Prime-time television coverage of the Winter Olympics will start a day early next year in Sochi — with Shaun White the likely star.
NBC will air events the night before the opening ceremony, the first time a U.S. broadcaster has done so. On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, viewers will see team figure skating, women’s freestyle moguls and White’s event, slopestyle snowboarding, for both the men and women.
“We think (it) is a great precursor to the opening ceremonies and has a large value to our distributors, to our advertisers,” NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said at a news conference Tuesday, a year and one day before the Sochi Olympics launch. “And we think the appetite for the fans and the consumers and the viewers will be there.”
With 12 new events for Sochi, including team figure skating and slopestyle, the International Olympic Committee needed to expand the length of the games. And since Thursdays are always a big night for TV viewership, NBC was happy to get a head start.
Some Olympic competitions have been held before the opening ceremony in the past, but this is the first time an American TV network has started its prime-time coverage early. NBC will go from 17 to 18 nights of telecasts.
Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have a midweek two-for-one lift ticket deal for Valentine’s Day. (Big Bear Mountain Resorts photo)
Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have a special lift-ticket deal for February, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Buy one ticket and the second one is free when they are purchased online.
“Last year, we had a couple get married on the top of Snow Summit,” says Chris Riddle, vice president of marketing for Big Bear Mountain Resorts. “We were thrilled to add a uniqueness factor to their big day. The Sweetheart Deal gives people the incentive to grab a partner for an out-of-the-ordinary date, with midweek skiing on our great snow conditions at half the price.”
The Sweetheart Deal lift ticket deal is available online only. Lift tickets are valid for use Feb. 12-14. The special is available for Adult and Young Adult tickets, and valued up to $118. Same day purchase is not available.
If the tickets are not used Feb. 12-14, they may be used on another day after paying the difference between the original purchase price and the prevailing rate on the new date that they are being used.
Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley are offering lodging deals and a host of fun events for Valentine’s Day. Both resorts also will be distributing “I heart Squaw” and “I heart Alpine” buttons all day on Feb. 14.
Lodging packages: Couples can book the Lake Tahoe Lovers’ Getaway package and get a three-night stay, two two-day adult lift tickets and a private, full-day couple’s ski or snowboard lesson starting at $195 per person/per night. The Lake Tahoe Lovers’ Getaway package can be booked Feb. 13-16 for Valentine’s Day, though it is valid for stays through April 28. Package is based on availability and is subject to change. Information: 800-731-8021, visit www.squaw.com
Scavenger hunt: Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be hiding little red velvet bags around both mountains for all to find, weather and conditions permitting. The bags will be full of Valentine’s chocolates and candies, along with a few 2012-13 lift tickets. Scavenger hunt starts when lifts open at 9 a.m.
Singles on KT: Lift lines for male and female singles for those who want to meet their match on Squaw’s KT-22 chairlift. Lifties will be pairing up daring singles all day long from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Meet your match at Alpine: On Feb. 14 at Alpine Meadows, get a numbered sticker from guest services or from the lift ops at the Summit and Roundhouse chairlifts in order to find and meet your match. Keep an eye out for your matching number while you are skiing or riding, and if you find them, bring them to the Last Chair Bar to get discounted drink specials.
Alpine Meadows has great conditions, spectacular views and — on Super Bowl Sunday — $49 lift tickets to celebrate the 49ers playing in the big game. Liftopia and the resort’s website have more details on the special price. (Photo by Tom Zikas/Alpine Meadows)
In celebration of the San Francisco 49ers and Sunday’s Super Bowl, Alpine Meadows has $98 lift tickets for two people ($49 per person, good for Alpine only) available through Liftopia. After a day of skiing and snowboarding, settle in to watch the game at the Last Chair Bar.
Alpine and its sister resort, Squaw Valley, also are offering all passholders an opportunity to purchase two $49 friends or family lift tickets, valid on Sunday.
Alpine’s Super Bowl party game plan comes with food and drink specials and football squares. Buy a drink, get a square (maximum two squares per person) and cheer on your team. Prizes will be given at the end of each quarter. Food specials include $5 nachos and $5 wings at the Last Chair Bar. To learn more, click here.
Squaw is hosting what is being billed as the biggest bash in the Sierra for Sunday’s big game. Watch the 49ers battle the Ravens on a 16-foot by 21-foot, 49-panel jumbo screen at KT Base Bar. Festivities are planned throughout the day, including giveaways and promotions before, during and after the game. This event will be a major fundraiser for the High Fives Foundation. Click here for more details.
Mountain High is taking up to 50 percent off the price of its lift tickets during February.
Express Pass Holders may use the coupon code FEBEXPRESS to receive an adult 8-hour lift ticket for $39. The discount is available through Feb. 28, but not valid President’s Day weekend, Feb. 16-18.
For those who don’t have an Express Pass, if they purchase an adult 8-hour lift ticket by Feb. 15 they will receive a free Express Pass plus a bounce back voucher for $39 that will be good for use on their next visit. The same restrictions apply for the bounce-back voucher (valid through Feb. 28, except Feb. 16-18).
Mountain High’s Express Pass is the most sophisticated and environmentally-friendly lift ticket in snowsports, says resort spokeswoman Kim Hermon. The reusable, hard-plastic card can be encoded time and again with almost any Mountain High lift ticket and benefits include:
$10 off 8-hour, 4-hour and night ticket options, non-holiday.
Free 8-hour ticket (non-holiday) after every four visits.
Track days ridden, total runs, vertical feet and more.
Guarantee reservations in case of a sellout.
Forecasters are calling for a snowy month ahead, with off and on storms.
“February is likely to be a stormy month especially in comparison to the quiet January we’ve just seen,” says Chris Manly from Snowforecast.com.
Bobby Brown slides down the hill after wiping out in the men’s ski big air finals at the Winter X Games. The use of an airbag in training can help develop the body mechanics needed for big tricks, but it also increases the risk for athletes striving for glory in action sports now defined by increasingly technical and dangerous tricks. (Photo by Daniel Petty/The Denver Post)
By Jason Blevins The Denver Post
Backflips are taking over skiing and snowboarding. Spinning double and triple-corked trickery was the golden ticket in every competition at last weekend’s X Games in Aspen.
The sketchy-to-learn tricks have expanded the training toolbox for athletes to include massive airbags.
Superstar Shaun White honed his triple-cork on a private airbag at Breckenridge. His airbag training at a private pipe at Silverton Mountain in 2010 greased his way to Olympic halfpipe gold that year. Today, the massive bags aren’t just for the pros but also the young aspirants nipping at their heels.
“It’s just changed everything. It’s so valuable and such a great in-between step, that difficult step between imagining a new trick and actually doing it. Now we can have the luxury of taking that step and not get hurt,” said Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler, who sessioned an airbag at Mammoth Mountain ski area two weeks ago as she regained her snowboarding pipe form after suffering an eye injury while training on a trampoline.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort has installed the company’s first solar-powered radio frequency (RF) reader to enhance the guest’s experience with EpicMix, Vail Resorts’ proprietary online and mobile application that rewards users for challenges completed, lifts ridden, and days and vertical feet skied. The reader takes advantage of Kirkwood’s legendary hike-to, inbounds terrain, and is located in the Covered Wagon area of the resort, along the southeastern-most boundary on the backside.
“We have so much inbounds terrain here that is truly special, I think this remote reader is the perfect way to bring EpicMix to life at Kirkwood,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s vice president and general manager. “Our visitors are some of the best skiers and riders around and we wanted a special way to recognize them for doing extraordinary things.”
There are two custom pins explorers can unlock at the Covered Wagon reader. The first is called “Pushing Boundaries” and awards the guest 200 points for reaching the reader for the first time. The second is worth 250 points and is called “CW10.” It is awarded for visiting the reader 10 times in one season. In addition to being remote, this reader is also unique in its user experience.
Unlike most EpicMix readers, which don’t require the user to do anything special to record data, guests must intentionally approach the reader and come within five feet in order to be read.
Shaun White competes in men’s snowboard slopestyle at the X Games on Thursday in Aspen. White qualified for the finals by placing seventh. (Photo by Aaron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
By David Krause The Denver Post
ASPEN — With some of the more exciting qualifiers rolling through Thursday afternoon to open the X Games, crowds were looking to the skies on a regular basis.
With only one finals event Thursday at Buttermilk Mountain, the opening day for the X Games features plenty of qualifying runs down the superpipe and the slopestyle course for the men.
Shaun White squeezed into the slopestyle finals, advancing for the first time since 2009 when he won gold. White qualified seventh Thursday after two runs in the elimination round.
Later in the evening, White, who has won the past 11 superpipe events he’s entered, put down a basic first run and earned 87 points, which was tops for the round. However, he dropped to second overall after Iouri Podladchikov, know better as I-Pod, had an 87.33-point run in the second round.
White had a chance to best I-Pod, but White bottomed out on his first hit of the second run.