Lindsey Vonn kicks off new Ski Girls Rock at Mt. Brighton

U.S. Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine ski champion Lindsey Vonn comes to Mt. Brighton Saturday, Oct. 25 to kick off the upcoming ski and snowboard season and introduce her new “Ski Girls Rock” program, including an exclusive training session with locals girls and the 2014 state champion Brighton High School Girls MHSAA Ski Team.

Vonn, who packed the house last fall during her first Mt. Brighton appearance, returns to introduce Ski Girls Rock, which will debut at Mt. Brighton this winter. The program for girls ages seven to teen, was inspired and designed by Vonn herself and will be led by Mt. Brighton female instructors.

It focuses not only on improving skiing technique, but also empowering girls through the sport and building students’ confidence while developing friendships, teamwork and social skills.

Vonn has chosen to bring this previously Vail- and Beaver Creek-exclusive program to Vail Resorts’ Michigan and Minnesota ski areas – Mt. Brighton and Afton Alps – because of her ties growing up skiing in the Midwest and knowing how important youth development programs are to the local community.

Vonn will personally meet with ski instructors at Mt. Brighton to prepare them to teach this unique girl-focused program and conduct a private preseason “dry land” training session with girls registered for one of the four Ski Girls Rock sessions, as well as the Brighton High School State Champion Girls Ski Team.

At the base of Mt. Brighton’s ski slopes Vonn and the Mt. Brighton instructors will give the girls instruction on proper warm-up exercise techniques – the same types of exercises Vonn employs in advance of her global ski race season.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the season at Mt. Brighton than introducing girls from the local community to Ski Girls Rock with a pre-season workout alongside their local state girls ski champions.” said Vonn. “I’ll get to meet Mt. Brighton’s ski instructors who will be teaching Ski Girls Rock this winter to discuss how sports empower girls and helps them build confidence while developing friendships, teamwork and social skills.”

Growing up in the Midwest and getting her start in alpine ski racing at an urban ski area similar to Mt. Brighton, Vonn’s heartfelt message will get those in attendance excited for another epic season of skiing and snowboarding at the iconic Livingston County ski area.

“Lindsey Vonn’s appearance here last fall was the perfect way to kick-off our first season of Mt. Brighton being part of the Vail Resorts’ family and a place, quite literally, where Epic begins,” said Mt. Brighton General Manager Taylor Ogilvie. “Having Lindsey come back to Mt. Brighton this year to personally introduce Ski Girls Rock, which previously was only offered at Vail and Beaver Creek, is a true testament as to how Mt. Brighton’s Ski & Ride School offers Vail Resorts’ world-renowned instruction here locally in Michigan.”

Following her private Ski Girls Rock training session and meet and greet, Vonn will meet with the public, for autographs and likely a few selfies, too!

“Last year was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to returning to Mt. Brighton,” said Vonn. “I will get to meet with girls of all ages at this event and I can’t help but see some of myself in them.”

Who | Lindsey Vonn, Mt. Brighton Ski Instructors, 2014-2015 Mt. Brighton Ski Girls Rock program participants and Brighton High School Girls MHSAA State Champion Ski Team
Where | Mt. Brighton, 4141 Bauer Road, Brighton, MI 48116
When | Saturday, October 25
Time | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Private warm-up session with Lindsey, Ski Girls Rock participants (see below to sign-up and get access to this session; space is limited) and the 2014 state champion Brighton High School Girls MHSAA Ski Team
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. – Lindsey Vonn autograph session open to the public
Bonus! Girls who participate in Ski Girls Rock at Mt. Brighton will be entered for a chance to win a trip to Vonn’s end-of-season Ski Girls Rock party in Vail, Colo.!

Ski Girls Rock will be offered at Mt. Brighton on four different holiday weekends this season: Dec. 21-23, 26-28, Jan. 17-19, and Feb. 14-16. Pricing for the three day program is $267 and includes lift ticket, lesson and lunch. For season pass holders, the program is offered for $207 including lesson and lunch.

Mt. Brighton is part of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, offering unlimited, unrestricted skiing and snowboarding at 12 resorts, which also include Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Canyons, Park City, Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Afton Alps, as well as five consecutive days each at Niseko United in Japan, Verbier, Switzerland and Les 3 Vallées, France.

To sign up for Ski Girls Rock and gain access to the Oct. 25 Lindsey Vonn private warm-up session visit the “Winter” – “Kids Lessons” page at www.mtbrighton.com or call: (810) 229-9581. Note that space is limited.

Shaun White brings snowboarding to Pasadena Rose Bowl

By Lauren Gold, Staff Writer

Olympic gold medalist and professional snowboarder Shaun White announced Friday that he will bring the Air & Style sports, arts and music event to the Rose Bowl Stadium in February.

The event will be the first time Air & Style, which began in Europe in 1993, will be held in the U.S. It will feature a 16 story ramp covered in man made snow for the skiing and snowboarding competition. There will also be skateboarding, music, food trucks, art, technology, fashion, family activities and other entertainment.

“It’s going to be one of those things where it’s kind of up to you to make your own experience at the event,” White said. “Everybody has been describing it as if it was a party I was throwing. There is going to music, sports, food, there is going to be something you haven’t seen before. That’s been our underlying goal of the event to enhance peoples experience.”

White, who purchased a majority share of the event this year, said the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium was the perfect location to host it.

“I love L.A., I live in L.A. I remember going to the Rose Bowl and seeing U2 play and it was just such a blowout massive event and … I was there for the weekend flea markets. I remember thinking this is such a great place, it’s so close and so fun,” White said. “So (for the event) we basically took this satellite view of Los Angels and that was like right in the heart of it so we decided to try to pursue the Rose Bowl.”

Plus, he added, it will bring rare snow to Southern California.

“The idea is kind of bringing these things that happen in the mountains to the city,” White said. “We were doing an event with Target recently they had this days of winter thing going on. People were losing it they were so excited about the snow and it dawned on me that a lot of people in the area and in Pasadena haven’t experienced snow before. I can’t wait to see their reactions when we park this right in their front lawn.”

Read more in Lauren’s story WHITE.

Mountain High offering free season passes to 5th graders

The beauty of the winter mountains is something to be experienced by everyone and that’s why Mountain High and Toyota have teamed up to offer FREE season passes to regional 5th Graders in the 5th Grade Pass Program.   Any 5th Grader in California is eligible for a FREE season pass valued at $279 anytime he or she visits Mountain High during the 2014/15 season.

The 5th Grade Pass Program encourages kids to stay active in winter.  It teaches them new skills, builds overall confidence, and brings families together in an active environment.

Each year the 5th Grade Pass Program introduces thousands of local students and their parents to skiing and snowboarding and provides them with lifelong snow sports skills.  Parents of participants rank it very high and many base their children’s involvement solely on the program.

 “We are excited to partner with Toyota again this year to provide 5th graders in our state the opportunity to experience the joys and benefits of outdoor recreation,” says John McColly, CMO.

Snow sports participation is highly correlated to participation in other physical activities, and active kids tend to be healthier and more successful academically.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Roberts Wood Johnson Foundation, and the America, Physiology Society (among others), America’s children are not getting enough physical exercise and this is leading to a meteoric rise in obesity.

Mountain High’s 5th Grade Pass Program encourages kids to stay active during the cold months.  In fact, during the winter of 2013/2014 snow sports participants burned more than 332 Billion calories while skiing, riding, and snowshoeing, enough to work off 475 Million cheeseburgers.

Additionally, research demonstrates that kids who participate in the Pass Program tend to remain active throughout the year which in turn, is highly correlated to improved academic performance and better health over the course of their lifetime.

Families that play together stay together and the Pass Program has shown to be very effective in bringing adults and other family members into, or back into the snow sports market.  In fact, nearly half of parents questioned said that they participated in snow sports because their child was involved in the Pass program.

Says Michelle Quan from Thousand Oaks, “It is an absolutely wonderful program.  We got the pass for my son when he was in 5th grade and it was just what I needed to get back on the slopes after 11 years! My husband also starting skiing again and now we now have four in our family who are skiers thanks to Mountain High.”

To order a free 5th Grade Season Pass parents visithttp://www.mthigh.com/deal/5th-graders-ski-and-snowboard-free.  Participants must be between the ages of 9 and 11 as of December 31, 2014, and parents are required to show proof of enrollment (report card, school ID, or certified letter of intent.)  Please note there is a $10 processing fee per pass.  Refunds are not available for previously purchased tickets or pass products.

Liftopia’s pricing engine gives skiers more options

Liftopia, which operates the largest consumer marketplace and resort technology platform for ski lift tickets and other mountain activities, has introduced the industry’s first tiered dynamic pricing system for lift tickets featuring Value,Value Plus and Flexible options – now available for purchase for the 2014/2015 ski season.

The new ticket options feature a range of savings and flexibility to meet the needs of any type of skier or snowboarder, whether they are traveling to their destination or hitting the slopes closer to home:

  • Value lift tickets are date-specific, non-refundable and non-changeable, offering the deepest discounts with savings up to 85 percent off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. These are ideal for consumers who know the exact dates they will be skiing or riding.
  • Value Plus lift tickets offer added flexibility, allowing a one-time date change during the season.
  • Flexible lift tickets offer the ultimate flexibility with unlimited date changes during the season.

 If Value Plus and Flexible tickets are changed to dates that are more expensive, customers will just pay the difference in price.  Customers will never be charged separate change fees.

“At Liftopia, we work hard to make it easier for people to ski more often in ways that are also beneficial for ski areas, and these new options provide a range of flexibility to give consumers a choice of what is best for their needs,” said Evan Reece, co-founder and CEO of Liftopia. “Since prices move up over time, consumers can have confidence that the farther they buy in advance the more they will be rewarded for their commitment.”

 Some examples of Value, Value Plus and Flexible lift tickets now available for purchase include:

 Mount Snow, VT – Purchase lift tickets in advance for the week of Christmas (Dec. 22-26) and get a Value ticket starting at $46.99, or 48 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $55.59, or 38 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $60.59, or 33 percent off the walk-up rate.

  • Arapahoe Basin, CO – Purchase lift tickets in advance for the last week in December (Dec. 29-Jan. 2) and get a Value ticket starting at $58.99, or 35 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $64.99, or 27 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $69.99, or 21 percent off the walk-up rate.
  • Mad River Glen, VT – Purchase lift tickets in advance for New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) and get a Value ticket starting at $39.99, or 49 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $47.79, or 40 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $52.79, or 33 percent off the walk-up rate.
  • Killington, VT – Purchase lift tickets in advance for President’s Weekend (Feb. 14-16) and get a Value ticket starting at $76.99, or 16 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $81.99, or 11 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $86.99, or 5 percent off the walk-up rate.
  • Snowbird, UT - Purchase lift tickets in advance for the last week in January (Jan. 26-30) and get a Value ticket starting at $56.99, or 40 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $64.59, or 32 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $69.59, or 27% off the walk-up rate.

All prices are based on availability and will change dynamically.

 In addition to Value, Value Plus and Flexible tickets, skiers and snowboarders can also purchase rentals, lessons, meal vouchers, and more through Liftopia.com and the Liftopia mobile app.

The flexible tiered pricing options are also being introduced by several resorts which utilize the cloud-based Liftopia Platform to implement advance-purchase commerce and the industry’s most advanced dynamic pricing models on the resorts’ own websites and mobile channels.  The Liftopia Platform also provides resorts access to sophisticated business intelligence and customer analytics.

For more information on Value, Value Plus and Flexible tickets as well as Liftopia and the Liftopia Platform, visit www.liftopia.com.

Skiers take us on a month long journey to Patagonia

By Adam Clark and Brody Leven on www.powder.com

“Embrace the ride, no? That’s what Salt Lake City residents Adam Clark and Brody Leven did last October when the duo embarked on a 3,000-plus-mile road trip through Chile and Argentina to ski exotic volcanoes.

“Their only plan was to drive as far south on the continent as possible. Whatever happened in the midst of those dusty and bumpy roads they’d figure out upon arriving to that situation.

“Although Leven could probably write a book of this month-long journey from his journal entries, 68 pages of Clark’s photography should suffice with insightful and witty commentary from Leven that can only come from being on the road.

“Leven nor Clark knew what they were getting into when they hopped in a rented van with graffiti art. But as you’ll read and see in the third installment of the POWDER Flipbook series, not having a plan fueled their adventure to the bottom of the world.”

Read more in PATAGONIA.

Mammoth Mountain to open on Nov. 13 for ski season

Opening Day is just around the corner!
It's snowing on Mammoth Mountain!
VACATIONS    |   ACTIVITIES    |    WEATHER    |    DEALS
Dust off those skis and boards and get ready to kick off the winter season in classic Mammoth style. November 13 is just around the corner and there will be plenty of events, parties and snow shenanigans for everyone.

Opening Day festivities begin with a traditional “First Chair” celebration and banner breaking at Broadway Express followed by a beer toast on the sundeck. As the sun goes down, head to Wave Rave for the premier of Snowboarder Magazine’s new movie “Foreword.”

See you on the slopes on Nov. 13.

10 reasons Breckenridge is one of best ski resorts

The changing leaves and colder temperatures can only mean one thing: Breckenridge Ski Resort’s opening is just around the corner.  With opening day set for Nov. 7, Breck is sharing the top ten reasons to get excited for the 2014-15 winter ski season at one of the most popular ski resorts in North America.

10. One of Colorado’s Best Ski Towns Breckenridge is world-renowned for its welcoming spirit and friendly locals.  With over 200 restaurants, bars, and shops and numerous year-round activities and events, Breck embodies more than just a destination; it inspires a way of life. And by the way, this 155-year-old historic hamlet and its famous Main Street are just steps from the ski resort – a location unmatched in the ski industry.

9. A New Colorado SuperChair. New this year, the Colorado SuperChair is getting an upgrade from a quad express to a six-passenger express to provide a 28 percent increase in capacity for Peak 8’s primary lift. This will help disperse skiers to the surrounding peaks and provide a faster route for skiers and riders traversing the resort.

8. This Season Marks 30 Years of Snowboarding at Breckenridge Ski Resort.  Beginning with the 1984-85 season, Breck became one of the first major ski resorts to allow snowboarding. This embrace of a wild new sport resulted in hosting one of the initial major snowboard competitions in the industry, one year later. Breck solidified its place at the very pinnacle of freestyle snowboarding and skiing with the addition of an Olympic-sized 22-foot superpipe, which anchors the resort’s award-winning Freeway Terrain Park. With four terrain parks creating a park progression system for beginners and intermediates, including the top-ranked Freeway Terrain Park and SuperPipe and the Park Lane Terrain Park, Breckenridge remains on the forefront of the industry.

7. World-renowned Ski SchoolThere are a variety of options for riders of all abilities at Breckenridge Ski and Ride School, including new camps this year. Private Lessons: The ultimate customized experience. Our pros will take up to six students and cater to the needs/wants of the participants.  A private lesson is a sure way to accelerate skills and progress with as much individual feedback as requested. Camps: This season guests can choose from four specialized camps: two women’s camps, Jan. 23-25 and Feb. 20-22, 2015; a ‘steeps’ camp, Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2015; and the Kid’s Park and Pipe Camp, Feb. 20-22, 2015.

6. DoubleTree from A to Zzzz: A New All-Inclusive Package. Guests can enjoy the convenience of an all-inclusive resort from arrival to late night and receive lodging, food and drinks all for one low price when they book The Double Tree by Hilton Breckenridge’s All Inclusive Package. Grab a quick breakfast or lunch at the Made Market, enjoy house drinks, wine and draft beer for Après, or treat the family to a gourmet farm to table dinner at the 9600 Kitchen – all without having to get out your wallet!

5. Peak 6. Last season, Breckenridge Ski Resort added over 540 acres with its Peak 6 expansion just north of Peak 7. Peak 6 includes 400 acres of lift-served terrain and 143 acres of hike-to terrain, representing a 23 percent increase in resort’s skiable acres. Peak 6 features high-alpine, intermediate bowl skiing – a rare find in North America.

4. New on-mountain dining. The Peak 9 Restaurant will reopen as The Overlook with a renovated interior, including a new kitchen that will provide a warm, welcoming guest experience. In addition to The Overlook, the resort is introducing a mobile dining option, the Snowdrifter, which will change its location throughout the season.

3. Epic Pass. Breckenridge is part of the ski industry’s most valuable ski pass program. Vail Resorts offers multiple pass options for the 2014-15 season that include unlimited skiing or riding at Breck.

2. Exclusive special events. Breckenridge Ski Resort will feature signature events throughout the season – the Winter Dew Tour Championships, Dec. 11-14, 2014; the iconic Ullr Fest celebration of snow, Jan. 11-17, 2015; and the Spring Fever festival from March 21-April 19 (closing day). Returning Spring Fever Events include the Bud Light concert series (featuring acts such as Blues Traveler and The Dirty Heads in the past); the Throwback Throwdown snowboarding halfpipe competition with snowboarding legends (past and present); and the Breck Big Mountain Challenge.

1. Powder Days! Breckenridge received over 36 feet of snow during the 2013-14 season – including more January snow than any other U.S. resort – resulting in one of the longest ski seasons in its history.

Stay Connected
Visit Breckenridge.com for terrain updates, snow reports, lodging deals, event details and the lowest priced lift tickets guaranteed. Stay connected all season long and learn more about Breckenridge Ski Resort at www.facebook.com/Breckenridge watch official resort videos atwww.YouTube.com/Breckenridge, and follow @Breckenridgemtn on Instagram and Twitter

On the Snow editors pick their favorite skis

2015 Editors’ Choice: Our 41 Favorite Skis

The top men’s and women’s skis for the 2014/15 season. From Frontside carvers and All-Mountain Front/All-Mountain Back versatility machines to Powder slayers, this is the best of what your favorite ski brands have to offer.

Frontside Faves

1
The 7 Best Men’s Frontside Skis for 2015
These seven pairs of men’s Frontside carvers topped our list for 2015. Read on to find out why. Full Article

4 Top 2015 Women’s Frontside Skis

All-Mountain Front Standouts

2
2015′s Top 6 Men’s All-Mountain Front Skis
Ski testers dubbed these six standout pairs of men’s All-Mountain Front skis worthy of our 2015 Editors’ Choice. Full Article

The 4 Best Women’s All-Mountain Front Skis for 2015

The Best of All-Mountain Back

3
7 Top-Scoring Skis: 2015 Men’s All-Mountain Back
These seven pairs of men’s All-Mountain Back Skis impressed testers most, now among the ranks of our 2015 Editors’ Choice skis. Full Article

4 Winning Women’s 2015 All-Mountain Back Skis

Most Popular Powder Planks

4
Our 5 Favorite Men’s Powder Skis for 2015
Five pairs of men’s powder skis floated to the top of the 2015 lineup and onto our Editors’ Choice list. Full Article

4 Women’s Powder Ski Standouts for 2015

Deer Valley Resort buys Solitude Mountain Resort

Deer Valley Resort has entered into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort and will begin operating the resort on May 1, 2015.

“Solitude is an incredible resort and provided a huge opportunity for us to expand our offerings right here in Utah,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “Solitude is in unique position with their widely varied terrain that attracts both local and destination skiers. We are ecstatic to be able to add the resort to the Deer Valley family.”

“The DeSeelhorst family has enjoyed being a part of Solitude’s history for almost 40 years. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish at the resort and in our mountain community,” said Dave DeSeelhorst, owner and general manager of Solitude Mountain Resort. “We feel very fortunate for the opportunity to have worked with so many amazing people in our industry and most importantly being able to work with our incredible staff at Solitude over the years. It is exciting to pass on this unique and beautiful resort to one of the best resort operators in the country, Deer Valley.”

For the upcoming 2014-15 ski season, Solitude will operate as usual under the leadership of the DeSeelhorst family. To foster the most effective and strategic change over, select Deer Valley staff will work alongside Solitude staff during the next six months to evaluate resort operations and gain knowledge about the Solitude brand and culture. Deer Valley will then take full ownership of Solitude Mountain Resort on May 1, 2015.

FAQs:

Why did Deer Valley Resort enter into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort?
Deer Valley recognized a great opportunity to expand within the Utah market by adding Solitude Mountain Resort to the Deer Valley family. Solitude is an incredible resort, with both family friendly and expert terrain, and we are sincerely excited to begin working with the staff.

Amount Paid? Assets acquired?
This is a private acquisition.

How will this purchase change the experience at Solitude?
It will be business as usual, run by the DeSeelhorst family, at Solitude for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Deer Valley recognizes Solitude’s unique position in both the local and destination markets and acknowledges that we have much to learn about the current operation and brand position. Consequently, we will have select Deer Valley staff work hand in hand with Solitude staff this winter to share knowledge.

Does current Solitude staff need to worry about their employment?
Deer Valley does not anticipate any major changes in staffing at Solitude at this time.

Will snowboarding still be available at Solitude? How about the Brighton connection?
Deer Valley plans to continue allowing snowboarding at Solitude and keep the Brighton connection in place.

What about One Wasatch? Now that Deer Valley intends to own Solitude does a connection from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Deer Valley, instead of Park City Mountain Resort, make more sense?
One Wasatch (formerly the Ski Utah Interconnect) has been analyzed over the years and the present lift alignment recently released by Ski Utah seems to make the most sense.

Will it become a mini-Deer Valley?
Although Deer Valley will bring some of our service oriented and operational philosophies to the resort we do not plan to rebrand Solitude as another Deer Valley.

Will the name change?
At most, Deer Valley would make a small adjustment to the name to let current guests and potential visitors know the resort is now part of the Deer Valley family. We believe there is a lot of awareness and brand equity in the Solitude name.

Will there be a reciprocal arrangement for skiing benefits between Solitude and Deer Valley Resort?
Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort full season pass holders will receive four ski days at each respective resort. Deer Valley midweek pass holders will be given two passes valid, Monday through Friday, at Solitude for the coming season. Holiday restrictions will apply: December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015; January 17 – 19, 2015 and February 14 – 16, 2015.

Will Solitude be added to the Wasatch Benefit program?
Deer Valley anticipates the Wasatch Benefit program will remain as announced in September with shared lift privileges for select season pass holders between Alta, Deer Valley and Snowbird.

Will lift ticket, locals and season pass prices increase dramatically due to the purchase of Solitude by Deer Valley?
There will be no changes to the lift and season pass rates announced by Solitude for the 2014-15 season. Moving forward, Deer Valley Resort will analyze past resort performance, operational expenses and projected revenue potential prior to setting rates.

Will Deer Valley bring more capital and marketing investments to Solitude?
Deer Valley will take the next six months to analyze operational and marketing/brand opportunities prior to announcing any capital investments. In addition, Deer Valley will begin promoting the great experience and resort jewel Solitude currently is in spring of 2015.

Does Deer Valley plan on buying any more resorts?
Although Deer Valley is not actively pursuing purchasing another resort, we have always been open to analyzing opportunities that may be a good fit for Deer Valley.

Did Deer Valley purchase Solitude in response to Vail Resorts’ purchase of Park City Mountain Resort and Ian Cumming’s purchase of Snowbird?
Absolutely not. Deer Valley has entertained many opportunities to purchase resorts over the years and in the end, those opportunities did not make good business sense. Solitude came to us at the right time and for the right reasons including: the location in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah; past business practice and performance; and great awareness in the local market.