From the 12/24/2019 Ski Federation news posts learn the latest of what’s happening in the ski industry. * Tree Martinis at Ski Valley * New York Ski Resort To Reopen After 8 Years * NSCF Newsbeat November/December 2019 * JACKSON HOLE SIT SKIER DROPS CORBET’S COULOIR * World Championship Event Aimed at Revitalizing Pro Skiing * Colorado Ski Resort Owner Surrenders Property To Avoid Foreclosure * MEIER FAMILY BECOMES SOLE OWNER OF GREEK PEAK AND TOGGENBURG
For 60 years, skiers have calmed their nerves with cocktails hidden along these slopes.
The legend of the Martini Tree begins in the winter of 1958-1959 at Ski Valley, a resort and school located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, just north of the city of Taos, New Mexico. During a ski lesson, a woman was struggling with getting down the slopes due to bad lighting conditions. After floundering, she lost her confidence and became too afraid to make it down the rest of the mountain. To calm her nerves, Ernie Blake, her teacher and the owner of Ski Valley, sent his son to retrieve a dry martini, which came in a Spanish porrón, a glass pitcher with a long spout for easily pouring a drink into one’s mouth. The woman downed the drink, overcame her fears, and skied perfectly down the mountain. Encouraged by the effects of liquid courage, Blake stationed several porróns around the slopes to aid anxious skiers.
By 1980, there were a documented four “martini trees” at Taos, all of which were evergreens that had been demarcated by yellow tape. The porróns were simply nestled into the snow below. By this time, the word was out. Ski magazine reported on the school’s unique technique: “One of the elite ski clubs of America is called HAMS, or High Altitude Martini Skiers.” Membership in HAMS was earned by drinking a martini in an unpressurized environment, at an altitude of at least 11,000 feet, with at least one limb touching the ground.
Today, martinis are no longer buried in snow, but the Martini Tree tradition lives on in a new form. At the completion of a week-long course at the Ernie Blake Snowsports School, students are shepherded into the woods. There, an instructor grants them access to a birdhouse-like lockbox mounted to a tree. Inside, martinis await everyone over the age of 21. Today, the resort also employs someone to check IDs.
Need to Know
Obviously, exercise caution and moderation when combining alcohol with skiing down a mountain.
Excellent news for all you western New York skiers and snowboarders, Cockaigne Ski Resort in Cherry Creek is set to reopen for the first time since it closed in 2011. Cleveland.com reports the resort will feature 13-15 trails and slopes, three lifts, plus a brand new snowmobile adventure park (connected to a 400-mile network of nearby trails).
The resort had been operating continuously for over four decades up until the lodge was destroyed in a fire in January 2011. New owners purchased the property in 2017 and hoped to reopen last season but updating chairlifts, lighting and snowmaking equipment proved more costly and time-consuming than initially planned.
The resort receives a healthy dose of lake effect snow (located 20 miles south of Lake Erie) with an average of 275 inches per winter and has a modest but serviceable 430 feet of vertical drop.
Love to hear of little mom and pop resorts like this getting a new lease on life. Best of luck to Cockaigne!
ABOUT COCKAIGNE RESORT
Cockaigne began it’s operations in Cherry Creek, NY in the winter of 1966. The famous ski lodge was built as the Austrian Pavilion for the World’s fair in New York City in 1964 and then moved to Cockaigne in 1966. Cockaigne was the best place for family fun and winter events for over four decades up until the lodge was destroyed in a fire in January 2011.
The Outdoor Business Climate Partnership Advocates in DC. In late October the Outdoor Business Climate partnership, a collaborative effort to address climate change between SIA, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) met on Capitol Hill to spend time with lawmakers, pressing them to take urgent and decisive action on climate. More. SIA
The Outdoor Business Climate Partnership Applauds the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. The Outdoor Business Climate Partnership (OBCP) applauded the formation of the new bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. The new Senate Climate Solutions Caucus was formed in late October by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D- Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and plans to focus on finding solutions that would attack climate change in a way that is “durable, equitable and supportive of the American economy.” More. SNews via Google Alerts
‘It’s a Big Tent’: Amid Ski Industry Consolidation, Indie Areas Carve Out Niche. As consolidation brings more change to skiing and riding in the Northeast, independent ski areas are betting some consumers will want to stay “small.” “We think there’s room for all of us,” said Linsday DesLauriers, whose family owns Vermont’s Bolton Valley Resort, an independent ski area. More. Burlington NBC Channel via Destimetrics
Snowsports Industries America Launches “Generation Snow.” Snowsports Industries America (SIA) has announced a new platform, Generation Snow, to address the desire to increase participation in Winter snow sports. To launch this new initiative, SIA has partnered with the Share Winter Foundation, a national grantmaking organization working to improve the lives, health, and fitness of youth through winter sports. More. SIA Ed. Note: Constance Beverley, CEO of Share Winter was a speaker at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Jackson, WY.
Ski Idaho License Plate Celebrates 20 Years. The famous “Ski Idaho” license plate is celebrating 20 years this year. Ski Idaho announced recently its plate program has been around for 20 years – since January 1999. Bob Looper, Brundage Mountain Co. President and Idaho Ski Areas Association board chair, said it’s an important revenue stream for the nonprofit, which represents 18 alpine resorts in Idaho. More. Boise CBS station via Google Alerts.
Snow jobs: In Tight Labor Market, Ski Areas Up the Ante. It used to be that a free ski pass was enough to lure workers to seasonal jobs at mountain resorts. No longer. In the current tight labor market, ski areas across the country are having a tough time filling jobs, so they’re upping the ante by boosting wages, providing more housing and offering other perks to fill those jobs. More. AP via Bellefontaine (VT) Examiner & Google Alerts.
Mountain Capital Partners to Acquire Brian Head Resort. Mountain Capital Partners (MCP) has entered into an agreement to acquire Brian Head Resort in southern Utah. Brian Head will be the eighth resort in MCP’s portfolio of properties, which includes Nordic Valley Ski Resort, Utah; Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort and Pajarito Mountain, N.M.; Hesperus Ski Area and Purgatory Resort, Colo.; Arizona Snowbowl; and Spider Mountain Bike Park, Texas. More. SAM
New Agreement in Place for Sale of Saddleback. The owners of Saddleback, Maine’s third-largest ski area, have reached a new agreement to sell the mountain to Boston investment company Arctaris Impact Fund. The sale is expected to close in mid-December. More. SAM
Alterra to Acquire Sugarbush. Alterra Mountain Company has entered into an agreement to purchase Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, bringing the company’s portfolio up to 15 resorts throughout North America. More. SAM
Snowsports Industries America to Acquire BEWI Expos. Snowsports Industries America (SIA) has reached an agreement to acquire the Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo from BEWI Productions, Inc., which has produced the shows for more than 40 years. BEWI Productions, Inc., was founded in 1979 by industry luminary Bernie Weichsel. More. SAM
POWDR Purchases SilverStar. POWDR has acquired SilverStar Mountain Resort in British Columbia. SilverStar is the first Canadian property in POWDR’s portfolio, which includes 10 other resorts across California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Vermont, as well Woodward action sports company, heli-ski and river rafting outfitters, as well as media and entertainment holdings. More. SAM
Indy Pass Adds Two More Partner Resorts. The Indy Pass continues to grow, adding Black Mountain in New Hampshire and Detroit Mountain in Minnesota for the 2019-20 season. With these additions, Indy Pass now has 46 participating resorts: 16 in the East, 15 in the Midwest, and 15 in the West. More. SAM
Vail Resorts to Invest $210 Million for 2020-21. Vail Resorts plans to invest approximately $210 million to $215 million across its portfolio of resorts ahead of the 2020-21 season. The plan includes new chairlifts, terrain expansions, facility expansions and improvements, and technology upgrades. More. SAM
Insider Tips for Flying with Skis & Snowboards. Ed Note: This link gives a rundown of the policies of various airlines for checking skis and snowboards.More. OnTheSnow
When it comes to going beyond what most would consider possible, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been paving the way since its inception in 1963.
This past year at the annual Kings and Queens of Corbets competition, sit-skier Trevor Kennison kept that tradition alive by stealing the show with his awe-inspiring drop of North America’s hardest inbounds ski run. Congratulations Trevor!
Reposted from To The Mountains blog by Ski.com via Facebook
SANTA FE, N.M. — Efforts to revitalize traditional professional alpine ski racing are culminating in a network-televised world championship event planned for April 2020 at Taos Ski Valley in northern New Mexico , organizers said Wednesday.
World Pro Ski Tour CEO Jon Franklin announced the single-elimination, head-to-head competition with a $100,000 purse and competitors including U.S. Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety.
Invoking the 1980s and 1990s heydey of professional downhill skiing and names such as Phil and Steve Mahre, Franklin said three days of racing will be open to pro tour members, former amateur world champions and Olympic medalists.
“We like our style racing better than World Cup racing because whoever crosses the finish line first wins the race and we can see it,” he said. Qualifying runs will fill a 32-skier bracket. Race formats include giant slalom and “super slalom.”
He said the event will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network in a one-hour format, streamed live over FloSports and come with its own reality television component about to lives of skiers for distribution by Outside TV.
The U.S.-based World Pro Ski Tour was revived in 2017, and the April race is the first championship-style event since then.
Franklin made the announcement alongside New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, state tourism and ski industry officials, and Taos Ski Valley CEO David Norden.
The ski mountain on U.S. Forest Service land outside the town of Taos has been transformed by new investments in amenities — including a high-altitude lift accessing steep chutes at Kachina Peak — since its sale about six years ago by the founding Blake family to financier and conservationist Louis Bacon.
The terrain for the race course in April has not yet been selected.
Vail Daily is reporting that Granby Ranch owner Marise Cipriani has surrendered the real estate portion of the area to the holding company’s lender. The decision comes after Cipriani was expected to pay $3 million in road repairs at Granby Ranch.
The resort, including the ski area, will continue to be operated by the current owners and will remain in operation for the Winter ’19-’20 season.
I’m happy to hear that the mountain will still be in operation. I’ve heard good things about Ski Granby Ranch and I plan to make it out there someday.
SAM Magazine—Virgil, N.Y., Dec. 17, 2019—John and Christine Meier have become the sole owners of Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Toggenburg Mountain in central New York. They acquired business partner Marc Stemerman’s 50 percent interest in the operations this November. The terms of the buyout have not been disclosed.
John and Christine Meier
John Meier and Stemerman bought Greek Peak out of bankruptcy for $7.5 million in 2013 and purchased Toggenburg in 2015. The partners had invested more than $10 million in upgrades primarily at Greek Peak over the last six years.
“I believe in investing in the mountain. Snowmaking and grooming equipment, pumphouses, lifts, trails and all of the associated infrastructure, both above and below ground, are what separates us from any other ski area in the region,” said Meier.
“I think becoming the 100 percent equity owners of Greek Peak will give a unifying vision around the direction of the resort moving forward,” he added.
Greek Peak is a four seasons resort with 220 skiable acres, six lifts, night and cross-country skiing, and tubing. Toggenburg is a winter-only operation with 20 trails, five lifts, and a tubing center. The two ski areas are roughly 40 minutes apart and offer a reciprocal season pass, allowing guests access to both hills.