were laughing at the contradiction Thursday night.
Deer Valley isn't the only resort close to Kotsenburg that doesn't allow snowboarding. There's another called Alta, which the local snowboarders also have a bit of disdain for. There's hope — from one writer at least — that Kotsenburg's Olympic win might make snowboarding more acceptable at these stuck-in-traditional resorts.
"No-snowboarding" policies perpetuate an "us versus them" mentality that has no place in the Utah snow sports community. It is time for Utah to move past discriminatory attitudes and actions on the snow. It is time for Alta and Deer Valley to step up and join all the other resorts in welcoming both snowboarders and skiers.
Promotion of Alta and Deer Valley's "no-snowboarding" policies by Ski Utah and Life Elevated disenfranchises Utah residents and tourists alike. Why does a place that welcomed the world with the Olympics not allow snowboarding at all of its resorts? Why can't our own Gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg not ride at Alta or Deer Valley? Could you imagine the ski associations of Colorado or California promoting a "no-snowboarding" policy? Why does ours?
UPDATE: Deer Valley issued a statement clarifying that the resort itself has nothing to do with the cocktail, as that the club is not owned/operated by the resort. The resort, however, has asked the club to remove the drink from its menu. Here's the statement from Deer Valley.
Deer Valley Resort did not create, print or distribute the cocktail menu in the Instagram photo by @thedingoinsnow. The image does not have the Deer Valley Resort logo or name included and the drink is not being offered by Deer Valley Resort. Deer Valley Resort would not use the name of an athlete without prior agreement or sponsorship. We have located the source of the menu and they are a private club located near Deer Valley Resort but not owned or operated by the resort. Please be assured we have already contacted them and asked them to remove the menu item. We congratulate Sage Kotsenburg on his accomplishments in Sochi and apologize for the property that used his name in this manner.
(H/N: For The Win)
Related Olympics coverage on Yahoo Sports:
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- Sports & Recreation
- Sage Kotsenburg
- Deer Valley