Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lindsey Vonn Takes On Youth Olympic Games Role for Lillehammer 2016

With 500 days to go to the second Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn will reprise her role as Ambassador for the Games, which will take place in February 2016.
The American Alpine skier has a wealth of experience to share with the young athletes who will participate in Lillehammer: from winning the downhill gold at Vancouver 2010 and four overall World Cup victories to the challenges of dealing with injuries and balancing the pressures of international competition. In her role as Ambassador, Lindsey will reach not only the next generation of elite athletes, but also many other young people around the world to encourage them to get active and enjoy the benefits of sport and the learning experiences integrated throughout the Youth Olympic Games.
As the first Ambassador for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012, Lindsey is once again committed to supporting the event along with fellow Alpine skier Kjetil Jansrud, the Norwegian Olympic super G champion who was announced as an Ambassador for Lillehammer 2016 earlier this year.
"It is amazing to be back for more Youth Olympic action! Innsbruck 2012 was such an inspirational event, not just to the young athletes there, but also for the kids watching", Lindsey said. "It showcases, in a totally unique way, how much fun and excitement there is in winter sports. Lillehammer with its Olympic history and famous venues will provide the best experience for the athletes on and off the field of play – I am very excited to be a part of it".
The IOC chooses Ambassadors for each edition of the Youth Olympic Games. Sporting legends such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming and Michelle Wie, to name a few, have supported this campaign that is shared with the 42 million fans the IOC has on its various social media channels.
The second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place in Lillehammer from 12 to 21 February 2016. The programme will feature the seven sports on the Olympic programme plus some new editions, including team ski-snowboard cross and monobob.

The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities, as well as local youth.
It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, founded on the idea of the President Jacques Rogge of the IOC.Steeped in sporting history, Lillehammer is no stranger to the Olympic Movement, having hosted, in 1994, an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Whistler Blackcomb Named No. 1 Ski Area in North America by Readers of SKI Magazine


The 27th annual SKI Magazine Reader’s Poll has named Whistler Blackcomb the No. 1 overall best ski resort in North America. The online survey saw 41,000 resort rankings submitted by SKI Magazine readers and ranks the top 50 North American ski resorts in a variety of categories valued by ski and snowboard enthusiasts. In addition to being voted No. 1 in overall ranking, Whistler Blackcomb also received top marks in the terrain variety, off-hill activity and après categories, solidifying the resort truly has something to offer everyone.
"We are honoured to receive this recognition from the readers of SKI Magazine", says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer at Whistler Blackcomb. "As the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, we know the SKI Magazine rankings influence people’s decisions when planning their ski vacations around the world so we are grateful to be recognized as No. 1. Our size, terrain variety and on-mountain experiences combined with our resort lodging, dining and off-hill activities create a unique, unmatched experience in North America for all skiers and riders".
The annual Reader’s Poll was revealed on social media and on SKImag.com, and will be published in SKI Magazine’s Resort Guide, hitting newsstands at the end of September. Along with being named No. 1 overall, in variety of terrain, off-hill activities, and après, Whistler Blackcomb also scored highly in a number of other categories, including No. 2 in the lifts, lodging, and dining categories.
"Congratulations to Whistler Blackcomb on this well-deserved honor", says Andy Bigford, SKI's publisher. "Our readers are smart, savvy, well-traveled and consistently blown away by Whistler's vastness and variety, both on and off the hill. I wholeheartedly agree with the reader who wrote: ‘Every skier should have Whistler on a bucket list".
Whistler Blackcomb also saw huge gains in a number of categories over last year’s Reader’s Poll. Whistler Blackcomb moved up 13 spots over last year in grooming, 27 spots in value and three spots in the lifts category, likely a nod to Whistler Blackcomb’s $18 million investment into the new Crystal Ridge Express and Harmony 6 Express chairlifts in 2013-2014.
In its continuous effort to consistently elevate the guest experience, Whistler Blackcomb will be introducing a number of upgrades and improvements across the resort for the 2014-2015 winter season. Highlights include new eight passenger gondola cabins for the Whistler Village Gondola and new radio-frequency identification (“RFID”) technology with lift access control gates on most mountain lifts.
Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day is November 27, 2014, but with good early season conditions the resort can always be counted on to open early.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ski Resort Mergers

Source: Larry Olmsted, Forbes (September, 2014; March, 2014)

"Consolidation in business is not always good news for consumers (think airlines, telecom and cable industries) but it has been in skiing. In the past few years there have been numerous acquisitions, formal partnerships, marketing partnerships and shared management deals, and the result has been cheaper, better and more flexible lift ticket and vacation options for skiers and snowboarders".

"Over the past three years the ski industry has had a paradigm shift in the way it sells lift tickets, especially season tickets, and has moved to a multi-mountain formula that allows skiers and snowboarders a lot more flexibility at prices far lower than they used to be. For years a single New England ski resort could command over a thousand dollars for a season pass and today half of that you can ski a dozen resorts".
"I have written in detail here about the major players in this field, especially the Epic Pass from Vail Resorts and the consortium of high-profile mostly independent resorts like Alta and Jackson and Aspen that comprise the competing Mountain Collective. The Powder Alliance gives a lot of benefits to season pass buyers at a dozen mid-sized and large western and northwestern resorts. Just last week I wrote about the latest newcomer, Intrawest’s Passport, which is an especially great deal for families and groups at half a dozen North American resorts.
I’ll try not to rehash all this as you can read my earlier stories (click here for Epic Pass or here for Powder Alliance or here for Mountain Collective and others) for more in-depth analysis, but the crux of the matter is this: season passes used to be for people who could drive to a particular ski resort and thus get in a lot of days. This also locked skiers financially into almost exclusively favoring one resort at home and paying full retail when traveling elsewhere. In sharp contrast, today’s passes often make sense even for far flung travelers who can’t drive to any resort
".

"The latest industry news came from the West Coast, where California’s huge Mammoth Mountain, already a dominant force for both Southern California and Bay Area residents, got much bigger. Mammoth announced its acquisition of Big Bear Mountain Resorts in Big Bear Lake, California. This includes both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, two Southern California resorts that collectively host nearly 800,000 winter visits annually. Mammoth already owns June Mountain, a ski resort in Northern California, near Yosemite. The deal creates one of the nation’s largest ski companies with over 2 million visitors per year. This comes hot on the heels of another big announcement from Mammoth, the addition this season of two new flights into the very convenient Mammoth Lakes airport, on Alaska from Las Vegas and on United from Denver, a major United hub. These are the first flights to Mammoth that do not originate in California, making it much easier for visitors from the Midwest and East to access the resort.
To mark the occasion, Mammoth just announced a new Cali4nia Pass, a season pass offering unlimited skiing or snowboarding at all four resorts. Like the Vail Resorts deal, this is far less than the cost of many single resort season passes coast to coast – in some cases about half the price
".

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cali4nia Pass: One Ski Pass, Four Iconic California Mountains


California’s ski/snowboard season is less than two months away and there’s already major news coming out of the mountains. Officials at Mammoth Mountain and Bear Mountain/ Snow Summit today announced a new joint pass that will provide unrestricted, season-long access to Mammoth Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit and June Mountain.
The New Cali4nia Season Pass Provides Unrestricted Access to 4 mountains, 15 terrain parks, 8,300 vertical feet, and over 5,800 acres of the best skiing and riding in California.
"This is all about providing the best value we can to California skiers and snowboarders", said Rusty Gregory, CEO of Mammoth Mountain. "The Cali4nia Pass cuts through the clutter. It is far and away the best product for California skiers and riders as it allows you to ski when you want and where you want", said Gregory.
"This new pass will offer Southern California skiers and snowboarders the best of both worlds; the convenience of Big Bear, plus the big-mountain experience of  Mammoth", says Chris Riddle VP of Marketing at Big Bear Mountain Resorts. "We are extremely happy to announce this unprecedented partnership which will provide a versatile Season Pass option that will first be available at Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails, our winter kickoff party at Bear Mountain on September 27".
The pass will go on sale Sept. 27 at a preseason price of $689 for a limited time. Mammoth MVP pass holders who’ve already renewed for the upcoming season will automatically be upgraded. Current Bear Mountain/ Snow Summit 2014-15 winter pass holders will have the opportunity to upgrade to the new Cali4nia Pass. 
In addition to lift access, Cali4nia Pass holders will receive lodging, equipment rental and food discounts at the respective resorts. The $689 price is for adults (age 19-64). Pricing for Youth (13-18) $519, Child (5-12) $199 and Senior (65-79) $369.


Mammoth Mountain Acquires Bear Mountain and Snow Summit Resorts

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, owner of Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain, has entered into an agreement to acquire Big Bear Mountain Resorts and its Bear Mountain and Snow Summit resorts, which host nearly 800,000 winter visits annually. The transaction will create one of the nation’s largest ski companies, with more than 2 million visitors per year.
The combined areas will offer a new joint pass, the Cali4nia Pass ($689), with unrestricted access to all four areas. The pass will go on sale at the Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails event at Bear Mountain this Saturday, September 27 and will then be available online for a limited time only at www.snowsummit.com or www.Cali4niaPass.com.
"The combination of these four mountain resorts creates diverse and unique offerings of both summer and winter experiences for day trips, weekend getaways and extended vacations", according to a prepared statement from Mammoth. Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, "with their full complement of outdoor activities from action sports to first-time family experiences", complement the big-mountain destination experience offered at Mammoth, the statement continued.
"We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this agreement with Big Bear Mountain Resorts. These two uniquely southern California resorts have been providing great skiing, riding and biking experiences to visitors from California and beyond. Millions have enjoyed their first mountain resort experience on the slopes of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, and we look forward to expanding upon the legacy that Dick Kun and his people have created over the past six decades", said Rusty Gregory, chairman and CEO of Mammoth Mountain.
"This acquisition represents the beginning of a renaissance for both Mammoth and Big Bear and is the first step in the next era of skiing and riding in California. In the coming months we will be announcing exciting new development and expansion plans for each of our four resorts designed to attract visitors from down the street, across the country, and around the world", added Gregory.
Dick Kun, long-time CEO of Big Bear Mountain Resorts, commented, "Mammoth has always been the natural long-term fit for the Big Bear family and we are thrilled to enter this agreement. I am deeply grateful to the employees, shareholders, and the Big Bear community for their work and support during the 63years of our operations".
Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor to Big Bear Mountain Resorts and assisted in initiating, structuring and negotiating the transaction on its behalf.
Closing is subject to certain conditions, including Big Bear Mountain Resort shareholder approval and transfer of the U.S. Forest Service Permit that permits operations on nearly 1,500 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is the leading four-season mountain resort in California. With 1.3-1.5 million annual skier visits, Mammoth Mountain is the third most frequented ski resort in the United States. With longstanding commitment to athletic excellence and innovative alpine, freestyle and nordic terrain, Mammoth is proud to be an official USSA training facility. The company owns and operates a variety of resort businesses including recreation, hospitality, real estate development, food and beverage and retail. Specific businesses owned and operated by Mammoth Mountain include Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, June Mountain, Tamarack Lodge and Resort, Mammoth Snowmobile Adventures, Mammoth Mountain Bike Park and the Mammoth Mountain Inn. Mammoth Mountain also operates Juniper Springs Resort, the Village Lodge and Sierra Star Golf Course in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vail Resorts Strengthens Commitment to Sustainability with Launch of EpicPromise


This Saturday, thousands of Vail Resorts, Inc. employees will gather to complete 13 trail, habitat or school restoration projects across the U.S. and in Jamaica to commemorate Vail Resorts’ newly launched EpicPromise, a new brand platform designed to engage resort guests and residents of the communities where it operates in one of the company’s core values, "Do good".

Over the last five years, Vail Resorts has consistently demonstrated a commitment to sustainability through environmental and community support, including:

• Over $7 million in contributions to more than 235 non-profit partners annually
• Energy reduction of 10 percent and a pledge to reduce another 10 percent by 2020
• More than $3.5 million raised through Vail Resorts’ guest donation program to sustain forest health*
• A leadership role in the restoration of the Hayman Fire area located on the Front Range of Colorado which improved the water source for 75 percent of Coloradoans
• Donate 20,000 company-sponsored volunteer hours annually

EpicPromise will highlight this already strong commitment and expand it to engage the millions of guests the company hosts each year as stewards of the natural environment and local communities.
"The mission of our business is to provide experiences of a lifetime in the great outdoors", said Rob Katz, chairman and CEO for Vail Resorts. "We have a special responsibility to preserve and protect the iconic landscapes which frame our mountain resorts, and help strengthen our local communities. We have implemented many sustainable practices at our company for years, and now we have the opportunity to inspire others to follow our lead. EpicPromise is how we will work together to create a more promising future for generations to come".
Capitalizing on Vail Resorts’ Epic brand, EpicPromise will become an integrated part of the guest experience from its dedicated website, EpicPromise.com, to Ski and Ride School, to on-mountain educational signage. Through these actions, Vail Resorts hopes to inspire every guest to identify a personal sustainability commitment and take action.
"The launch of EpicPromise is just the first step as we look forward to implementing new programs and efforts in the coming months that build on our sustainability leadership", said Beth Ganz, vice-president of public affairs and sustainability. "From our commitment to sustainable operations to inspiring our guests to make their own impact, we want to be a company known for taking action".


Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Park City Mountain Resort is Now Epic

Vail Resorts announced that with the Company’s acquisition of Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) in Park City, Utah, the iconic mountain resort now joins the Epic Pass, expanding the collection of legendary mountains offered on the industry-leading season pass to 22 resorts and more than 32,000 acres of the best skiing and riding in the world.
"Park City Mountain Resort is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world and as the newest addition to the Vail Resorts collection of world-class mountains, it’s now epic. We’re thrilled to be able to offer unlimited skiing and riding at Park City Mountain Resort on the Epic Pass for the 2014-15 winter season", said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "We continue to provide even greater value and variety in skiing and riding with the Epic Pass and significantly invest in the guest experience at our mountain resorts, including new chairlifts, on-mountain dining options and innovative snowmaking expansions for the coming winter".
The 2014-15 Epic Pass features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Furthermore, Epic Pass holders have the opportunity to extend their skiing and riding adventures globally with up to five consecutive free days (when booking in-resort lodging) at the renowned mountain resorts of Les 3 Vallées, France (Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle) and Verbier, Switzerland, and five consecutive free days at Niseko United, Japan. Vail Resorts is offering the industry’s best-selling season pass at $749 for adults and $389 for children (ages 5-12), but these prices are only guaranteed for a limited time.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vail Resorts Acquires Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah


Vail Resorts today announced that the Company has acquired Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) from Powdr Corp. for $182.5 million in cash, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. The acquisition includes all of the assets of Greater Park City Company (GPCC), the land used for ski terrain at the resort held by Ian Cumming, and certain base parking lands owned by Powdr Development Corp., which have approved zoning for approximately 687,000 square feet of residential and commercial development. The acquisition does not include the Gorgoza tubing operation, located approximately 10 miles from the resort, which will be retained by Powdr Corp.
With the acquisition, all aspects of the previously disclosed litigation with respect to PCMR have been settled and this dispute will no longer pose any future threat to disrupt the operation of the resort.
"First and foremost, we are very pleased to bring a permanent end to this dispute and provide assurance to the guests and employees of PCMR, and to everyone in the Park City community, that they no longer have to worry about any disruption to the operation of the Resort. This has been a difficult period for everyone involved and I commend John Cumming and Powdr Corp. for helping to find a solution to this situation", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.
"Park City Mountain Resort is one of the most spectacular mountain resorts and iconic brands in the ski industry and I am proud to have the resort become a part of Vail Resorts. The acquisition will allow us to immediately bring Park City Mountain Resort onto the Epic Pass, which will now offer skiers from across the country and around the world access to 22 resorts, including Canyons in Park City, Utah; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe. We look forward to working collaboratively with the entire Park City community, as well as city and county officials, as we chart the future for the resort, including how we can best bring the Canyons and Park City ski experiences together to create the largest mountain resort in the United States", he added.
Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts, will act as interim chief operating officer for the resort.
"We understand that this acquisition represents a change for all of the employees of PCMR and I look forward to working with everyone on the PCMR team as we develop a vision for the future of the resort", said Carrig.
Mountain operations of PCMR and Canyons will remain separate for the 2014-2015 ski season.
Park City Mountain Resort offers terrain for every type of skier and snowboarder, from perfectly manicured groomers to powder-filled bowls and some of the industry’s most progressive terrain parks and half pipes. Located in the heart of historic Park City, Utah–one of the country’s greatest ski towns–PCMR was named the fifth best resort in North America by readers of SKI Magazine in 2014. The mountain resort’s 16 lifts serve 114 runs, nine powder-filled bowls, four terrain parks and two half pipes. The mountain also offers many summer adventures including one of the world’s longest alpine slides, a nearly 4,000-foot long alpine coaster, zip lines and more than 70 miles of hiking and biking trails. Together with Canyons, the combined resort will offer over 7,000 acres of skiing and will be the largest ski resort in the United States.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Friday, September 5, 2014

150 Days To Go To Vail-Beaver Creek 2015


The 2014/15 World Cup season is quickly approaching and after a long and busy summer, in just over 50 days the best skiers in the world will be in Soelden (AUT) competing for the first titles of the winter.
This season, there will be some titles that will bring athletes and fans some additional excitement - from February 2nd-15th 2015 Vail Beaver Creek will be hosting 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and today marks 150 days to go until the Opening Ceremony!

The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are scheduled from February 2-15. The event is expected to showcase athletes from over 70 nations, along with an onsite media and broadcast entourage of approximately 1,500 members. An international television audience approaching 750 million people will watch the two weeks of racing and festivities.
Vail Resorts, the leading mountain resort operator in the United States, operate the mountain resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado.

The tradition of alpine ski racing has been interwoven throughout Vail and Beaver Creek’s history since Vail Mountain opened to the world in 1962. Founded by a ski racer, Vail hosted its first racing event, a U.S. Ski Team training camp, one week after opening.
Since 1983, the Vail Valley has played host to numerous annual World Cup races, including the 1994 and 1997 World Cup Finals. This number has been increased by the ability to hold competitions when other resorts have been forced to cancel their races as the Vail Valley has traditionally come to the aid of the FIS by picking up races from Aspen, Whistler, Park City and Val d’Isere, France.
The 1989 and 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships firmly established the Vail Valley as "the ski racing capital of North America", generating worldwide awareness for Vail and Beaver Creek. As a result of the 1989 Championships, Vail Associates’ international skier visits jumped from 3-4% to 12% for the winter of 1989-90, while the 1999 Championships generated the largest crowd in U.S. ski racing history and the coming out party for one of the world’s premier downhill courses, paving the way for Vail and Beaver Creek’s successful bid to host the 2015 World Championships.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

James Blunt To Open 2014-2015 Winter Season in Ischgl


Megastar James Blunt is to open the winter season in Ischgl on 29 November 2014. He will present his latest album Moon Landing at the world-famous Top of the Mountain Concert – entry to which is free with a valid ski pass!

Heading to the moon and back - James Blunt is set to ensure an out-of-this-world opening of the 2014/15 winter season in Ischgl on 29 November 2014 in the legend-ary Top of the Mountain Concert. The crowd are in for a fantastic experience as sounds from Blunt’s new Moon Landing album are heard in front of the gigantic mountain backdrop of the Silvretta Arena ski resort. From 18:00, the folk rock singer is to kick the musical highlights off on the ukulele and the piano in the centre of the resort of Ischgl as the spectacular sounds of his new hits like Postcards and Bonfire Heart herald a mega music event. Whether he will perform the world-famous ballads of You’re Beautiful and Carry me Home along with songs from his latest album is a matter keeping fans in suspense. Whatever the outcome, there is a unique experience in store – first enjoying skiing on the 238 or so kilometres of groomed ski pistes with the live concert following in the evening. A valid ski pass gives you free entry. A daily pass on the day of the concert costs 60 Euro, with a two-day ski pass available for 88 Euro per person. Those who truly can’t wait to make their mark on the snow this winter can carve their way down the pistes as early as Thursday 27 November 2014 as the new ski season opens.
The legendary Ischgl season opener is to provide spectators with world-class entertainment surrounded by ideal winter sport facilities. Skiers are to be transported this year by the new Pardatschgrat tricable gondola lift directly from the centre of the resort to the ski area in next to no time. Freeriders can meanwhile go on the hunt for new lines under the Piz Val Gronda cable car. The area was only opened in winter 2013/2014. The evening will be a time to put the skis down and celebrate the start of the season with a world-famous star.
James Blunt follows in the footsteps of a galaxy of superstars who have entertained skiers and boarders in the Austrian resort's traditional Top of the Mountain gig. Long time ago, Ischgl decided to put its entire advertising and marketing budget into staging two massive concerts a year to open and close the winter season. Elton John was the first star to feature in the Tirolean resort's now famous season closing concerts, back in 1995. Since then the resort has hosted Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Atomic Kitten, Peter Gabriel, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Pink, the Scissor Sisters, the Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Elton John again, Gabriella Cilmi, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Gossip, The Killers,Roxette, Mariah Carey, The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Nickelback and Robbie Williams.

James Blunt
 

After leaving the British army, James Blunt concentrated on his musical career. In 2005 he sang his way into his fans’ hearts with his number one hit You’re Beautiful and became the first British artist in nine years to top the US charts after Elton John with Candle in the Wind (1997). From the end of November 2014 he will have another thing in common, as Elton John took the world-famous Top of the Mountain stage by storm in both 1995 and 2008. James Blunt writes his own songs and touches those who hear them with his distinctive and powerful voice. For his new songs, Blunt has opted to incorporate the ukulele to emphasise feelings of freedom and joy. Feel-good songs and heart-rending lovesick ballads meet one another for the first time and take listeners on an emotional journey. Moon Landing is the British star’s fourth studio album and one of his most personal. He deals with the death of Whitney Houston among other topics. In Germany, the album has claimed second place in the album charts.

Ischgl (1377m) is a truly Ski Paradise in Tirol (Austria) with 238 km of prepared pistes, 43 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort. The modern lifts managed by the Silvretta Seilbahn AG Company offer a high level of comfort and countless extras, such as heated seats in the Fimbabahn cable car built for the 2007/08 season. A variety of slopes and ski routes offer a opportunity for everyone, from beginners to experts looking for challenging pistes. Eleven is the name of the longest piste with approximately 11 kilometres from the top of the ski resort in Greitspitz (2,872 metres) to Ischgl village (1,400 metres).
From Ischgl you can access to the Silvretta Arena Ski Paradise, thanks to an alliance between two Companies (Silvretta Seilbahn AG and Bergbahnen Sammaun AG) and two ski resorts (Ischgl-Sammaun) from two different countries (Switzerland-Austria).