The Park City based National Ability Center has announced the interim CEO, Kevin Stickelman has been selected to lead the organization. Stickelman will oversee the building of a new facility at Park City Mountain, current expansion of facilities at the Round Valley Ranch location and work on establishing a permanent presence in Moab which would offer year- round adaptive recreation programs.
Kevin Stickelman has advocated for adaptive outdoor recreation for most of his career according to the NAC press release. He took over on a temporary basis after former CEO Gail Barille resigned abruptly last summer.
Stickelman has several expansion projects the NAC is working on with both new and existing facilities.
He says, core programs are always part of the NAC offerings, but they’re also focusing on their training and education programs with expanded facilities at the Round Valley Ranch location.
“You’ll see more training and education where we’re bringing people from across the country and around the world to learn how to put on programs similar to the ones that we put on every day. I think you'll also see over the next few years a big push to solidify our footprint down in Moab. You know southern Utah is one of the growing areas for us with our rafting, mountain biking programs and right now we're working on establishing really a base of operations down in that area to really grow that into more year- round programs. And then obviously everything that's going on up here. The mountain center that we're working with Vail resorts on to bring online here in the next year or two. The partnerships we have with the Forest Service and the state parks will also continue up in this part of Utah where we're expanding our programs beyond the ranch and into really the backyard of Utah so to speak.”
He says there are hundreds of organizations around the country and many come to the NAC hosted Annual Adaptive Recreation Summit to share best practices in the adaptive outdoor recreation industry. Stickelman says the NAC stands out nationally with staff, volunteers, coaching and the breadth of recreation Utah has to offer.
“’When you start talking about the climbing and cycling and mountain biking opportunities that we have here. But I also think we've grown to be in the top 1% if not the largest organization of our kind in the country. And you know there's very few out there who operate on the scale. The sheer number of volunteers that we have every year that support our program. The number of staff, the number of ski instructors in the winter time."
Stickelman says they don’t know when they will get final approval from Vail on the Park City Mountain NAC facility.
“You know, our project is important to Park City Mountain and it's something that they've wanted to have happen for a while. But we’re part of a greater development project that's going on at that First-Time base area and so because of the size of our project being so small in comparison to everything else. You know, we’re just really in a holding pattern right now.”
They’re expanding the equestrian center, the campground area, building a new recreation center and adding training, meeting and office space.
“Our equestrian center expansion is fully under way. We’re closed in and actually giving hard hat tours now of the project. It's about 10,000 square feet of new space that supports our training and education programs, volunteers some of our physical therapy hippotherapy programs associated with what we do in equestrian and then there's office space in meeting rooms and things like that. You know we've got a lot of stuff that's going to be going on out there around value the next couple of years."
Stickelman says the NAC is looking to create another headquarters in Moab.
“Right now, we have a donor who allows us use of a house to house our rafting guides as well as a warehouse to store all of our boats and rafting equipment. We’re working right now on acquiring some property there in the Moab area to give us a solid long-term footprint and really essentially create a new headquarters down in the southern part of the state."
Go to discovernac.org to learn about their upcoming Barn Party fund raiser and to learn more about the programs they offer.