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updated: 5/15/2014 5:18 AM

Rosemont entertainment district to add snow hill

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  • A temporary snow hill installed last winter at Boston's Fenway Park caught the eye of Rosemont officials, who plan to install a similar one in their entertainment district next winter.

      A temporary snow hill installed last winter at Boston's Fenway Park caught the eye of Rosemont officials, who plan to install a similar one in their entertainment district next winter.
    Courtesy of StackBox Structures

 
 

There are no hills in Rosemont, but come December, you'll be able to look out atop the peak of snowy "Mount Rosemont" before sledding down to the bottom.

Crews will be constructing a temporary 34-foot-high snow hill at the village's popular entertainment district this winter for sledding, tubing and special events, such as cardboard sled box racing, snow shovel races and "dummy jumps" involving chairs with skis, according to Mayor Brad Stephens.

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The village board Wednesday approved a $357,836 rental and service agreement with Maine-based StackBox Structures, which will design the hill using shipping containers and truss systems. In total, the village likely will pay up to $400,000 for the project, including payroll costs for the village staff who will run the program.

"We feel we can easily break even and even turn a profit for this project," Stephens said.

He said the snow hill will be similar to one installed last winter inside Boston's Fenway Park.

Except it'll actually be a bit taller: Boston's Monster Sled was 18 feet high; Mount Rosemont will be 34 feet.

"Rosemont had heard about (the Monster Sled) and inquired, and we got excited when we did a visit," said Rory Strunk, managing partner of marketing and business development for StackBox Structures. "We're doing something a little bit bigger and a little bit more spectacular.

"The mayor said he wanted to go big."

The hill will have two big pitches -- the sinking, then rising crevices that can vary by degree -- making parts of the hill steeper than others.

The company's tallest hill of 100 feet was constructed for a Red Bull snowboarding competition in New York City.

"It's almost like a big kid's Erector Set," Strunk said.

The Rosemont hill will be situated on the existing road between Hofbrauhaus Chicago restaurant and the temporary ice rink installed during the winter months at MB Financial Park. Cars will be able to access the district from a street behind Hofbrauhaus.

The hill, expected open from December to February, will be 96 feet long, then have a 150-foot slide-out area.

The ice rink will open for skating after Thanksgiving and for hockey starting Jan. 5 -- earlier than last year following the success of last winter's inaugural program, Stephens said. Even when hockey begins, the rink still will be open for general skating on Sundays, he said.

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