Mallrats 2.0—A Mission to Big Snow American Dream
Words and photos: Matt Petricone
If someone told me when I was a kid that people would be clad in early ’90s gear while hot lapping in September next to Giant’s Stadium, I would’ve never believed it. Fast forward to the infamous year 2020 and here we are, flying cameras, pandemics and now year-round ski resorts in the Meadowlands. I guess anything really is possible in 2020. Big Snow American Dream finally opened back up on Sept 1 to continue the season despite the coronavirus closing its freshly opened doors this past winter. Big Snow is basically “Mall Creek,” or Mountain Creek resort in a mall. Super fast laps with everything you need and something for everyone. It really is a micro-shred paradise. Rail line, jump line, volcanos, banked turns, gaps, jibs and even a full groomer to get your zen on. They even rent those ski bikes so you can style on everyone like Uncle Russ back in the day.
As we all know, one of the best parts about resort boarding is the ability to go anywhere and randomly find some homies to ride with. Big Snow isn’t any different. Upon entering the gates of the American Dream mall, Alex Caccamo stood there like a shogun. A board in each hand, army green baggies, a hospital mask over his face and a bandana on his head with only lust for battle in his eyes. Which was appropriate—during a pandemic you kinda need the heart of a warrior to enter the indoor arena. After you park in a four-story lot, you enter the mall and head up the escalator to the storefront to check in. You get an electronic bracelet, your temperature checked, and a free locker included with the session. Once you’re all ready to go your two-hour slope time starts, exactly when you clock in with the RFID bracelet. Pretty rad way of doing it and more resorts need to embrace the hourly ticket system.
Upon heading through the sliding doors the temperature hits you and you forget that it’s summer, or even where you are, for the matter. A bunch of NJ’s finest began to appear for re-opening day and the hype was real! That feeling of love when you haven’t seen the snow family in such a while was amplified by the fact that quarantine ended the season early and kept everyone so socially separated for so damn long. The vibe in the fridge was something the world kind of needs right now. That common bond, that freedom of play, social interaction and just a mere respite from the heat and hysteria of the times.
Though the Big Snow slope is artificial, it’s very much official. The snow consistency is pretty remarkable. It’s a steady comfortable twenty eight degrees Fahrenheit, which keeps the man-made powder fresh, light and fast all day ever day. Go give it a try for yourself and thank the park staff and employees for being there for us in these wildly uncertain times. Happy winter ’20/’21 from a mall in New Jers.