Sundown Mountain Resort transforms into Snocross racetrack

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- This past weekend, the slopes were still open for business. Now they are closed to skiers and snowboarders for the season, and instead prepped for Snocross.

Sundown Mountain Resort in Dubuque will host the Theisen's Snocross National, as part of the International Series of Champions' AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series.

Snocross is a racing circuit for snowmobiles and it required days worth of planning and preparation.

It will feature racers from across the country between the events on Friday and Saturday.

In order for Sundown to host this event, the mountain was closed Thursday to skiers and snowboarders so workers could create a race track for snowmobiles.

Organizers for the event and from the resort said it was a process that took a lot of effort, and a lot of snow.

"We actually did make quite a bit more snow, cause we knew that this event was coming," said Mark Gordon of Sundown Mountain Resort. "The top of our hill, because it gets a lot of sun, we lose a lot there, so we make quite a bit of extra. We wanted them to be able to have plenty of snow for jumps and turns. As it happens this year, we've got plenty of snow for the event."

Gordon added their biggest challenge preparing the mountain for the racetrack was making and creating the perfect setup.

"I think just the totality of the details, getting everything right," Gordon said. "We want to make sure that we have good food for our customers, be able to get them transported over here, make sure everybody's safe, that everybody can see the event, just the logistics of having 6,000-plus people come here in two days is a lot for us."

This is only the second time Sundown Mountain has hosted a Snocross event, 2017 being the first.

Organizers explained the track this year is completely different from last year; it's longer, more jumps, and greater visibility for spectators. Many racers, owners, and organizers say this is not just the best course Sundown has offered, but the best course on the circuit.

Because of the great conditions of the course, racing teams say they are all very excited to race in Dubuque.

"We're pumped to be here, it's beautifully warm, the sun is out, wind's blowing a little bit, so that's perfect," said Scott Judnick, who owns a racing team and has been involved with Snocross for 21 years. "We're excited to be here, it's a great venue, people love to come out and it's one of the best venues we've got on the circuit."

The events will begin later today with practice runs beginning around 11 a.m. Friday morning.

You can buy tickets online at http://snocross.com/theisens-snocross-national/.