Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on Internet

Over 42 million television viewers and a large online audience reflects the enhanced broadcast offer The UCI’s official media partner Red Bull Media House (RBMH) covered the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano for the fourth year running. In total, 19 live programmes (7 DHI, 6 XCO Men and 6 XCO Women) were broadcast on TV in 19 countries in Europe and North America, as well as in 24 countries in the Middle East and all over Africa. Furthermore, there were worldwide digital broadcasts on Red Bull TV and selected partner platforms.
About 1 million live views were registered on Red Bull TV throughout the season and there were around 1.9 million views by VOD in the first four days after each race. This result means that Red Bull Media House has once more raised the bar by increasing the viewership by 45% compared to 2014. Nearly two million viewers followed the races live on TV and a worldwide cumulative television audience of over 42 million tuned in to watch either the live coverage, highlights or news broadcasts of the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano.





The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on Social Media:



Instagram uci_cycling: 179,000 followers


Twitter UCI_MTB: 58,600 followers


YouTube: 203,298 followers


Red Bull multi-platform media brings the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to a global audience via RedBull TV. Red Bull Media House is the exclusive broadcaster and distribution partner of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano, producing live broadcasts, highlights shows and various clips and has been in partnership with the UCI since 2012. 

Red Bull UCI World Cup, Vallnord. Live broadcast


GoPro has been the exclusive camera sponsor of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and Championship as well as the UCI BMX World Championships since 2013. Adding an exciting dimension to the series coverage with unique viewpoint of the world’s best mountain bike athletes, GoPro is excited to meet two wheel fans around the globe at the UCI events.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Vallnord, Andorra


After the successful organisation of the MTB and Trial World Championships in 2015, a new edition of the MTB World Cup, the fourth to take place at this venue, comes to Vallnord, Andorra, in the heart of the Pyrenees. The programme will feature the Descent (DHI) and Olympic Cross Country (XCO) competitions, as Andorra hosts the ninth and final event on the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season. Riders will square off in this final showdown on the terrain that saw the world’s best battle it out for the rainbow jersey last September at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships.
Some 1,148 riders from 55 countries are expected to take part, with television coverage attracting more than 42 million viewers.
The Mountain Bike UCI World Cup will take place from 1 to 4 September in Vallnord Bike Park La Massana.


The Disciplines:

Cross-country Olympic (XCO) format races are held over undulating circuits (with technical descents, forest roads, rocky paths and obstacles) of 4 to 6 km, which riders must complete several times. The Elite racing times, for men and women, vary from 1h 30 minutes to 1h 45 minutes. An attractive course design that shows the discipline well on television and also spectator friendly is a necessity!

Downhill (DHI) is a race against the clock in which the rider negotiates a succession of fast and technical passages. The participant must demonstrate courage as well as sharp technical and piloting skills in order to battle tree roots, rocks, banked sections, bumps, jumps and other natural obstacles along the way.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has a long history. 
Over the years, the UCI has modified the format and introduced new initiatives in order to keep up with evolving trends and meet the expectations of athletes and fans.
It was 24 years ago that two American riders, John Tomac and Sara Ballantyne, became the first winners of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The year was 1991, and the World Cup series comprised nine rounds in seven countries, catering for Cross-country Olympic (XCO) specialists only.
Two years later, in 1993, the downhill (DHI) format joined the programme.
1998 was the year that the dual slalom – the forerunner of four-cross – made its debut in the World Cup. Dual slalom involved knock-out heats with two riders racing on parallel courses, and it featured in the World Cup for four years.
After four years on the programme, in 2001, the dual slalom was replaced by fourcross (4X) in which four riders race against each other on a single course.
Cross-country Eliminator was the latest mountain bike format to join the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from 2012 to 2014. This spectacular format for XCO specialists sees four competitors race head-to-head over a lap of around a kilometre. Introduced to the World Cup with three events in 2012, six Eliminator rounds appeared in 2013 and 2014.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The UTMB 2016 Is Over!



The 2016 UTMB® offered 7500 registered runners over the four scheduled races a suffocating edition in every sense of the word. The heat weave that started on Monday gave way to fierce thunderstorms Saturday evening, creating a complicated situation for the large field of runners still out in the mountains.
"I am certain that everyone will take away great memories from this edition: a fantastic natural mountain setting, a shared passion, commitment, pleasure and pain, laughter and tears, celebration, as well as a unique spirit and shared values between the organizing team, all participating townships, the volunteers, the extraordinary athletes, our partners, the media, and of course the spectators" said Antti Karava, Marketing and Communications director for Columbia Sporstwear International.

The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB)

The UTMB® offered a both incredible and uncertain outcome, both for the men and women. The 41- year-old Ludovic Pommeret ran an epic race to achieve one of his most resounding wins. The Northern French Alpine native went from near disaster –at midnight on Saturday, he was forced to walk from Les Contamines to Les Chapieux due to head and stomach aches, teetering somewhere around 50th place – to incredible success when several hours later, he ran his now "resuscitated" body past 49 people to take the lead. Contrary to deep field of favorites, such as Alberto Hernando (ESP), Miguel Heras (ESP), Ryan Sandes (RSA), Jason Schlarb (USA), Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA), Tofol Castanyer (ESP), Diego Pazos (SUI), and Didrik Hermansen (NOR), all who dropped out (as with 42% of all participants by 09:00 this morning), Ludovic Pommeret was able to recover his strength kilometer after kilometer. He joined, just 30km from the finish, American Zach Miller, who had been in the lead since the start, as well as Gediminas Grinius (LIT), before "leaving them in the dust" on the climb to Catogne. He expanded his lead on the climb to the Tête aux Vents (km 158), in temperatures rising to over 30°C, before running to victory in 22 hours in front of Gediminas and American Tim Tollofson, who finished the race strong. The Americans placed three runners in the top 6, making the United States the standout country for this edition.

The women's race was equally astounding and uncertain to the very end. Caroline Chaverot (FRA) and Andrea Huser (SUI) battled for first for more than 25 hours. The two favorites were never more than 20 minutes apart during the 170km race, with Caroline in the lead from start to finish. Her lead dropped to 7 minutes at La Forclaz (km 147), and then to 4 minutes soon thereafter. Everyone feared a repeat of 2015 for Caroline Chaverot (she dropped out in Vallorcine after having led the entire race). However, on the climbs to Catogne (km 147) and to the Tête aux Vents, Caroline built a more comfortable 10 to 12 minute lead to finish victorious in 25hrs and 15min, 7 minutes head of the 45-year-old Swiss nurse. "Just like last year, I had cramps, but this time around I was able to go all the way," explains Caroline Chaverot. "This victory is especially sweet, since it was a constant battle with Andrea. It's not like I had a two-hour lead. At one moment I almost gave up on winning when she was on the verge of catching up, thinking that 2nd place wouldn't be so bad. I had to really dig deeper than ever before to ensure the win," concludes the woman who succeeds Nathalie Mauclair and Karine Herry among the victorious French women of the UTMB®. While a downpour ravaged the course at the beginning of the evening, a similar battle played out for 3rd place between Spaniard Uxue Fraile and Frenchwoman Juliette Blanchet. The latter could not keep up during the last twenty kilometers, ceding the third spot on the podium to the Spaniard (27hrs 10min).

Men 

1st: Ludovic POMMERET- FR – 22:00:02 
2nd: Gediminas GRINIUS- LTU - 22:26:05 
3rd: Tim TOLLEFSON- USA - 22:30:28 

Women 

1st: Caroline CHAVEROT- FRA - 25:15:40 
2nd: Andrea HUSER- SUI - 25:22:56 
3rd: Uxue FRAILE AZPEITIA- ESP - 27:10:22 

Number at the start: 2555 including 258 women (10.10% of participants) 
Number of finishers: 786 (30.76% of participants) including 59 women (7.51% of all finishers) (22.87% finishing rate for the women) 
Total number of abandons: 1079 (42.23% of participants)


On the CCC®, 1386 finishers succeeded in crossing the finish line (65% of all participants). Michel Lanne was the fastest among them, winning this year's edition in 12hrs and 10min. For his first participation in a UTMB® event, the mountain rescue professional from Annecy's PGHM fulfilled one of his longtime dreams. Once again, the top spot was up in the air until the very end, with a group of three runners hot on the Frenchman's tails: the 22-year-old Ruy Ueda from Japan, Italian veteran Giuliano Cavallo, and Frenchman Clément Molliet. The three men finished in that order at Triangle de l'Amitié square in Chamonix; only 15 minutes separated first from fourth place. For the women, Scandinavia showcased a new sensation and proved the incredible strength of the Nordic trail-running field by placing Mimmi Kotka on the podium's highest step. Brit Jo Meek and Spaniard Teresa Nimes Perez fought hard for the last two spots on the podium.

Men
1st: Pau CAPELL - ESP - 14:45:44 
2nd: Yeray DURAN LOPEZ - ESP - 15:14:07 
3rd: Franco COLLE - ITA - 15:32:45 

Women
1st: Delphine AVENIER - FRA - 18:46:24 
2nd: Meredith EDWARDS - USA - 18:59:26 
3rd: Christelle BARD - FRA - 19:29:06
Number at the start: 1794 including 174 women (9.70% of participants) 
Number of finishers: 1060 (59.09% of participants) including 111 women (10.47% of all finishers) (63.79% finishing rate for the women) 
Total number of abandons: 734 (40.91% of participants)


An overheated TDS® Under sunny blue skies and extremely warm temps, Spaniard Pau Capell, the current leader on the l’Ultra-Trail® World Tour, won the race in 14:45, almost a half an hour in front of fellow Iberian Yeray Duran and Italian Franco Colle. The first Frenchman, Ugo Ferrari, finished just off the podium in 4th place. For the women, local runner Delphine Avenier took first place in front of American Meredith Edwards and Christelle Bard (FRA). 

Men 

1st: Michel LANNE - FRA - 12:10:04 
2nd: Ruy UEDA - JPN - 12:15:20 
3rd: Giuliano CAVALLO - ITA - 12:19:21 

Women 

1st: Mimmi KOTKA - SWE- 13:42:46 
2nd: Jo MEEK - GBR - 14:09:34
3rd: Teresa NIMES PEREZ - FRA - 14:14:01 

Number of participants: 2129 including 319 women (14.98% of participants) 
Number of finishers: 1386 (65.10% of finishers) including 215 women (15.51% of all finishers) (67.40% finishing rate for the women) 
Total number of abandons: 741 (34.81% of all participants)


And number four for Xavier Xavier Thévenard (FR) decided to enter the only race missing from his list of wins in Chamonix. The OCC is now his after finishing first in 05:28:37 on the 55km course. He won with a fifteen minute lead over Moroccan Rachid El Morabity, four-time Marathon des Sables, and Thibaut Baronian (FR).

Men 

1st: Xavier THEVENARD - FRA - 05:28:37 
2nd: Rachid EL MORABITY - MAR - 05:43:23 
3rd: Thibaut BARONIAN - FRA - 05:43:48 

Women 

1st: Mercedes ARCOS ZAFRA - ESP - 06:54:13 
2nd: Lara CRIVELLI - ITA - 07:34:06 
3rd: Sonia LOCATELLI - ITA - 07:34:19 

Number at the start: 1414 including 356 women (25.18% of participants)
Number of finishers: 1232 (87.13% of participants) including 317 women (25.73% of all finishers) (89.04% finishing rate for the women) 
Total number of abandons: 182 (12.87% of all participants)

Friday, August 26, 2016

UTMB 2016 Race Kicks Off Today

Today, Friday 26th at 18:00 in the Place du Triangle de l'Amitié of Chamonix a new edition of the UTMB will start.
The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is one of the greatest European Mountain Trail Races. The international race takes place in one of the most incredible landscapes on the world. A breathtaking scenery of seven valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits like the Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géant and the rock face of the Grandes Jorasses. The athletes cover a distance of 168 km and 9,600 of positive altitude change along the famous GR TMB, within 46 hours, at an altitude ranging between 1012 m and 2537 m., crossing six passes over 2000 metres high. They will pass through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. The sporting and human achievement is remarkable: 168 km is the distance between Paris and Auxerre by the motorway; it is also the distance of four marathons back to back. The positive height gain is equivalent to twice the ascension of Everest from base camp.
  • 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland
  • 3 alpine regions: The 2 Savoie, The Aosta Valley andValais
  • 19 communes: Chamonix Mont-Blanc (FR), Les Houches (FR), Saint-Gervais (FR), Les Contamines-Montjoie (FR), Servoz (FR), Hauteluce (FR), Beaufort (FR), Bourg-Saint-Maurice (FR), Séez (FR), La Thuile (IT), Pré-Saint-Didier (IT), Morgex (IT), Courmayeur Mont-Blanc (IT), Orsières (CH), La Fouly et Champex-Lac, Trient (CH), Vallorcine (FR), Finhaut (CH), Salvan (CH), Martigny-Combe (CH)
  • 2300 runners (86 countries)
  • Maximum race time: 46 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is 20 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum of 9 qualification points
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website


UTMB 2016 route preview por UltraTrailMontBlanc

Looking for Inspiration: The Business of Creating Memories III

We are in the Business of Creating Memories...

UTMB 2016: The Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix Race Kicks Off This Morning

Today at 09:00 the fourth wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Courmayer on the CCC race,
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website





Created in 2006, it has become as popular as its big sister. The CCC is considered by many runners to be "the little one" nevertheless it too, constitutes one of the most difficult challenges in ultra - trail.
A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc, starting from Courmayeur with 101km, 6,100 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy.
Starting in the centre of Courmayeur Friday August 26th at 9:00.
  • 1900 runners
  • Maximun race time: 26:30 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is12 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum 3 qualification points.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: The Business of Creating Memories II

We are in the Business of Creating Memories...



An amazing video sharing a families experience heli-skiing together at CMH Heli-Skiing.

UTMB 2016: The Orsières-Champex-Chamonix Race Kicks Off This Morning

Today at 08:15 the third wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Orsières Place Centrale,
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website



The Orsières-Champex-Chamonix (OCC)

The new race was launched in 2014. Tthis race will be perfect for fans of medium distances (in the category Trail Ultra Medium between 42km and 69km). Therefore, for the less "ultra" runners wishing to get into the event of the UTMB® will find a race suitable for them to start the adventure. Orsières will finally experiment the rhythm of a start of a race desired for several years.
The race will start from Orsières located southwest of the canton in the Val d’Entremont. This valley offers unique landscapes: ultimate peaks on the eastern flanks of the Mont Blanc drawing the franco-swiss frontier, hanging glaciers on polished rocks, fiery torrents… The layout of the OCC goes through that nature, in a charming atmosphere before reaching Champex and the last part just as magical at the UTMB® or the CCC®.
Starting from Orsières Place Centrale on Thursday August 25th  at 8:15.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: The Business of Creating Memories

We are in the Business of Creating Memories...



A memorable trip is greater than the sum of its parts – it’s a feeling you’re left with when you go home; a residual awe, a lingering smile. A trip into these mountains though, that feeling lasts. It’s easy to know about our number one rankings, our legendary terrain, our reliably deep snow and our world record-breaking gondola but those take a back seat to how it actually feels to be here. Which is, truthfully, a bit hard to grasp from a YouTube video. What we can tell you, is that it’s a mountain town with an undisputed vibe and an Olympic legacy. It’s a pedestrian village with ski-in/ski-out lodging. It’s world-famous après. Five star dining. Spas. Shopping. Nightlife. And it is, of course, the 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, and three glaciers that make the two largest, #1 ranked, side-by-side ski mountains in North America. But the big picture isn’t just about those things. It’s about the feeling you have when you’re here, and when you leave.

UTMB 2016: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie Race Kicks Off This Morning

Today at 06:00 the second wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Courmayer on the TDS race,
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website



Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS)

Wilder and more technical than the UTMB and the CCC, in the heart of the Aosta valley and the two Savoie, this demanding race offers a new vision of the tour of Mont Blanc and the Beaufortain country. The route will allow the discovery of the col de la Youlaz (2,661m) above Courmayeur, the "passage du Curé" or the sublime view of the massif of Mont Blanc from the col de la Gitte in the heart of Beaufortain.
A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc starting from Courmayeur with 119km, 7,250 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy.
Starting from the centre of Courmayeur on Wednesday August 24th at 06:00.
  • 1600 runners
  • Maximum race time : 33 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is 14 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum of 3 qualification points

Monday, August 22, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: Excerpts About Ageism In Marketing


In his book Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Peter Drucker said the number one issue facing business is coping with the worldwide decline in birth rates. This has dramatically changed age ratios, making young people a smaller percentage of the population and older people a larger percentage (David B. Wolfe. Marketing to the new Customer Majority).

Population ageing is unprecedented, without parallel in the history of humanity. One of the great achievements of the twentieth century is a dramatic rise in life expectancy. But, increases in the proportions of older persons (60 years or older) are being accompanied by declines in the proportions of the young (under age 15). By 2050, the number of older persons in the world will exceed the number of young for the first time in history. Moreover, by 1998 this historic reversal in relative proportions of young and old had already taken place in the more developed regions.
The number of people aged 60 years and over has tripled since 1950, reaching 600 million in 2000 and surpassing 700 million in 2006. It is projected that the combined senior and geriatric population will reach 2 billion by 2050.
Most of the developed world now has sub-replacement fertility levels, and population growth now depends largely on immigration together with population momentum which arises from previous large generations now enjoying longer life expectancy.
The majority of older persons are women, as female life expectancy is higher than that for men. In 2000, there were 63 million more women than men aged 60 or older, and at the oldest ages, there are  two to five times as many women as men.
Countries with high per capita incomes tend to have lower participation rates of older workers.
Population ageing is enduring -we will not return to the young populations that our ancestors knew-, and has profound implications for many facets of human life.
The profound, pervasive and enduring consequences of population ageing present enormous opportunities as well as enormous challenges for all societies.
UN (2002). World Population Ageing: 1950-2050



As one would expect, companies should consider these demographical realities and adapt their strategies in order to stay on top of the economic game. Yet, unlike other industries such as travel and insurance, the advertising industry has been slow to respond to these changes (Vivek Vallurupalli. Too Old for Ads? Implications of Age Discrimination in Advertising).

For decades the advertising industry has worshipped at the altar of youth. Advertisers have been chasing young money since the nineteen-twenties, when consultants started advising companies to woo trendsetting flappers. The baby boomers cemented the youth infatuation; the Pepsi Generation was the biggest, most affluent, and most free-spending group of young people anyone had ever seen. In the sixties, ABC persuaded Nielsen to measure a show's popularity with younger viewers so that the network could demonstrate to advertisers that it was the boomers' favorite (James Surowiecki. Ageism in Advertising).

There's only one small problem with that: People 55+ spend the most money in almost all categories. They buy the most cars, spend the most on electronics, and control the most wealth. Yet more than 80% of the wealth in North American financial institutions is in the hands of people over 50, giving them 2.5 times the discretionary spending of the coveted 18 to 34 age group. They spend an estimated $2 trillion per year on products and services.

The advertising industry has focused on the key 18 to 49 target, believing that young people were most likely to develop lifelong loyalties to certain brands.
Media buyers estimate that 55% of the $20 billion spent in television primetime advertising is directed at the 18-49 age group.
Yet only 10% of all advertising is aimed at people 55+.
But, a RoperASW study found that people over 50 were as likely as younger consumers to switch brands for things such as banks, airlines, computers and even bath soap.
Another report showed that when it came to other product categories, like athletic shoes, home electronics and cellphones - older consumers were even more open to switching brands than younger ones. As a matter of fact, 78% of people between 56 and 90 are "likely" or "very likely" to try new products.
If the age-old axiom is to "follow the money," why isn't advertising's famous ability to do that kicking in?
There are three possible reasons (Terry O'Reilly. The Age of Persuasion. Ageism In Advertising):
  1. The average age of ad agency people is around 30. So if the people advising advertisers where to spend their money are young, it's not surprising that companies are being convinced they should be targeting the young. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Or perhaps companies suffer from what economists call an internal audience problem—the people who create their ads don't look like the people who buy their products (James Surowiecki. Ageism in Advertising).
  2. Marketing's lack of attention to 55+ is cultural. Ignoring older people is tolerated. If society feels that way at large, and if advertising follows the parade, why should marketers feel any different?
  3. The advertising industry has institutionalized the youth strategy. While it has recently shifted that demographic slightly to reflect ages 25 to 54, a lot of media thinking believes the 55+ consumers will be reached with the "spill" of their 25 to 54 media buys. But even the word "spill" suggests a lack of focus and respect. So advertisers continue shutting the door at age 49, or even 54, despite the fact that the 55+ market would probably grow revenues dramatically.

"There's now a kind of ritualistic, inertial quality to the way ads get bought", CBS's David Poltrack says. "The old categories are increasingly irrelevant, but we keep using them". Twenty or thirty years ago, brand loyalty was more durable. Consumers—particularly older ones—were less sophisticated and less restless, and had fewer brands to choose from. So it made sense to get them while they were young. But today the boomers, steeped in advertising from cradle to couch, are comfortable navigating a marketplace of limitless choice. Even people supposedly settling into their golden years have been taught to shop at Target, pop Aleve, and drink Starbucks. Of course, there is a demographic of genuine stick-in-the-mud types, who have decided what they're after and are resistant to all arguments to the contrary.
They're the ones who work in advertising. (James Surowiecki. Ageism in Advertising).

Today's richest market is the New Customer Majority-middle-aged and older adults who make up the biggest percentage of the buying public. Never before have adults 40 years and older been in the majority. Understanding this population and persuasively selling to it require a new kind of marketing research arsenal (David B. Wolfe, Robert E. Snyder. Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the New Customer Majority).
Older people behave differently. Changes in goals, values, and in what they want from life changes behavior as well as needs. Life satisfaction is more often sought in experiences than in things. The narcissistic and materialistic influences that drive much of the behavior of younger people tend to ebb among older people (David B. Wolfe. Marketing to the new Customer Majority).

Companies that want to tap into this important segment should start learning how to adress the needs of this market and how to reach it.

I started this post with Peter Drucker and I also want to finish it with another of his quotes:

"Basic assumptions about reality are the paradigms of a social science, such as management. They are usually held subconsciously by the scholars, the writers, the teachers, the practitioners in the field. Yet those assumptions largely determine what the discipline assumes to be reality (...)
For a social discipline such as management, the assumptions are actually a good deal more important than are the paradigms for a natural science (...) The paradigm -that is, the prevailing general theory- has no impact on the natural universe (...) The social universe has no "natural laws" (...) It is thus subject to continuous change. And this means that assumptions that were valid yesterday can become invalid and, indeed, totally misleading in no time at all (...)
What matters most in a social discipline such as management are therefore the basic assumptions. And a change in the basic assumptions matters even more" (Peter Drucker. Management Challenges for the 21st Century).

Léo Taillefer's Winning Line of the 2016 GoPro Line of the Winter Contest

Léo Taillefer wins GoPro's Line of the Winter contest for an unprecedented second year in a row and takes home $20,000!
Watch as GoPro shows up unexpected in Léo's hometown to surprise him with the big news.
After over 300 entries, Léo won 3 out of the 4 months of the contest and this years king of Line of the Winter. His unique creativity and ability to push the limits each month separated himself from the rest and secured another unprecedented win.
Shot 100% on the HERO4 camera from http://GoPro.com.

 


 

The UTMB First Race Kicks Off This Morning

UTMB week in Chamonix kicks off today. This morning at 09:00 the first wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Chamonix on the PTL race, an epic multi-day race of 290km - the longest in the UTMB event.
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website




A hallucinatory and non competitive event! A "grand" tour of Mont Blanc adding high passes, often higher than 2,500 metres and with some delicate passages. If you like solitude, solidarity and total adventure, that is the reason for trying it once.
This ultra-endurance pedestrian event leads participants on a large tour of Mont-Blanc,taking high routes, without way-markers on the ground, which necessitates the sense of orientation on and off paths.
Its conception is original and its unusual specificities distinguish it from other races. The spirit of the  PTL® depends upon mental engagement, an adventurous team spirit as well as sporting values and also those of the mountains.
  • An event without final positions and in complete autonomy, to be realised by teams of 3 (or 2) inseparable runners. The total number of runners will be limited to 300.
  • The route is different each year, not way marked but simply mapped (GPS waypoints are provided). So as to progress in security competitors must be able to master navigation with a GPS and also have sufficient knowledge in map reading, the use of a compass and of an altimeter.
  • Around 300km and 28,000 metres of positive height gain
  • Maximum authorized time: 141 hours
  • Start from Chamonix Monday August 22nd at 9:00

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Fourth Phase. Official Trailer

From the creators of The Art of FLIGHT, Red Bull Media House presents The Fourth Phase, a snowboarding epic starring iconic athlete Travis Rice.
While exploring the untapped backcountry of his native Wyoming, Rice plots a 16,000 mile course to follow the hydrological cycle around the north Pacific, where snow and ice create dreamlike landscapes on the towering mountains above.
"The mechanics of how our winters work have always been intriguing to me”, said Rice. “Creating ‘The Fourth Phase’ brought an incredible group of snowboarders together with the hardest working, most committed production crew in the game, to witness first-hand the many moods of the North Pacific storm engine. The journey was created under the premise that to know something and to truly understand something - you have to become it".
We are taking the audience on a real journey with all its ups and downs", said Jon „JK“ Klaczkiewicz , the film’s director. "At the film’s core, we are documenting incredible snowboard action in remote corners of the earth, but we are also telling an emotional human story".
From the Japanese Alps to the volcanoes of Russia, and a spectacularly remote area of Alaska, Rice is joined by several of snowboarding’s most innovative riders including Mark Landvik, Eric Jackson, Bryan Iguchi, Pat Moore, Mikkel Bang, Jeremy Jones, Victor de Le Rue, Ben Ferguson, and more.
Scored by Kishi Bashi, The Fourth Phase carves a fresh path by using an artistic blend of action, story and cinematography to bring this stunning 4K feature to life. This film is for anyone fascinated by the possibilities of adventure, of the natural world – of life.
The highly anticipated film premieres globally on October 2 on Red Bull TV.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: The Marketing Plan

"Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view… Business success is not determined by the producer but by the customer" (Peter Drucker)
"Today marketing is not simply a business function: It’s a philosophy, a way of thinking, and a way of structuring your business and your mind" (Philip Kotler).


A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. A marketing plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a company's marketing efforts for the coming future.
Done properly, your marketing plan will dramatically improve the success of your organizationThe right marketing plan identifies everything from:
  • who your target customers are to
  • how you will reach them
  • to how you will retain your customers so they repeatedly buy from you.
In the 1990s, PR Smith created the SOSTAC framework. This means breaking your plan down into six elements:

S stands for Situation Analysis – which means where are we now?
O stands for Objectives which means where do we want to go?
S stands for Strategy which summarises how we are going to get there.
T stands for Tactics which are the details of strategy.
A is for Action or implementation – putting the plan to work.
C is for Control which means measurement, monitoring, reviewing, updating and modifying.

This are the key sections you must include in your marketing plan (based in Dave Lavinsky,
Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What To Include):
  1. Executive Summary. Your Executive Summary will be helpful in giving yourself and other constituents an overview of your plan.
  2. Market and competition research(including benchmarking). Gathering and classifying data about the market the organization is currently in.
    As a first step, marketers need to understand customer needs and wants and the marketplace within which they operate. Examining the market dynamics, patterns, customers, and the current sales volume for the industry as a whole. Also, the marketing plan should identify the organization's competition.
    Benchmarking is the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies.
  3. Target Customers. Being able to identify your target customers is basic to help you succeed.
    Write down your brand-positioning statement for your target customers.
    The best way to define your target audience is to create buyer personas and identify tribes.
    A Persona is a description of a specific person who might want your services.
    As Marketers we need to move away from market segments based on characteristics, and instead embrace consumer tribes, which are based on behavior. Tribes are now a part of the social landscape and companies will need to learn to engage with them if they are to be competitive.
  4. Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Having a strong USP is of critical importance as it distinguishes your company from competitors.
  5. Pricing and Positioning Strategy. Your pricing and positioning strategy must be aligned.
  6. Distribution Plan. Your distribution plan details how customers will buy from you.
  7. Promotion Strategy. Blended Marketing. Mix Offline and Online to create a more complete, overall marketing strategy.
    Paid Owned Earned Media (P.O.E.M) is a framework that marketers use which incorporates a blended approach of traditional marketing, digital media and engagement as a more holistic marketing strategy.
    Social media has become an essential part of businesses' marketing plans because every type of customer is on some type of platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and other networks.
  8. Events and BTL Actions Strategy. Events are a powerful marketing tool and a great opportunity to assist in creating, changing or reinforcing brands.
  9. Conversion Strategy. Conversion strategies refer to the techniques you employ to turn prospective customers into paying customers.
  10. Joint Ventures and Partnerships. Marketing partnerships are a powerful way to expose yourself to customers you might otherwise never reach.
  11. Referral Strategy. A strong customer referral program could revolutionize your success. For example, if every one of your customers referred one new customer, your customer base would constantly grow.
  12. Retention Strategy. Identify and document ways you can better retain customers here.
  13. Financial Projections. Your financial projections, include all the information documented in your marketing plan and include, for instance, the promotional expenses you expect to incur and what your expected results will be in terms of new customers, sales and profits.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: Lessons To Be Learned From an Elvis Song

Yesterday marks the 39th anniversary of the death of legendary musician Elvis Presley at the young age of just 42.
"A Little Less Conversation" is a song written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange originally performed by Elvis Presley for the 1968 film Live a Little, Love a Little. The song became a minor hit in the United States when released as a single with "Almost in Love".
But in 2002 a remix by Dutch musician Tom Holkenborg, better known as Junkie XL, of a later re-recording of the song by Presley became a worldwide hit, topping the singles charts in nine countries and was awarded certifications in ten countries by 2003. In the United States, the song peaked at 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart, the first Hot 100 hit for Presley since 1981, and extending his list of charted singles into the 21st century. 


We are in the eye of the storm of massive change and Tourism Destinations are facing big changes in their business environment, and they often fail to respond effectively.
How to evolve a strategy for coping with unanticipated events, changes, challenges and crisis? 
To survive, organisations have to embrace change. But the fundamental problem with that is that people want things to stay exactly as they were. Confronted with a disruption in business conditions, many destinations are desperate to find the key to adapt theirselves to the new playground. Frequently, the problem for them is not an inability to take action but an inability to take appropriate action.
One of the most common problems is a condition that professor Donald Sull called active inertia. "Inertia is usually associated with inaction—picture a billiard ball at rest on a table—but physicists also use the term to describe a moving object’s tendency to persist in its current trajectory. Active inertia is an organization’s tendency to follow established patterns of behaviour—even in response to dramatic environmental shifts. Stuck in the modes of thinking and working that brought success in the past, market leaders simply accelerate all their tried-and-true activities".
We are in a time of extreme turbulence accompanied by rapid evolutionary change. You must adjust and adapt your Marketing Plan to keep up with a changing marketplace. Look for ways to adapt your destination, keeping your values and maintaining your differences with the competitors. To do that you must avoid the tendency to follow the current because it is what others do. 
Update, and change your destination. Determine how your destination will appeal more to your target customer. But remember, "When change makes us better, it’s because we have learned how to turn a challenging situation to our own advantage, not merely because change happens", said Stan Goldberg.
Keep the good, change the bad, and rejuvenate your destination to be the one customers are looking for.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

GoPro Ski: Chasing El Niño with Chris Benchetler. Ep. 4: "The Sierra Trifecta"

X Games Gold Medalist, Jossi Wells, steps out of the park and into the Mammoth backcountry with Chris Benchetler for the "The Sierra Trifecta," skiing, climbing and biking - all in one day.
In this final episode of Chasing El Niño, Chris and his ski crew hike 6,000 vertical feet through rock fields to find the last of this season's snow in the Sierras.
From deep powder in January to spring slush in May, Chris documented a skier's dream winter by chasing the best storms around North America.

Monday, August 15, 2016

GoPro Ski: Chasing El Niño with Chris Benchetler. Ep. 3: "The Meltdown"

A wave of warm weather disrupts Chris Benchetler's plans for a heli-skiing trip in British Columbia for Episode 3. Taking advantage of the world class warm-weather skiing offered in the Sierra Nevada, Chris invites long-time friends, Bryan Fox and Scotty Smith, to a backcountry camping adventure.
Benchetler's crew and their love for the mountains shines through in this episode as they get creative building jumps over their campsite - making the most of the conditions. Skiing is all about having fun with your friends and exploring the world, as perfectly captured in this episode.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

GoPro Ski: Chasing El Niño with Chris Benchetler. Ep. 2: "It's Always Cloudy in British Columbia"

In the second episode of Chasing El Niño with Chris Benchetler, Chris heads north to British Columbia in search for powder on Canada's steeper, larger terrain. Joined by Canadian professional skier, Nick McNutt, the crew experiences a long spell of ultra wet snow and zero visibility. After weeks and weeks searching for the right conditions, it seems like the idea of riding champagne powder underneath a beaming sun is nothing but a dream.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

GoPro Ski: Chasing El Niño with Chris Benchetler. Ep. 1: "California’s Comeback"

Follow Chris Benchetler in his new GoPro Series - Chasing El Niño - as he searches for the best snow conditions up and down the West Coast of USA and Canada during the 2015-2016 snow season.
In Episode 1 "California's Comeback" - Chris skis his home mountain, Mammoth Mountain, and the surrounding backcountry. Together with his filmer, Matt Cook, they aim to show backcountry skiing in a way that hasn’t been seen before, exploring areas of the Sierra Nevada that have been inaccessible for years due to the severe drought.

 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Vancouver 2010 Made Whistler a "Better Place"


The Resort Municipality of Whistler is located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia.
For the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler hosted Olympic and Paralympic Alpine skiing, Cross-country skiing and Biathlon, as well as Olympic Nordic combined, Ski jumping, Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton.
Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,174 centimetres (462 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America.
The Canadian resort used the Winter Games as a catalyst to achieve its long-term development goals in the local community, according to former Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed.
Melamed, who was Mayor of Whistler from 2005 to 2011, played a key role during preparations for the Games and says that the legacies that could be gained from the event were always at the forefront of organisers’ minds.
"We started with a clear sense of what the community wanted and we used the Games as a catalyst to take us there", he explains. "It’s about doing your homework before the Games and having a long-term view. What is your vision and what is it you want to get out of the Games, beyond just hosting the events?".
Those community goals included creating a new social space in the centre of the village as a legacy of the Live Site that was built to host concerts and medal ceremonies during the Games.
"The celebration site that was built in Whistler was always intended to become a special place in the village, which in the past had been an unused site", explains Melamed. "That’s now been converted into the Olympic Plaza, and it’s become a fantastic place, not just to celebrate 2010, but also to bring Whistler into the present with a new cultural hub that provides a family and play area".
According to Melamed, the plaza has also provided economic benefits by hosting concerts during the summer and helping to attract other major events to the area, such as Ironman Triathlon Series.
Whistler also used the Games to provide low-cost housing to local residents by converting the Athletes Village, which housed approximately 2,400 athletes and officials during Vancouver 2010, into a new neighbourhood, called Cheakamus Crossing.
"It was intentionally designed so that it would provide about 85% local resident housing at below market prices", explains Melamed. "It’s become a fantastic new neighbourhood for Whistler and a place where local residents can buy a property and actually call Whistler ‘home’".
Melamed also praises the transport legacies of the Games, which include increased use of public transit systems and the new Sea-to-Sky highway, linking Whistler to Vancouver. The $600 million investment to improve the safety, reliability and capacity of the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler will be publicised for providing visitors with a faster, easier and more enjoyable journey to and from the resort than previously.
"Some people would say that has been the most important legacy and there’s no question it has made the trip easier and even more breath-taking – it’s a beautiful drive", says Melamed. "The safety of the highway has also vastly improved, which has been a big plus, and it’s made the drive shorter".
Four years on from hosting the Games, Melamed says that Whistler’s tourism is also now witnessing a post-Olympic boost.
"We’re now experiencing the lift from the global recognition that the Games brought Whistler", he explains. "We anticipated that there might be a little bit of a delay, but visitor numbers are now up. People got to see Whistler – and the beautiful scenery and visuals that were beamed around the world – and it may have taken them a couple of years to put it on their travel plan, but now they’re starting to come in increased numbers".
A study made after the celebration of the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler show that the resort's role as Host Mountain Resort has led to significant gains in international awareness according to the Canadian resort, "...a critical element in growing visitation over the coming years".
Whistler calculates that approximately 3.5 billion people around the world watching the Games on their televisions and online.
Based on a study conducted by Tourism Whistler in partnership with Tourism British Columbia, awareness of Whistler increased significantly in the key overseas markets of United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. The study measured awareness of Whistler before and after the 2010 Winter Games (November 2009, January 2010 and March 2010).
Increases by market: United Kingdom awareness of Whistler increased from 32 per cent to 45 percent, in Germany awareness increased from 19 per cent to 42 per cent and in Australia, already the most aware with 48 per cent of Australians knowing about Whistler before the Games, 62 per cent were aware afterwards.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s media and public relations activities around the Games also generated about CAD 1 billion in ‘Advertising Value Equivalency’ in 2010, while global audiences were reached 12 billion times in 2010 by Olympic coverage with Canadian tourism messages.
Indeed, FutureBrand ranked Canada as the number one country brand in 2010, crediting the positive effects of hosting the Games, and noting CTC’s Olympic Games tourism strategy and its strong tourism brand as a key influence.

Despite the many visible benefits that Vancouver 2010 has brought to Whistler, Melamed believes that the most significant legacy is an intangible one.
"Before the Games, I didn’t really understand what the Games could bring or what they could mean to a town such as Whistler or even a country like Canada", he says. "But the magic we felt in Whistler, and the national pride and the sense of achievement we drew from everything was one of the most important things to come out of the Games (...) You can talk about the bricks and mortar legacies, or the economic benefits, but for me this national pride that erupted as a result of the Games is something that you can’t really put a price on".

Vancouver 2010 Legacy Lives On

More than four years after it hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver is still benefitting from being an Olympic city thanks to the legacy plans that were put in place by the Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee (VANOC), local stakeholders, and with the support of the IOC.

Vancouver 2010
12th February - 28th February
NOCs: 82.


Athletes: 2566 (1522 men, 1044 women)
Sports: 7
Events: 86. Alpine skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding, Nordic combined, Cross-country skiing, Ski jumping, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Luge, Ice hockey, Curling, Figure skating, Short Track Speed Skating and Speed Skating.

The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12 to February 28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University Endowment Lands, and in the resort town of Whistler.The city of Vancouver
When Vancouverites returned from the Squaw Valley Olympic Winter Games in 1960 they only had one thought in mind: Why not host the Winter Games in Vancouver?. All they needed was a mountain and they chose Whistler Mountain – a mining claim at Mile 40 on the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. Based on the potential they saw, the Garibaldi Olympic Development Association (GODA) was formed and in 1961 an audacious bid was put forward for Whistler to be the Canadian nominee for the 1968 Olympic Winter Games. A long journey to host the Winter Olympic Games just started. After six attempts Vancouver was elected host city of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010 at the 115th IOC Session in Prague on 2 July 2003.
The 2010 Winter Olympics were the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

Venues (source: 2010 Winter Olympics official report):

The venues for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games stretched over a 120-kilometre zone from Richmond, through downtown Vancouver and north to the mountain resort of Whistler.
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games events in Vancouver included curling, figure skating, ice hockey, sledge hockey, short-track speed skating and wheelchair curling.
Speed skating took place in Richmond, while the snowboard and freestyle skiing events were hosted at Cypress Mountain in the District of West Vancouver. The Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, were staged indoors at BC Place in Vancouver city centre.
For the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler hosted Olympic and Paralympic Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and biathlon, as well as Olympic Nordic combined, ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. Olympic and Paralympic Villages and media facilities were located in Vancouver and Whistler.
In its 2002 evaluation of Vancouver's bid during the bidding process for the 2010 Games, the Evaluation Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) highlighted the number and quality of existing competition and training facilities as one of the bid's strengths. Of the competition venues that the bid proposed for use during the Games, six required new construction, with the remainder already built in Vancouver and Whistler.

  • Canada Hockey Place (Vancouver). Ice hockey.
  • Cypress Mountain (West Vancouver). Freestyle skiing, Snowboarding.
  • Pacific Coliseum (Vancouver). Figure skating, short track speed skating.
  • Richmond Olympic Oval (Richmond). Speed skating.
  • UBC Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (University Endowment Lands, UBC). Ice hockey.
  • Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (Vancouver). Curling.
  • Whistler Creekside (Whistler). Alpine skiing.
  • Whistler Olympic Park (Whistler). Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, Ski jumping.
  • Whistler Sliding Centre (Whistler). Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton.
  • BC Place Stadium (Vancouver). Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
  • Main Media Centre (Vancouver). Media centre.
  • Vancouver Olympic Village. Athlete accommodation.
  • Whistler Media Centre (Whistler). Media centre.
  • Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village. Athlete accommodation.
  • Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza. Ceremonies and Presentations.

From new sporting venues and infrastructure improvements to environmental and economic benefits, the city used the Winter Games as a catalyst to create a number of lasting legacies.
Perhaps the most evident is the sporting legacy that the Games provided. As well as the construction of new facilities – such as the Richmond Olympic Oval – Vancouver 2010 also helped get more young people involved in sport, thanks, in part, to the successful performance of the Canadian Olympic team.
"After the Games, kids were on their way to skating rinks the next day and signing up for curling and skiing and ski jumping, and this is what the Olympics can do", said John Furlong, VANOC CEO, in an interview in February 2011. "Ultimately you hope that, as a result of the Games, every child will get a chance to experience sports".
Thanks to the Games, numerous recreational and high performance sports programmes were created for young people through the not-for-profit organisation 2010 Legacies Now, which has worked with more than 2,000 organisations in the host region to ensure this legacy lives on. An Aboriginal Youth Sports Legacy Fund was also created, supporting high school students, elite athletes and community groups.
The Richmond Olympic Oval skating track, meanwhile, has since been transformed into a community facility that includes an indoor track, two ice rinks, badminton courts, volleyball courts and a 2,300-square-foot fitness centre.
Other venues have also been adapted to further benefit the local community following the Games. These include the Vancouver Olympic Centre – used for curling during the Games – which is part of a complex that includes a community centre, an ice rink, a curling club, a pre-school, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Vancouver’s transport infrastructure also enjoyed a boost as a result of the Games, with the city’s transit agency launching an ambitious expansion plan before the Games that included 48 new SkyTrain cars, a new SeaBus and 180 diesel-electric hybrid buses. The new Canada Line, built in time for the Games, now speeds travellers between Vancouver’s airport and downtown areas, while improvements to the Sea-to-Sky highway have also made travel from Vancouver to Whistler safer and faster.
Thanks to the city’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Programme, Vancouver’s cultural scene has also enjoyed a post-Games boost, thanks to the commissioning of a collection of light-based artworks and sculptural installations at locations around the city.
Visitors to the city can also still visit the Olympic cauldron next to the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is lit on special occasions to provide yet another reminder of the city’s Olympic experience.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

How Big is Vail Resorts?



Yesterday we posted about how Vail Resorts, Inc. and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings have entered into a strategic business combination joining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts. Under the transaction, Vail Resorts would acquire 100 percent of the stock of Whistler Blackcomb.
The acquisition shocked the ski industry and raised a lot of questions. In this post we try to answer one of them: How Big is Vail Resorts?

Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN) located in Broomfield, Colorado.
Vail Resorts was founded as Vail Associates Ltd. by Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton in the early 1960s. Vail’s opening day was set for December 15, 1962.
In 1971, the company spent $4.4 million to purchase 2,200 acres of land ten miles down the road, which would later become the site of its Beaver Creek resort.In late 1976, Harry Bass was able to gain controlling interest in Vail Associates for $13 million.
In the summer of 1985, Vail Associates was purchased for $115 million by George Gillett, head of Gillett Holdings Inc. The holding company filed for bankruptcy on June 25, 1991, and its eventual reorganization transferred the ownership of Vail Associates to Apollo Advisors, L.P. of New York, a company headed by Leon Black.
In 1996, Vail Associates signed a deal with Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., purchasing nearby Breckenridge and Keystone resorts and establishing Vail Resorts, Inc.
In February 1997, Vail Resorts became the first North American ski company to go public. The initial public offering raised $213 million. Investor Ronald Baron, Ralcorp Holdings, and Apollo Advisors together controlled about 75 percent of the company's stock.
In 2004, as a result of the distribution of shares from Apollo Ski Partners, the Shareholder Agreement between Apollo Ski Partners, Ralcorp Holdings and the Company is being terminated.
Vail Resorts, Inc. is now the leading global mountain resort operator. The Company’s subsidiaries operate nine world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc.
Vail Resorts own and operate more than 200 retail outlets, such as Helly Hansen, Patagonia, SmartWool, The North Face and our first very own branded retail store, Epic Mountain Gear, in Frisco, 
Colorado.Colorado Mountain Express (CME) is the transportation subsidiary of Vail Resorts. The Company owns and manage a fleet of 71 Mercedes Sprinter vehicles.In 2015-2016.
Vail Resorts connected Park City Mountain Resort with the former Canyons Resort to unveil the largest ski resort in the United States (Park City) with 7,300 acres of skiing and riding.

Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, recently went on CNBC. When asked what's next after the acquisition of Perisher in Australia, Rob Katz stated, "We're absolutely looking at Japan, looking at other parts of Asia. We're also looking at other parts of North America and Europe. We really see the opportunity to create a global footprint for our company".



Vail Resorts Owned Mountain Resorts:

Vail Mountain, Colorado
Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
Keystone Resort, Colorado
Park City Ski Area, Utah
Heavenly Mountain Resort, California/Nevada
Kirkwood Mountain Resort, California
Northstar-at-Tahoe, California. Resort is operated under long-term agreement by Vail Resorts, Inc. Resort is owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties.

Afton Alps, Minnesota
Mount Brighton, Michigan
Wilmot Mountain, Wisconsin

Perisher Ski Resort, Australia

The Epic Pass is probably the best value and most popular lift product in the industry offering guests access to 13 resorts in two countries and a savings of up to 35 percent as compared to single-day lift ticket pricing. The Epic Pass provides skiers and riders with unlimited, unrestricted access to VailBeaver Creek, BreckenridgeKeystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; HeavenlyNorthstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan, Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. and Perisher in Australia.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Vail Resorts Acquires Whistler Blackcomb


Vail Resorts, Inc. and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, announced on Monday that they have entered into a strategic business combination joining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts. Under the transaction, Vail Resorts would acquire 100 percent of the stock of Whistler Blackcomb, whose shareholders would receive C$17.50 per share in cash and 0.0975 shares of Vail Resorts common stock, for consideration having a total value of C$36.00 per share. The share exchange ratio is based upon closing stock prices and currency exchange rates as of August 5, 2016 and is subject to a currency exchange rate adjustment, as described below.
"Combining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts’ portfolio of outstanding resorts provides Whistler Blackcomb with increased financial strength, marketing exposure, guest relationships and broadens the geographic diversity of our company with resorts across the United States, as well as in Australia and Canada. This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history", said Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s chief executive officer.
"Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the world with an incredible history, passionate employees and a strong community. With our combined experience and expertise, together we will build upon the guest experience at Whistler Blackcomb while preserving the unique brand and character of the resort as an iconic Canadian destination for guests around the world. We are delighted to add such a renowned resort to Vail Resorts and look forward to expanding our relationships in the Sea-to-Sky community, British Columbia and Canada", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.
"As the number one ranked and most visited resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb has enjoyed tremendous success by delivering an exceptional mountain experience for our passionate and loyal guests — both locally and from around the world. That’s going to continue as we work with our new colleagues at Vail Resorts as well as our employees, local businesses, community and government stakeholders to make Whistler Blackcomb better than ever. We will also continue our discussions with the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, on whose traditional lands we operate, regarding a business partnership that will benefit our communities, our province and our company for decades to come. Our board of directors has also been monitoring the unique challenges facing the broader ski industry due to the unpredictability of year-to-year regional weather patterns. Whistler Blackcomb, with its unprecedented acreage of high alpine terrain and Glacier bowls, is well positioned, but by no means immune to these challenges. Partnering with the geographically diversified Vail Resorts and extending its successful Epic Pass products to Whistler Blackcomb are customer-focused ways of securing the long-term future of our resort, our industry and our community", added Brownlie
Whistler Blackcomb will nominate one member of its board to the Vail Resorts board of directors, and Dave Brownlie will continue leading Whistler Blackcomb as the resort’s chief operating officer and will become a member of the senior leadership team of Vail Resorts’ mountain division.

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).