Snowboard Tour to Spotlight Durango

February 2, 2024

Durango, along with Purgatory Resort, is set to host a YETI Natural Selection DUEL during the first stage of the 2024 Natural Selection Tour. The brainchild of snowboarder Travis Rice, the Natural Selection Tour showcases the world’s top riders competing at venues around the world. Durango is one of two completely new sites for the tour this season. Natural Selection DUELS feature six mountain locations, where head-to-head competition between two top riders will decide who moves on to the next stages in the 2024 Natural Selection Tour. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Kroegers Ace Hardware and Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

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One of the biggest events in mountain sports is coming to Durango. For the first time in its history, the Natural Selection Tour is showcasing the terrain outside Purgatory Resort. You're watching "The Local News Network," brought to you by Kroegers Ace Hardware and Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. I'm Connor Shreve. The Natural Selection Duels will feature pro snowboarders, Nils Mindnich and Victor Daviet riding big mountain lines to qualify to move on in the events bracket format snowboarding competition. The best action will air in an edited program on Red Bull TV, February 27th. Visit Durango Marketing and Sales Director, John Ragozzino says, "The stoke is building."

The really special part is kind of just like the vibes up on the mountain that you can kind of feel all the way down here into town. It's a big deal for Durango to be showcased alongside, you know, all these amazing other locations across the world, whether it's Japan or Andermatt, Switzerland or Revelstoke.

Ragozzino, a former professional snowboarder himself, says getting an event as well-respected as the Yeti Natural Selection Duels to Durango was very intentional.

When I started working with Visit Durango, we know that summers are pretty busy around here, so it's part of our dispersion plan to, you know, help spread visitors, you know, into our winter season. So we identified some times of year where there's awesome conditions and really great terrain. And we just sent some information over to Natural Selection Tour and Travis Rice, and they were interested in holding an event here.

The event is one of six happening around the world. Each features just two riders in a head-to-head competition to decide who moves on to the next stage of the natural selection tour. Ragozzino says the matchup just outside Purgatory could be especially compelling.

Nils has a real fire under him because he was really close last year to qualifying in duels. He was just barely edged out. And, you know, Victor's new to this tour. So I do think there is like a USA-France rivalry thing going on. But I can say, you know, both of these riders have such amazing attitudes and are just really excited to come here and experience an area that they haven't really had a chance to come ride in.

The event is made up of two days, one for scouting and one for riding. Even though you'll have to wait to see the competition on Red Bull TV, you can meet the riders.

We're excited, you know. Tickets are officially live. It's free to come down to the Doubletree. And you'll have a chance to, you know, ask questions to the riders and even get autographs signed. And there might be some other special goodies that are available to give out at that time, and we'll see. But it's going to be a really fun time. And one of the best times where, you know, the riders are going to be in here in town and a chance to get there and you know, get to know them and kind of rub elbows with some of the greatest riders in the world.

The meet and greet will kick off at 6:00 PM on February 5th at the DoubleTree Hotel. It's free, but you are asked to register on Eventbrite. For more information about this and other stories, visit Thanks for watching this edition of "The Local News Network." I'm Connor Shreve.


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