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NSCF Newsbeat – October 2015

National Ski Council Federation Newsbeat

October 2015


Canadian Ski Area Makes Helmet Use Mandatory for All. While most North American skiers and riders now understand the benefits of a helmet, there remains a steadfast minority that refuses to wear one. Now Canadian ski area Brookvale Provincial Ski Park on Prince Edward Island has made helmet use mandatory on its slopes, not just for children, but for all. More. First Tracks!!


Ski Utah Partners with Protect Our Winters. Ski Utah, a membership organization representing Utah’s 14 alpine ski resorts, and Protect Our Winters (POW) today announced a partnership between the two organizations with the mission of raising awareness of climate change and uniting the winter sports community in the state of Utah. More. First Tracks!!


NSAA Presents Golden Eagle Environmental Awards. Three winners of the National Ski Area Association’s (NSAA) Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence have been named. Shawnee Peak Ski Area in Maine won the Golden Eagle Award in the small ski area category. Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon took the top environmental honors in the medium-sized ski area category for its carbon emission reduction results. Winter Park Resort in Colorado won the Golden Eagle Award in the large resort category for the sustainable construction of its new Lunch Rock Restaurant. More. First Tracks!!


Colorado Adds I-70 Toll Lane to Reduce Skier Congestion. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will have a variable toll lane in operation along a key 13-mile stretch of eastbound I-70 in time for this winter, in an effort to lessen snarled traffic on busy ski weekends. Ski weekend traffic on I-70 has been a long-standing issue in Colorado, particularly eastbound on Sunday evenings. More. First Tracks!!


Authorities Find Body of Skier Missing for 35 Years. An unusually warm summer in the Italian Alps caused glacial melt that revealed the body of Gregory Barnes in a crevasse. According to the a report published by the CBC, Barnes, then 24, was ski touring from a hut in the Bernina Mountains that span the border of Italy and eastern Switzerland. He left his group to return to the hut to fix a broken binding and never returned.  Searchers scoured the area at the time looking for Barnes, without success. Originally from Canada, Barnes was working at the time for a Canadian word processing firm in Germany. Authorities were able to identify the body with the help of his passport, which was found with him in the crevasse. First Tracks!!


Many Ski Areas Outlining Bans of Drone Use. Resorts across the U.S. are hedging against snowy vistas clogged by drones by adopting — many in the last season — explicit bans on the wildly popular aerial cameras. The National Ski Areas Association in Lakewood, which represents 330 ski areas, has crafted a sample drone policy that most resorts have adopted. The idea of drones proliferating on par with the growth of helmet-mounted POV cameras raises serious concerns for the trade group, which is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Forest Service to help sculpt drone policy. More. Denver Post via Google Alerts


New Pass Partnership In The Northeast Announced. It’s been a busy year with multi-resort companies and independent ski areas rolling out new pass partnerships (see Blue Pages, SAM Sept. issue). And now, it’s about to become even busier with the entry of the MiniMIX pass in New Hampshire. Available for only $199, the pass includes two lift tickets and one tubing session at each of the following resorts: Pats Peak, King Pine and McIntyre. The MiniMIX doesn’t have any blackout dates, additional fees or surcharges. More. SAM


Arizona Snowbowl Gets First New Chairlift in 30 Years. Construction is well underway on the new Humphreys Peak Lift at Arizona Snowbowl. Scheduled to open this December, the new chairlift is the resort’s first in 30 years. More. First Tracks!!


Colorado’s Echo Mountain Reopens to the Skiing Public. For the past three years, Echo Mountain Resort has operated as a private ski racing training facility and the general skiing public was barred from riding its lifts. Now, the closest ski resort to most of the Denver Metro area will welcome the public once again. More. First Tracks!!


U.S. Forest Service Accepts Crested Butte’s Expansion Proposal. For Crested Butte in southwestern Colorado, the future means an expansion of 500 acres for skiing, riding and biking. A proposal calls for two new chairlifts, a replacement of the North Face surface lift, more snowmaking on current ski terrain, and 15 miles of single track trail to add to the resort’s Evolution Bike Park. CBMR received a letter from the U.S. Forest Service’s Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest District Office initiating an environmental review of the project…. More. First Tracks!!


Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Bets $1.2 Million on Earlier Openings. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe spent this summer relocating and renaming its Ponderosa chairlift and adding four new beginner trails to the mountain, with an eye toward earlier openings in the beginning of the ski and snowboard season. The new positioning of the newly named “Wizard” lift will expand and enhance the resort’s beginner skiing and snowboarding experience in time for the 2015-16 winter season.  In total, the resort is spending approximately $1.2 million in on-mountain improvements that also include expansion of its snowmaking system…. More. First Tracks!!


Whitefish’s Summer Spend Tops $1.5 Million. Montana’s Whitefish Mountain Resort will greet the 2015-16 ski and snowboard season with several improvement projects completed both on and off the mountain, including a remodel and expansion of its Summit House mountaintop lodge. All told, the cost of the resort projects completed this summer exceeds $1.5 million. More. First Tracks!!


Pennsylvania’s Whitetail Resort is Investing $2.5 Million. Whitetail Resort, just across the Pennsylvania border and only 90 minutes from Washington D.C., is putting $2.5 million into snowmaking, paving and a larger design project. The resort with a 935-foot drop and about 117 skiable acres plans on adding a number of snow guns for existing terrain this season and is making plans for its future expansion. More. Curbed Ski


Part of Colorado’s Eldora Expansion Plans Get the Axe. In what seems like somewhat of a surprise for the folks at Eldora, the Forest Service denied the resort’s plan to grow further into public land. Instead, the Forest Service mainly endorsed the “in-fill” option favored by environmental groups. That means Eldora,, 21-miles west of Boulder can still make some of the upgrades it wanted to, but it will have to do so within its current boundaries. More. Curbed Ski


Statue of Jesus Allowed to Remain at Whitefish.  In late August, a three-Justice panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a statue of Jesus on National Forest Land at Whitefish Mountain Resort can stay. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service, and the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization that had erected the monument in 1954 as a tribute to U.S. soldiers who died in World War II, demanding that the statue alongside the ski slopes of Whitefish Mountain be removed. More. First Tracks!! Ed. Note: A photo of the statue is the Newsbeat August 2015 issue.


Maine’s Lost Valley Ski Area to Open This Winter. Lost Valley’s owners confirmed late last week that financial troubles won’t keep the community ski area in Maine from opening this winter for its 55th season.  Local skiers and riders were holding their breath this fall after Lost Valley, facing $1.6 million in debt, had to be bailed out last winter by a non-profit hurriedly formed to raise $23,000 in funds to open the ski area. More. First Tracks!!


SnowridgeMother-Son Team Buy Snow Ridge (NY). Snow Ridge, a community ski area on the Tug Hill Plateau in the western Adirondacks known for its freakish snowfall, has new owners with big plans this season. Snow Ridge’s new owners plan to expand the mountain’s operating hours and enhance its race programs, terrain parks and ski runs. They also plan to add summer activities including mountain biking and summer concerts. More. First Tracks!!


Greek Peak Buys Toggenburg Ski Area. The owners of Greek Peak Mountain Resort, in the Upstate New York town of Virgil, this week announced their purchase of Toggenburg Mountain Winter Sports Center in nearby Fabius, outside of Syracuse. More. First Tracks!!


Bear Mountain and Snow Summit (CA) See $2 Million in Upgrades. After Mammoth Resorts threw down $38 million to buy Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, the Southern California resorts are seeing $2 million in upgrades ahead of their first full winter as part of the Mammoth family. Improvements include new dining options, amenities and snow-making infrastructure. More. Curbed Ski


Big White Gets New Day Lodge. Western Canada’s Big White Resort will greet skiers and riders this winter with a brand new day lodge. The Black Forest Lodge will feature a quick-service menu including specialty sandwiches, house-made soups and fresh baked pastries, with seating for 150 just steps away from the Black Forest chairlift. Local craft beers or glasses of Okanagan wines will be served. More. First Tracks!!


What May Be America’s Last Great Ski Resort Site Is for Sale. An 11-mile stretch containing 24 Wasatch Mountain peaks and 15 bowls, spanning an unfathomable 12,740 acres (some 20 square miles) near Salt Lake City, is on the market. It’s perhaps the last great single plot of private land in the U.S. upon which to build a top-tier ski resort, and for a paltry $46 million it could all be yours. More. First Tracks!!


Norway Plans World’s Largest Indoor Ski Area. Norwegian developer The Selvaag Group has given its approval to construct Lørenskog Winter Park near Oslo. Once completed, it will be the world’s largest indoor ski area. More.  First Tracks!!


Russia Builds Europe’s Highest Ski Lift. Located in the western Caucasus Mountains near the border with Georgia, Mt. Elbrus is an 18,510-foot dormant volcano and Europe’s highest peak.  This winter, it will also be home to Europe’s highest aerial ski lift. More. First Tracks!!


Combine Skiing with French Lessons. A British/French-run ski school in the Alpine resort of Morzine now blends a holiday on the snow with a chance to improve your French language skills. More.




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