Thursday, June 30, 2016

Aspen Snowmass. Rejuvenate: Mind Body Spirit. Ep. 1 Wander Your Realm

Rejuvenate: Mind Body Spirit, a four episode video series released on October 2015, evokes the Aspen Idea, a philosophy of ‘mind, body, spirit’ brought to Aspen in the 1940s by Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth. Following in the footsteps of last season’s Mind Body Spirit video series,
Rejuvenate focuses on four remarkable locals: Amanda Boxtel, Chris Klug, Mark Pinter, and Pete McBride. Watch as they find solace and meaning on the mountains of Aspen Snowmass.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz

St. Moritz, will host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2017. In preparation for next season's Championships, St.Moritz organised the World Cup Finals and tested several settings. The event was a success.
The 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz are scheduled from February 6-19. 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.
The Alpine World Ski Championships is the most important event in alpine ski racing and are held every two years. For Engadiners St. Moritz 2017 is already the fifth major event of its kind.
St Moritz has hosted the Championships on four previous occasions since first staging them in 1934. After two Olympic Winter Games – the only ones ever held in Switzerland – and four Alpine World Ski Championships (1934, 1948, 1974 and 2003), St. Moritz is looking to run in 2017 the World Ski Championships for a fifth time – a feat that knows no equal elsewhere in the world, and which but serves to confirm the Engadiners' standing at the forefront of international winter tourism.

St. Moritz is more than just a holiday resort. It was also the birthplace of Alpine winter holidays in 1864. Nevertheless, St. Moritz first became famous thanks to its mineral springs, which were discovered 3,000 years ago and established the town as a summer spa resort early on.
St. Moritz, lies on the south side of the Alps, in the Upper Engadine Valley, at an elevation of 1,856 m, boasts plenty of sunny days. It was exactly this sun that was legally protected as the emblem of St. Moritz in 1930. St. Moritz was often ahead of the times - for example, the first electric light went on at Christmastime in 1878, the first golf tournament in the Alps took place here, in 1889 and one of the first ski lifts in Switzerland began running in 1935.

St Moritz is Switzerland's most famous exclusive winter resort: glitzy, expensive, and fashionable. Few ski destinations can claim even one five-star hotel, but this sunny Swiss lakeside resort boasts five, including the all-suites Carlton, located in Tsar Nicolai II’s former vacation house. St. Moritz Dorf in the hillside over the lake includes Via Serlas’s jet-set shooping "luxury mile", with boutiques like Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Chanel or jewelleries like Bucherer, Cartier or Chopard. St. Moritz Bad, at the lake’s foot, hides local gems among its shops, restaurants and hotels.
The valley offers nine ski areas accessed with a single ski pass. Several of them are connected by lifts; the rest are connected by bus. The Engadine Ski Paradise: St. Moritz-Corviglia, Corvatsch, Diavolezza are synonymous with breathtaking and unforgettable skiing experiences. 60 modern transportation facilities open up on 350 km of snow covered runs at altitudes from 1,800 to 3,300 metres above sea level of slopes in nine different skiing areas with 37 mountain restaurants.

Aspen Snowmass. Rejuvenate: Mind Body Spirit. Official Trailer

Rejuvenate: Mind Body Spirit, a four episode video series released on October 2015, evokes the Aspen Idea, a philosophy of ‘mind, body, spirit’ brought to Aspen in the 1940s by Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth. Following in the footsteps of last season’s Mind Body Spirit video series,
Rejuvenate focuses on four remarkable locals: Amanda Boxtel, Chris Klug, Mark Pinter, and Pete McBride. Watch as they find solace and meaning on the mountains of Aspen Snowmass.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (8): Aspen Skiing Company

Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk - as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass.
Aspen Skiing Company is located in Aspen, Colorado, in the heart of the glorious Elk Mountain Range.
Originally a miningtown, Aspen began attracting recreational skiers after the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York create an interest in alpine skiing in the United States.
The first attempt at developing a resort at Aspen came in 1936, when three men (T.J. Flynn, Ted Ryan, and Billy Fiske) formed the Highland Bavarian Corporation.In 1938, a former member of the 10th Mountain Division, Friedl Pfeifer, banded together with industrialist Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth to make the town and its mountain a destination for those seeking renewal of their mind, body and spirit. As Walter once said, "Aspen had fishing, climbing, skiing. Aspen had so much to add to leisure, to the renewal of the inner spirit. It was the perfect setting for music, art, education…all the things that make life worth living".
In 1945, Walter Paepcke began acquiring land and met with the original founder of Aspen’s ski club and school, which he was looking to acquire. A deal was struck and in January 1946, the Aspen Skiing Corporation was incorporated.
In 1958 Friedl Pfeifer opens Buttermilk Mountain. Whip Jones opens Highlands. William Janss, a former ski racer and land developer, becomes interested in Snowmass and purchases the majority of the land at its base.
In 1963 Aspen Skiing Corporation purchases Buttermilk Mountain from Friedl Pfeifer.
In 1967 Snowmass-at-Aspen, just 12 miles from Aspen, officially opens December 17 as a joint venture of Aspen Skiing Corporation and the Janss Corporation.
In the 1970s and 1980s there were further changes in the ski industry. Most significant, skiers were beginning to shun small, basic ski areas for those that provided the largest number of trails, the most and fastest lifts, and the best facilities. Aspen Skiing Corporation, like other ski resort companies, would respond by providing additional services and constructing more luxurious accommodations. The ballooning cost of running a ski resort was reflected in the price of a lift ticket, which at Aspen Mountain jumped from $13.00 in the mid-1970s to $52.00 in 1995.
In 1978 the company was purchased by Twentieth Century Fox. Two years later, in June 1981, businessman Marvin Davis bought Twentieth Century Fox, and in the process he changed the status of Aspen Skiing Corporation from a public to a private company. He also changed its name to Aspen Skiing Company.
This arrangement did not last long, as In September 1981 Aspen Skiing Company and other Twentieth Century Fox subsidiaries, including Pebble Beach, were transfered to a separate venture, 50 percent of which was acquired by Urban Investment and Development (a subsidiary itself of Aetna Life Insurance). The corporate shuffling continued in December 1983, when Urban Investment sold its 50 percent share to a management company headed by Davis, and then in July 1985, when Twentieth Century Fox sold its share to Bell Mountain Partnership, Ltd., owned by the Crown family of Chicago. Eight years later, in April 1993, Davis's management company sold its interest to the Crown family, which finally became the sole owner of Aspen Skiing Company. That same year, Aspen Skiing Company purchases Aspen Highlands to create a single four-mountain resort.
In 2008 Aspen Snowmass is named one of the top ten "Best Places to Work", by Outside magazine, an honor it continues to receive to this day.
On November 2014, Aspen Skiing Company announced an internal reorganization with the realignment of several departments and a new reporting structure. The changes are designed to enhance the guest experience through operational efficiencies, improve the collaborative environment for current employees, and allow the company to maintain focus and keep up with the pace of the changing business environment.
Aspen Snowmass was selected by the International Ski Federation for the March 15-19, 2017 races that will bring both the men’s and women’s tour to Aspen. The 2017 World Cup Finals will be the first outside Europe since 1997 and the return of men’s World Cup in Aspen for first time since 2001.
World Cup ski racing has a storied history in Aspen as the mountain not only held its first sanctioned ski race in 1939, but also hosted the first World Championships outside of Europe in 1950 and has been a regular stop on the men’s and ladies’ FIS Ski World Cup circuit since its inception. Next year’s event not only denotes the homecoming of March World Cup ski racing in Aspen since 1994, but also commemorates the FIS Ski World Cup’s 50th anniversary season.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Official Mascots For Pyeongchang 2018

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board approved the new mascot for the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 — a white tiger named "Soohorang".
Soohorang, the white tiger, now the trustworthy mascot for the Olympic Winter Games in 2018, has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. "Sooho", meaning protection in Korean, symbolizes protection offered to the athletes, spectators and other participants in the 2018 Games. "Rang" comes from the middle letter of "Ho-rang-i", the Korean word for a "tiger", and is also the last letter
of "Jeong-seon A-ri-rang", a cherished traditional folk song of Gangwon Province, where the Games will be held.
IOC Member Gunilla Lindberg, the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, praised the mascot choice. She said, "It’s a beautiful animal, strongly associated with Korean culture. It also symbolises the close link between the Olympic Winter Games and the natural environment. I’m sure the new mascot will be very popular with Koreans and people around the world".
The mascot selection had been a closely held secret until its approval by the IOC Executive Board. PyeongChang 2018 will formally introduce the mascot at events in Seoul and PyeongChang in July, before its international debut at the 2018 PyeongChang House at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 in August.
The 1988 Seoul Games also featured a tiger mascot – “Hodori”, an orange Amur tiger who prevailed over a rabbit, a squirrel and a pair of mandarin ducks in a public competition.
Mascots have been a regular feature of the Olympic Games since the first official Olympic mascot — a dachshund — was created for the 1972 Munich Games. They serve as popular and playful ambassadors for the host nation and contribute to the festive Games atmosphere.

Bandabi, the Asiatic black bear or "ban-dal-ga-seum-gom" (the bear with a half-moon mark on the chest) symbolizes strong willpower and courage in the Korean folklore. This bear now has been selected as a friendly mascot for the Paralympic Games in 2018. "Banda" is derived from "ban-dal", the Korean word for the half-moon. "Bi" stands for celebration of the Games.

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh,luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.

2017 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals. FIS's Inspection Commission Visit Aspen

After the FIS Congress in Cancun (MEX), where it was definitively confirmed that Aspen (USA) would host the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in March, a delegation of officials from the ladies’ and men’s tour headed to Aspen (USA) for a site visit and a technical inspection.
Together with representatives of the local organising committee and the US Ski Team, the FIS Officials (Atle Skaardal, Markus Waldner, Markus Mayr, Emmanuel Couder, Andreas Krönner, and Mike Kertesz) inspected both the on- and off-hill facilities.
"We’ll have great, exciting races here", said Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Director. "We had great men’s speed races there at the time when I was still racing. In terms of technical events, we know from our experience with the ladies' tech races that Aspen has all the necessary requirements. So they will also guarantee great tech events. Some small changes have been made to the hill and start area, so we can deliver a very exciting team event in the lower section", he continued.
But the focus was not only set on the race course, other operational issues like accommodation needs and volunteer recruitment have also been discussed. "We made a final assessment of lodging needs for this event that offers as many races as a world championships but in about half the number of days", said John Rigney, Vice President of Sales & Events, Aspen Skiing Company. "We’ve done lots of work already but there’s tons to do. That will include recruiting more volunteers for the races, as we need between 300 and 400 of them", he added.
"Aspen has been a remarkable partner in a very largescale project to bring the best ski racers in the world to the USA for an end of season festival of the sport", said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. "It’s an important part of our initiative to increase awareness of ski racing in America".

Aspen Snowmass was selected by the International Ski Federation for the March 15-19, 2017 races that will bring both the men’s and women’s tour to Aspen. The 2017 World Cup Finals will be the first outside Europe since 1997 and the return of men’s World Cup in Aspen for first time since 2001.
World Cup ski racing has a storied history in Aspen as the mountain not only held its first sanctioned ski race in 1939, but also hosted the first World Championships outside of Europe in 1950 and has been a regular stop on the men’s and ladies’ FIS Ski World Cup circuit since its inception. Next year’s event not only denotes the homecoming of March World Cup ski racing in Aspen since 1994, but also commemorates the FIS Ski World Cup’s 50th anniversary season.
Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk - as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 17. Monviso. Couloir Coolidge

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 16. Skiing Cervino Matterhorn East Face

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Friday, June 17, 2016

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 14: Col de l'Aiguille Verte

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (7): Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Resorts Of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) was founded in 1989 and is based in Calgary, Canada.
In 1997, Charlie Locke, the Albertan owner of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, bought Fernie Snow Valley and renamed it Fernie Alpine Resort.
In 2000 Kimberley Alpine Resort was developed by the company. But, in 2001, after a season of poor snowfall, RCR wason the verge of bankruptcy and was bailed out by Alberta financier N. Murray Edwards, who became the majority shareholder in the company.
Previously, RCR also owned and operated Fortress Mountain Resort, Lake Louise Mountain Resort.
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. is the largest private ski resort owner/operator in Canada, owning six ski resorts across Canada. Nakiska in Alberta as well as Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in British Columbia. Resorts outside the Canadian Rockies are Mont-Sainte-Anne and Stoneham Mountain Resort in Quebec.
RCR hotels include the Slopeside Mountain Lodge & Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort, the Trickle Creek Lodge and the Polaris Lodge at Kimberley Alpine Resort as well as various rental properties in Stoneham, Quebec. RCR golf courses include Trickle Creek Golf Resort in Kimberley (Rated in Canada’s Top Ten by Golf Digest), Wintergreen Golf & Country Club in Bragg Creek and Le Grand Vallon near Mont-Sainte Anne.
The Super Pass offers unlimited access to Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Nakiska Ski Area and Lake Louise Ski Area from Resort Open 2016 to Resort Close 2017.

RCR Owned Mountain Resorts:

Fernie, British Columbia
Kimberley Alpine Resort, British Columbia

Monday, June 13, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (6): 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 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.

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 Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan, Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. and Perisher in Australia.

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

Squaw Valley To Host 2017 Women’s Alpine World Cup

The International Ski Federation (FIS) and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced last Friday that Squaw Valley has been selected and affirmed by a vote of the FIS Council to host an Audi FIS World Cup in March 2017, consisting of a women’s Giant Slalom on Friday, March 10 and a women’s Slalom on Saturday, March 11. The event will mark the return of World Cup ski racing racing to California’s only host of the Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley, since 1969. The World Cup will bring Olympic champions like Mikaela Shiffrin and Squaw Valley’s own Julia Mancuso to compete on the legendary Red Dog run, which also played host to the ladies’ slalom and giant slalom events at the 1969 World Cup and 1960 Winter Olympics. With the 2017 season culminating in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colorado, the USSA had a unique opportunity to schedule an additional women’s World Cup weekend in the U.S. following Olympic test events in PyeongChang, South Korea. The addition of Squaw Valley and Killington, VT to the calendar will total 16 World Cup events hosted in the U.S. in the 2016-17 race season, the second highest ever.
"As a mountain community, we are hosting this event to inspire the next generation of ski racers", said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. "There is nothing like watching a group of young athletes standing there in the finish corral looking up and truly being motivated by the best athletes in the world. With 1,500 kids in our race program and countless others in the region, this is the stage we must set for them to achieve their goals, in ski racing or otherwise".
"I’m also proud to designate Kyle Crezee as our World Cup Committee Chair for this event", continued Wirth. "Crezee is our Events Director here at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and he has paved the way for the World Cup by hosting major events like U.S. Nationals. He is passionate about propelling our ski racing heritage into the future".
Built on the legacy of the 1960 Winter Olympics hosted at Squaw Valley, the resort has since reared celebrated athletes such as Jonny Moseley, Julia Mancuso, Travis Ganong, Marco Sullivan, JT Holmes, Michelle Parker, Cody Townsend, Jeremy Jones, Ralph Backstrom, Nate Holland, and Errol Kerr. 
"Growing up at Squaw Valley, I have been hoping for the return of the World Cup for a long time, and now we have the chance to show the world that our Olympic legacy is very much alive", said Olympic champion and Squaw Valley native Julia Mancuso. "The terrain at Squaw Valley is what raised me as a skier, and I know that when my peers stand on top of the course on Red Dog they will see what competitors saw in 1960 and 1969: one of the most challenging courses in the world. So many of today’s racers have trained and competed on Red Dog in the past, and now we can see this legendary venue re-emerge onto the world stage".
Squaw Valley’s addition to the schedule is part of a broad initiative by the USSA to raise the profile of alpine ski racing in America. Last year’s World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek attracted record U.S. television audiences with live coverage on NBC and NBCSN, plus a global reach of 800 million. The Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Aspen will also attract a large global audience. The USSA has taken the opportunity to incorporate new venues including a Nov. 25-26, 2016 women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, VT, plus the annual men’s December World Cup events in Beaver Creek, CO. With Squaw Valley added to the calendar, the USA has 16 Audi FIS Ski World Cup events in America next season, the second highest ever.
"Bringing the FIS Alpine World Cup to four different sites this season will continue to grow the visibility of alpine ski racing in America", said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. "Squaw Valley has partnered with the USSA to host many events and, with a strong Olympic legacy and a world-class venue, they are a welcome addition to the World Cup circuit. It’s a great opportunity for our stars, including Squaw Valley local Julia Mancuso, to race in front of their hometown crowd ahead of the World Cup finals".

Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is internationally renowned for legendary terrain that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 30 chairlifts, and ranges from an expansive mountaintop beginner area to unrivaled expert steeps, trees and bowls. Off the mountain, families relax in The Village at Squaw Valley, enjoying a host of restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries.
Squaw Valley was purchased by KSL Capital Partners in November 2010.
In September 2011, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley Ski Resort merged.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cortina d’Ampezzo To Host 2021 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships

The fifth time was the charm for Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA), which was unanimously elected as the host of the 2021 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. The Italian resort, located in the heart of the Dolomites is also a regular host of the ladies' Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
"Cortina and the Italian Ski Federation (FISI) have shown a real commitment to hosting the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. They have outlined a series of detailed plans to develop the resort for the marquee event with a strong legacy for the future and we look forward to going there in 2021", said Kasper of the Italian success.

Cortina d’Ampezzo made its debut on the FIS World Cup with Men’s Downhill in 1969 and became a fixture on the Women’s Downhill tour for three years beginning in 1975. After a long hiatus, the venue has been an annual stop on the Women’s World Cup since 1993, hosting downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom, which is not on the line-up since 2011 but will be back in 2017.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the most charming ski resorts in Italy. Located near the north-eastern border with Austria, and surronded by the imposing peaks of the Tofana, the Monte Cristallo and the Sorapis Dolomites, Cortina is known as the "Regina delle Dolomiti". The resort is part of the Dolomiti Superski Ski Paradise. The Dolomiti Superski pass is one of the world’s largest lift pass areas with over 1200 kilometres of maintained pistes served by nearly 500 lifts on one ticket. Cortina offers, with the purchase of a Valley Skipass, the chance to ski in the skiing area Cortina d'Ampezzo, Auronzo-Misurina and San Vito di Cadore with a total of 140 kilometres of pistes served by 51 lifts and linked by buses. Snowmaking was increased to cover 95 per cent of the slopes.
Located in the North-East corner of the Veneto region at an altitude of 1,224m Cortina is immersed in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty, surrounded by the spectacular Dolomite mountains, recently declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Area.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the twelve resorts belonging to the european association "Best of the Alps", which get together the most exclusive and well known destinations in the Big Five Europe's Alpine countries.
Recently, Cortina d'Ampezzo was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Alpine Ski Resorts:by the CNN.

Decisions of FIS Council Regarding To Skiing

The FIS Council held its spring Meetings during the FIS Congress Week in Cancun (MEX) from
6th-11th June.
The tasks of the Council before the Congress Meeting itself included going through the agenda for the FIS Congress, reviewing reports and matters arising from the Organising Committees of the FIS World Championships and Olympic Winter Games, as well as dealing with proposals from the FIS Technical Committees in relation to World Cup calendars, the appointment of technical officials, adaptation to various rules, approval of technical courses and allocate financial support for special projects.
In addition, status updates from a number of other FIS activities were addressed including Anti- Doping matters, marketing and communication projects, the Bring Children to the Snow campaign and business reports from the FIS companies FIS Marketing AG and FIS Travel Service.
The main decisions of the Council in Cancun include the following:

A number of modifications to the FIS World Cup Calendars for the 2016/2017 season proposed by the respective Technical Committees were approved.
  • 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships - Zhangjiakou/Genting Resort (CHN)
  • 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships - Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA)

A number of adaptions to the technical rules for Alpine Skiing were made:

The starting order for downhill and super G (speed events) will be adapted as follows:
  • Athletes on the WCSL ranked 1 to 10 will choose between bibs 1 and 19 (odd numbers)
  • Athletes WCSL 11 to 20 are drawn between bibs 2 to 20 (even numbers)
  • Athletes WCSL 21 to 30 are drawn between bibs 21 to 30
From season 2017/18, the ski specifications for men's giant slalom skis at all competition levels will be as follows:
  • Minimum ski length: 193 cm (- 5 cm tolerance only in FIS level competitions)
  • Minimum radius: 30 m
  • Maximum width under binding: < 65 mm
  • Maximum width at the top: < 103 mm

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 11. Madesimo, leave a trace

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Colorado Ski Areas Set Historical Skier Visit Number For 2015-16 Season

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced at the association’s 53rd Annual Meeting that skier visits at its 21 member resorts totaled 7.4 million in 2015-2016, up by nearly five percent compared to last year’s CSCUSA membership season total and a new record for visitation.
Additionally, the 2015/16 season skier visit total for CSCUSA members bested the five-year average by more than 10 percent, making it the third consecutive year skier visits have outpaced the five-year average.
"Seeing our members’ visitation overtake their previous record demonstrates the passion and dedication our guests have for Colorado’s signature sports", stated Melanie Mills, president & CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. "It also makes clear the nonstop commitment our member resorts have to providing the best ski product in the world by setting the industry standard for guest service, skier safety and quality snow conditions".
CSCUSA resorts’ 2015/16 skier visits outpaced the ski industry nationally, which saw gains in visitation by .05 percent despite weather challenges in the East and Midwest. CSCUSA resorts also supported strong percentage gains across the Rocky Mountain region, which enjoyed good snow conditions.
"Colorado’s reputation as the number one ski destination is evidenced by our ownership of 24 percent of the 2015/16 national skier market", said Mills. "It’s a testament to our members’ dedication to provide a top-notch guest experience from friendly employees who offer a welcoming spirit to a consistent snow surface with plenty of powder days".
Fall snowmaking conditions paired with ideally timed snow storms and blanketed resorts with copious amounts of early season snow. Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin both opened on October 29, 2015 and launched Colorado’s ski season.
"The season started with excellent conditions and resorts handedly delivered on skier demand fueled by buzz of a Godzilla El Nino", said Mills. "Our savvy in-state skiers took advantage of the best early season conditions Colorado had in recent memory".
More snow came in November and December which allowed resorts to open ample terrain during the holidays. A series of well-timed storms led to 100-inch milestones being met before the end of 2015 to the delight of holiday skiers and riders.
Despite spells of warm weather in January and February, typical of an El Nino weather pattern, CSCUSA resorts received more than enough early season snow to provide enjoyable mid-winter conditions complemented by sunny days and mild temperatures.
By spring, CSCUSA resorts exceeded expectations for popular ski weekends and spring breaks when skiers showed up in droves. Wintery weather returned with a vengeance in April adding powder days and snowpack. "In many ways it was a story of two springs with the latter half bringing a deluge of snow resulting in resort season extensions, re-openings and bonus weekends", commented Mills.
During the course of the season, CSCUSA resorts highlighted the importance of skier safety in several ways including by participating in National Safety Awareness Month. Additionally, Aspen Snowmass was recognized with the 2015/16 National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Safety Award for Best Employee Safety Program; and Copper Mountain was recognized with the 2015/16 NSAA Best Kids on Lifts Safety Campaign. CSCUSA will announce its industry award winners on Friday June 10.
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort. These numbers are preliminary results and subject to final adjustments by CSCUSA members. The decision to release individual numbers is up to each individual resort.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing 21 Colorado ski & snowboard resorts. CSCUSA is the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The Association’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations.

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 10. Couloir Domenech

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Skiing the Couloir Domenech - Aiguille de l'Aigle - Miage glacier

Friday, June 10, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (5): Peak Resorts.

Peak Resorts, Inc. is a publicly owned Missouri-company that operates ski resorts in the Midwest and Northeast United States.
The company was founded in 1977 by Tim Boyd. In 1982 he bought his first ski resort (Hidden Valley Ski Area). Shortly thereafter he opened a ski-resort in suburban Kansas City, Missouri at Weston, Missouri (Snow Creek Ski Resort).
Launched in March, 2015, next winter a new Peak Pass offers access to seven different mountain locations across four states in the Northeast. Resorts include Mount Snow in Vermont; Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched Mountains in New Hampshire; Hunter Mountain in New York; and Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania.
"This winter, we looked at all of our pass products across the Northeast, including the offerings of our newest acquisition, Hunter Mountain", stated Tim Boyd, CEO and president of Peak Resorts. "We felt the variety of each resort's on-mountain experience, as well as the proximity of our resorts, makes the Peak Pass a unique and affordable product for the vast majority of skiers and riders in the Northeastern U.S".

Peak Resorts Owned Mountain Resorts:

Alpine Valley, Ohio
Boston Mills/Brandywine, Ohio. All three Northeast Ohio ski resorts – Alpine Valley, Boston Mills and Brandywine – are operated collectively.
Mad River Mountain, Ohio. Resort is operated under long-term agreement by Peak Resorts, Inc. Resort is owned by EPR Properties.
Attitash, New Hampshire
Crotched Mt. Ski Area, New Hampshire
Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire
Jack Frost, Pennsylvania
Big Boulder Ski Area, Pennsylvania
Mount Snow, Vermont
Hunter Mountain, New York
Paoli Peaks, Indiana
Hidden Valley, Missouri

Thursday, June 9, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (4): Intrawest

Intrawest was founded in 1976 as a privately funded real estate development company. In 2006, Intrawest was purchased by Fortress Investment Group, a private equity investment company (The total value of the transaction was approximately $2.8 billion).
In 2010 Intrawest made a partial sale of Whistler Blackcomb, in order to reduce its debt load. This was achieved t through a public offering of shares of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2010. The net outcome of the reorganization is that Whistler Blackcomb Holdings is the managing partner and controls 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership which, together, carry on the company's four season mountain resort business The remaining 25% of the partnerships are owned by Nippon Cable. Intrawest sold its remaining 24% stake in Whistler Blackcomb to KSL Capital Partners in 2012.
Previously, Intrawest has sold its Mountain Creek Resort in Sussex County (New Jersey), Copper Mountain, Panorama resort, B.C., the Village at Squaw Valley and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
Intrawest mountain resorts are geographically diversified across most of North America’s major ski regions, including the Eastern United States, the Rocky Mountains, and Canada. The Company also operates an adventure travel business, the cornerstone of which is Canadian Mountain Holidays, a leading heli-skiing adventure company in North America. Additionally, the Company operates a comprehensive real estate business through which it manages, markets and sells vacation club properties; manages condominium hotel properties; and sells and markets residential real estate.
is a developer and operator of destination resorts and a luxury adventure travel company.
The company owns and operates the mountain resorts of Blue Mountain in Ontario, Snowshoe in West Virginia, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation in Colorado, Stratton in Vermont, Tremblant in Quebec (Canada), and Winter Park Resort in Colorado.
Intrawest also markets and sells real estate at its North American mountain resorts through its business, Playground. Intrawest also manages Honua Kai Resort & Spa, located in Maui Hawaii and The Westin Monache at Mammoth, both condominium hotel properties
Intrawest's headquarters are located in Denver, Colorado.
Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SNOW).

Intrawest Owned Mountain Resorts:

Blue Mountain, Ontario
Snowshoe, West Virginia
Steamboat, Colorado
Stratton, Vermont
Tremblant, Quebec
Winter Park Resort, Colorado

Intrawest also owns a 15% interest in Mammoth, California.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (3): Boyne Resorts

Boyne Resorts was founded by Everett Kircher in 1947.
Boyne Resorts is still a family owned company, based in Boyne Falls, Michigan, and the largest privately owned ski and golf corporation in the country.
In 2000, SKI Magazine honored Kircher himself as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Skiers of All Time". Placing him beside Olympic athletes, inventors and filmmakers such as, World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, Jean-Claude Killy and the popular filmmaker, Warren Miller.
Boyne Resorts owns 4 ski areas and manages an additional 6 ski areas for CNL Lifestyle Properties.
Boyne Resorts' portfolio currently includes Michigan's two premier mountain and golf resorts, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain; and The Inn at Bay Harbor - A Renaissance Golf Resort in Michigan; Big Sky Resort in Montana--founded by the late Chet Huntley in 1970; Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, Utah; Crystal Mountain near the Mt. Rainier National Park in Seattle and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; Sugarloaf and Sunday River resorts in Maine; Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia--official freestyle skiing and snowboard venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games; Gatlinburg Sky Lift near the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Boyne Resorts continues to build and improve four-season destinations to fit "a way of life" for the active families and friends who gather there. Offering the very best in golf, ski, tennis, biking, hiking and cross-country skiing together with luxurious accommodations, fine dining, cozy restaurants and lounges and exquisite spa facilities, Boyne remains a leader in the industry.

Boyne Owned Mountain Resorts:

Big Sky Resort, Montana (purchased in 1976 by Everett Kircher)
Boyne Highlands Resort, Michigan (acquired in 1964)
Boyne Mountain Resort, Michigan. Everett Kircher founded Boyne Mountain in 1947)
Crystal Mountain Resort, Washington (acquired in 1997)

Resorts operated under long-term agreement by Boyne USA. Resorts are owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties:

Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington
Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Sugarloaf, Maine
Sunday River Ski Resort, Maine
Cypress Mountain, British Columbia 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (2): Powdr Corp.

Powdr is a private, family-owned company run with the mission to share, inspire, and celebrate lifestyle and mountain sports. Powdr owns and operates nine mountain resorts located across the country, Woodward action sports camps and progression centers, a national television network dedicated to the active lifestyle, and the newest addition to the Powdr Portfolio – Powdr Enterprises, a sports marketing and entertainment company.
Powdr Corporation is one of the largest ski resort operators in North America. Unlike its competitors, Powdr focuses on ski area operations rather than real estate development. It is owned by the Cumming family and headquartered in Park City, Utah. John Cumming, who co-founded the clothing company Mountain Hardwear (Columbia Sportswear purchased Mountain Hardwear in 2003) is the current CEO.
Powdr was founded in 1994 by John Cumming with the purchase of Park City Mountain Resort. On September 2014 Vail Resorts 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.

Powdr’s nine Mountain resorts cover regions in the Mountain West, the Pacific Northwest
, and the Northeast. The company is based in Park City, Utah.

Powdr Corp Owned Mountain Resorts:

Boreal Mountain Resort, California

Powdr Corp. Buys Eldora Mountain Resort

Today, Powdr Corp. has purchased Eldora Mountain Resort completing a long-rumored move. This amplifies Powdr’s presence in Colorado and serves as a strategic complement to Powdr’s other Colorado resort, Copper Mountain.
"Colorado’s Front Range is one of the best ski markets in the world. Expanding our footprint here, with now two of the most accessible resorts to serve those passionate skiers, is an enormous honor", said John Cumming, CEO and owner of Powdr. "Eldora is admired as a leading entry point and training ground for children and beginners. We want to work hard for more people to join us in the adventure-filled world of snow sports".
"I’ve had the privilege of knowing John Cumming for nearly 30 years", said William Killebrew, previous owner of Eldora. "He has built a great adventure company and has the reputation as an outstanding operator. When we decided to consider selling Eldora, we wanted to put our resort in the best hands possible, and Powdr was the first company that came to mind (...) Powdr Corp. is very strong financially and with already having a resort here in Colorado, it’s obvious there will be good synergies between the two companies that people will clearly benefit from. But it also means that they will be able to continue on our progress in developing Eldora’s master plan and bring it to fruition probably quicker than we could have”.
Brent Tregaskis, general manager at Eldora since 2015, will continue to run operations for the resort. "We are very excited to work with Brent and his team to continue to deliver amazing experiences to those that love Eldora", said COO/EVP of Powdr Resorts Tim Brennwald.

Eldora Mountain Resort is the closest ski area to the Denver metro area. By a large margin, it is the closest to Boulder, and is one of the few Coloradoski resorts on the east side of the continental divide.
The ski area was founded in 1962 and has proven popular partly due to skiers not having to use the extremely busy I-70 to reach the resort.
The resort caters mostly to day skiers and snowboarders. Eldora has thrived despite Boulder County-imposed caps on skier traffic and the lack of a condo-walled base village.
The summit of the area is at 10,600 feet (3,200 m) on Bryan Mountain, with a 1600-foot lift served vertical drop. The slopes face primarily north and east, and the main base area is at 9,200 feet (2,800 m).
Although Eldora is small compared to some of the bigger resorts in Colorado, the terrain variety is well known and challenging. There are beginner friendly trails located on Little Hawk Mountain, intermediate and advanced trails on Challenge Mountain through Indian Peaks, and expert terrain is found in Corona Bowl and the West Ridge trail which varies from 45 to 70% slope.

Monday, June 6, 2016

North America's Biggest Operators in the Ski Business (1): KSL Capital Partners

KSL Capital Partners, LLC is a U.S. private equity firm dedicated to investments in travel and leisure businesses. The company private equity investments range across travel and leisure businesses, such as hotels and resorts, clubs, fitness, ski and resort real estate. It has offices in Denver, Connecticut and London.
KSL Capital Partners was formed in 2005 by Michael S. Shannon, the firm's Chairman, and Eric C. Resnick, Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Shannon was a founding principal of KSL Recreation Corporation in 1992, which was a platform company of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. Over the next decade, with the assistance of Mr. Resnick as its Chief Financial Officer and KKR, KSL Recreation grew to become one of the largest independent owners and operators of resorts, controlling some of the most well known destinations in the world. KSL owns 2 Mountain Resorts in California, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada: Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley.
KSL also owns a 24% interest in Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows combined operations at the end of 2011 and offer skiers and riders over 6,000 acres, 44 lifts and over 270 trails on a common lift ticket.

Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is internationally renowned for legendary terrain that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 30 chairlifts, and ranges from an expansive mountaintop beginner area to unrivaled expert steeps, trees and bowls. Off the mountain, families relax in The Village at Squaw Valley, enjoying a host of restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries.
Squaw Valley was purchased by KSL Capital Partners in November 2010.
In September 2011, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley Ski Resort merged. The two resorts will retain their distinct identities and unite under common management led by Squaw Valley’s parent company, KSL Capital Partners, LLC. Alpine Meadows’ parent, JMA Ventures, will own a smaller part. The new umbrella entity over both resorts will be known as Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC

Ranked as a top winter resort by SKI Magazine, Alpine Meadows is known for its abundant and varied skiable terrain, family-friendly atmosphere, and innovative children’s ski and snowboard programs. Alpine’s seven powder bowls, groomed slopes, and authentic hospitality are among the many attributes that have made the resort a favorite of the local community and visitors alike. Alpine Meadows offers skiers and riders access to more than 100 trails across 2,400 skiable acres serviced by 14 lifts.

Looking for Inspiration: How Is Your Phone Changing You?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 9. Grand Ferrand Exploration

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: Nicholas Carr. What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

Nicholas G. Carr is an American writer who has published books and articles on technology, business, and culture. His book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.
Is Google making us stupid? When Nicholas Carr posed that question in a celebrated Atlantic essay, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? 
In the book Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the net’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published.
He is also the author of the acclaimed book The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us, which examines the personal and social consequences of our ever growing dependency on computers, robots, and apps.

Most of us are on the Internet on a daily basis and whether we like it or not, the Internet is affecting us. It changes how we think, how we work, and it even changes our brains.

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 8. Noire parete nord

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride. A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps! Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone
Skiing noire north face in Chamonix


Friday, June 3, 2016

Vail Resorts Wants To Create a Global Footprint

Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, recently went on CNBC. He says the Australia Perisher business has been strong, while the U.S. business has seen fewer visitors because of the strong dollar.
Perisher is the largest and most visited ski resort in Australia, and is well-positioned with access to the country’s largest cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane. Perisher is also the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere.
It also looks like Vail Resorts isn't finished expanding. When asked what's next, 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 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).

Utah Ski Areas Set Historical Skier Visit Number For 2015-16 Season

The Utah ski and snowboard industry closed the 2015-16 winter season with a total of 4,457,575 million skier days, up nearly 5 percent from the previous record of 4,249,190 during the 2007-08 season. This year’s number represents a 10.4 percent increase vs. Utah’s 5-year average of 4,037,349.
Nationally, skier days were up from 53.6 million to 53.9 million, a 0.5 percent increase from the previous season. According to NSAA’s Kottke Survey, the Rocky Mountain Region tallied a record-setting season with an overall 8 percent increase in skier visits this season over last. Utah alone was up 13 percent over last season.
On Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort finally stopped spinning lifts for the winter season, finishing off with an impressive 181-day season. While season-ending snow totals were not record-setting, conveniently timed, early-season storms attributed to the success of the season. Other important contributions toward this accomplishment can be credited to Utah Office of Tourism’s overwhelming support and the significant resort capital improvements statewide, totaling over one hundred million dollars. As a result, nearly half of Utah’s resorts reported individual record-breaking skier visits.
"This was a big year for Utah’s wintersports industry and we could not have asked for a better result", says Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. "Credit can evenly be distributed to the collaboration of Utah’s 14 resorts, the tremendous support from the Utah Office of Tourism and the private investment in resort infrastructure".
Total Utah statewide skier days for the past 10 years are as follows:

Skier Days*
Rank (Last 10 yrs.)
2015 – 16
2014 – 15
2013 - 14
2012 - 13
2011 - 12
2010 - 11
2009 - 10
2008 - 09
2007 – 08
2006 – 07

Ski Utah is the marketing firm owned and operated by the 14 statewide ski resorts that make up the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association (Alta Ski Area, Beaver Mountain, Brian Head Resort, Brighton Resort, Cherry Peak, Deer Valley Resort, Eagle Point, Nordic ValleyPark City Mountain Resort, Powder Mountain Resort, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, and Sundance). The organization has been creating brand awareness of and demand for the Utah wintersports product since its inception in 1978.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Switzerland Opens Gotthard Base Tunnel

Switzerland has opened up the longest railway tunnel in the world, 17 years and $12bn after it committed to break the record.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, joined Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann for a ride in first class through the tunnel.
"The new tunnel fits into the European railway freight corridor, which links Rotterdam and Genoa" key ports in the Netherlands and Italy, said Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann. "Aside from saving time, more merchandise can be carried through the Alps".
"A masterpiece in tunnel construction, world class, a record-breaker!". There is no shortage of superlatives to describe the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT).
The project consists of two single-track tunnels connecting Erstfeld (in the german speaking canton of Uri) and Bodio (in the italian speaking canton of Ticino), and passing below Sedrun (Graubünden).
With a route length of 57.09 km (35.5 mi) and a total of 151.84 km (94.3 mi) of tunnels, shafts and passages, The Gotthard Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in the world and represents the centrepiece of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA).
It is also the first flat route through the Alps or any other major mountain range, with a maximum height of 549 metres (1,801 ft) above sea level. It is therefore the deepest railway tunnel in the world, with a maximum depth of approximately 2,300 metres (7,500 ft).
Gotthard overtakes the 53.9-kilometer Seikan Tunnel in northern Japan as the longest rail tunnel in the world, relegating the 50.5-kilometer Channel Tunnel between Britain and France into third place.
Plans for a better rail tunnel have been around since the 1940s. In 1992, 64 percent of Swiss voters accepted in referendum the AlpTransit project to build a new high-speed rail link through the Alps. Two years later the project got added impetus, when Swiss voters also backed a proposal from environmental groups to move all freight travelling through Switzerland from road to rail. Tunnel construction began in 1996. Drilling operations in the eastern tunnel were completed on 15 October 2010 in a breakthrough ceremony broadcast live on Swiss TV, and in the western tunnel on 23 March 2011.
Total projected cost of the project was 9.8 billion Swiss francs (€8.85 billion or US$10.3 billion) but the final cost exceeded $12 billion.

When it opens in December, 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will travel through the two-way, long tunnel each day.
SBB sees the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel as ‘the most important milestone’ in the upgrading of the north-south transalpine corridor.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Avalanches are an Inherent danger of Skiing

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing and fall under the state’s liability-limiting Ski Safety Act. In a 5-2 decision, the court agreed that avalanches result from changing snow conditions, changing weather, and variations of steepness and terrain, all of which are specifically noted in the Ski Safety Act.
The Ski Safety Act was created in 1979 and amended in 1990 and 2004. In the court’s decision, it cited the snow conditions clause in the act. "The phrase ‘snow conditions as they exist or may change’ encompasses avalanches that occur within the bounds of a ski resort. The statute also contemplates that the snow conditions ‘may change.’ One obvious way in which a snow condition ‘may change’ is through the movement of the snow, including by wind and gravity. And at its core, an avalanche is moving snow caused by gravity".

The decision stemmed from a suit brought against Winter Park Resort following the death of Christopher Norris, who died in an in-bounds avalanche at Winter Park ski area on Jan. 22, 2012.
Attorneys for the family had argued that the resort was responsible for his death because avalanches are not specifically noted in the Ski Safety Act. The family of the deceased argued that the area knew avalanche danger was high, and should have closed the terrain. The family was seeking damages above the $250,000 limit set by the Act.
The National Ski Areas Association said the few avalanche deaths at resort areas amount to one fatality per 100 million skier visits, or about one death every two seasons.
Since 2000, only 11 of the 448 avalanche deaths in the U.S. have occurred inside a resort boundary.
"Resorts do a phenomenal job with avalanche mitigation, given how few fatalities there have been", said Dale Atkins, Vice President of the Avalanche Rescue Commission for the International Commission on Alpine Rescue, in a statement released by the association.
Even with resorts employing more training and avalanche safety procedures at resorts, the statement said, "individual, personal responsibility remains the most effective tool in avalanche precaution and preparedness". The ski areas association urged skiers to ride with a partner, obey terrain closures and carry avalanche equipment in steep terrain.
Colorado Ski Country President Melanie Mills said the court’s ruling recognizes how hard resorts work to reduce the risk of uncontrolled slides at a ski area and the court’s decision will not alter that work.
"In our industry we have long believed that avalanches are inherent risks of the sport, and we have continued throughout our history to do a great deal of work to mitigate that risk. But the risk can’t be eliminated", Mills said.