Vail Resorts wants to expand race course at Golden Peak

Vail Resorts, announced today that it has submitted a proposal to expand Vail Mountain’s race and training terrain at Golden Peak.

The proposal, which is subject to U.S. Forest Service approval, includes increasing the size of Vail Mountain’s operational boundary by 68 acres to allow for approximately 41 acres of additional trails, three surface lifts and new snowmaking infrastructure.

With these improvements, 760 vertical feet would be added to the venue, providing 1,570 vertical feet of racing and training terrain across approximately 68 acres.

“Since Vail’s inception in 1962, ski racing has been a part of its heritage, and our partnership with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail in the development of future generations of athletes dates to the beginning of the resort as well,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.

“With the Club’s incredible recent performance, including athletes participating at the Sochi Olympics and being recognized as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’soverallClub of the Year this season along with four of the five individual program Club of the Year honors for alpine, snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing amongst other awards, there has never been a better time to expand our partnership by requesting approval from the USFS for the expansion and donating our land to allow the clubhouse upgrade to move forward.”

In addition to pursuing the terrain expansion, Vail Resorts is donating a more than 11,000-square-foot parcel of land to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. Pending Town of Vail approvals, the club plans to redevelop its clubhouse, office and training facility to better serve its 600 athletes.

The donated land, which surrounds three sides of the existing club building, will allow the club to upgrade, enlarge and modernize its existing facility and will also improve traffic circulation. If Town approvals are received reasonably soon, construction could potentially commence as early as this fall.

“Our current facility is severely lacking in parking and other operational space. An expanded facility will help us better serve and develop our existing club members as many of them continue to walk onto the global ski and snowboard stage,” said Aldo Radamus, executive director of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. “The success of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is just as dependent on the support of Vail Resorts and contributions of Vail Mountain as it is of our community and key stakeholders, and we could not be more grateful for this contribution to the future of the club.”

For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.comstop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

Air New Zealand promoting service to the South Island ski resorts

Air New Zealand has teamed up with online content creator Diaries Downunder to launch a campaign promoting its direct trans-Tasman services to the South Island ski fields.
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The campaign “Meanwhile in… New Zealand” will showcase what is happening “now” on the South Island slopes, along with the kind of colorful characters you’re likely to encounter while coming down a mountain – in the tongue in cheek style of the popular “meanwhile in…” internet memes.

The first in the series of videos, featuring a trio of posers in matching woollen skivvies and pom-pom beanies heli-dropped onto Central Otago’s Isobel Glacier, can be viewed here

Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd says with snow falling and more forecast for the coming week, the timing of the campaign is perfect.

“All ski resorts will be open and ready this week to welcome Australian skiers, boarders and holiday makers – so now is the time to book your seat for an unbeatable winter experience in Queenstown.”

unnamed (3)The airline has also launched a social media campaign today offering customers who hit the South Island slopes this winter the opportunity to win back the cost of their airfares by hashtagging their experiences #meanwhileinnz.

Air New Zealand General Manager Australia Leanne Geraghty says while Australia has also had its share of snow dumps this winter, there’s one thing New Zealand slopes offer that you can’t experience here.

unnamed (4)“Queenstown has some of the world’s best heli-ski routes and terrains making for a unique and memorable ski experience. Air New Zealand and our alliance partner Virgin Australia currently fly at least daily from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to the Queenstown ski region, making it possible to check out the heli conditions today and hit the slopes tomorrow.

“New Zealand has historically had a ski season that goes all the way to late September so Australians can continue booking right through spring.”

Air New Zealand, along with alliance partner Virgin Australia will operate an additional 40,000 seats into Queenstown over the peak winter period compared with the same period last year.

 

American Airlines announces flights to Vail for next ski season

American Airlines has just released a new flight schedule between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Vail/Eagle County Airport (EGE) for the 2014-2015 ski season, making it easier than ever  to ski or ride Vail and Beaver Creek with seamless connections.

Vail/Eagle County Airport is located only 45km from Beaver Creek and 56km from Vail, with door-to-door transfers to your lodging in Vail or Beaver Creek available in private, chauffeured four-wheel drive vehicles and shuttles with Colorado Mountain Express.

Daily non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Vail/Eagle County Airport will operate from Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 through Sunday, April 5, 2015, maximizing accessibility to Vail and Beaver Creek over the Christmas/New Year break, January school holiday period  as well as the March Easter break.

The new flight will depart Los Angeles International Airport at 8:45 a.m. With a 12:05 p.m. arrival to Vail/Eagle County Airport, skiers can now ski on the same day they arrive. On the day of departure, snowboarders can maximize their holiday with a full ski day, departing Vail/Eagle County Airport at 6:45 p.m., arriving in Los Angeles at 8 p.m.

For those choosing to complement their ski holiday with a visit to other U.S. destinations, American Airlines also offers daily, non-stop flights from Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 through Sunday, April 5, 2015 between Vail/Eagle County Airport and New York Kennedy, Miami, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Chicago Airports.

Check out the best ski resorts in Australia and New Zealand

When we visited Queensland, New Zealand, we missed the end of the ski season by only 1 day. And they wouldn’t fire up the lifts for a couple late Americans. Oh well!

If you’re in New Zealand or Australia for their new ski season just beginning, be sure to check out their ski resorts.

Here’s a nice compilation by On The Snow.

Coronet Peak is the most popular ski resort on the South Island of New Zealand, in part due to its proximity to Queenstown—20 minutes away. From the summit, look left to see Gondor from the movie, The Lord of the Rings. The varied terrain offers something for everyone: beginners and intermediates have wide blue and red runs, while more advanced skiers can hit the terrain park or test their stamina on the longest run, the “M-1,” stretching 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles). The resort is known for its efficient high-speed chairlifts. The peak is one of the last ski fields to lose its snow, hence the season typically runs from early June to mid October.

When to go: Early June to mid October

Terrain: 690 acres: beginners 25 percent, intermediates 45 percent, advanced 30 percent (includes back bowls)

Lifts: One high-speed six seater, two express quads, one T-Bar and four surface conveyor lifts

Longest run: M1—1.5 miles

Après ski: Fully-licensed restaurant plus bar and cafe with sun deck at the sub-station.

Resort facilities: Snowsports school, ski and snowboard rental shop, ski retail outlet, licensed day care center and children’s programs, first aid and emergency services.

Ski pass prices: Daily lift tickets cost $97 (NZD)

Transportation: Snowline Express costs $15 and return from Queenstown Snow Centre, departs every 20 minutes during peak times with pick-ups at designated stops where space is available. Snowline Hotel Pick is $30 (Adult), $20 (Youth 17 & under) per person for a return trip. Prebook your seat by 9 p.m. the night before. Pick-ups from designated Queenstown accommodation providers.

For the top four resorts in Australia and New Zealand, see their report.

New projects bring Vail Resorts’ investment to $492 million

The 2013-14 winter ski and snowboard season is barely in the rearview mirror, but core enthusiasts and resort operators are already looking ahead to winter 2014-15.

With seven days to go in the spring season pass selling period, Vail Resorts is announcing many new resort improvements for its guests for next winter, including multiple express chairlifts and restaurants, room renovations and a one-of-a-kind snowmaking upgrade designed to automatically refresh snow surfaces throughout the season.

Vail Resorts anticipates spending approximately $85 million to elevate the guest experience for 2014-15, which brings its five-year resort investment total to $492 million.

“At Vail Resorts, we place the highest importance on offering an unparalleled guest experience, and investing nearly $500 million over the last five years is evidence of that,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer for Vail Resorts. “We’re very strategic about the projects we undertake and their overall impact on the guest experience at each of our 10 resorts. Each one of these projects is a game changer for the guests of that particular resort.”

Projects underway and planned this summer for the 2014-15 winter season include:

  • Beaver Creek Chair 6 Combination Liftand Snowmaking Upgrades – The new combination gondola/six-passenger express lift replaces Centennial Express, Beaver Creek’s primary portal. With one gondola cabin for every five chairs, the new combination lift offers a guest-friendly loading option for beginners and Ski and Snowboard School, and all guests will benefit from the 35 percent increase in uphill capacity. In addition, 34 new, fully-automated, state-of-the-art snowmaking guns will line Gold Dust and Lower Larkspur trails to automatically refresh the snow surface conditions throughout the season. This one-of-a-kind system ensures, regardless of natural snowfall, the resorts’ guests will always be skiing or riding on the freshest snow available every day.
  • Breckenridge Colorado Super Chairand Peak 9 Restaurant Renovation – On the heels of launching Peak 6 last season, the ski industry’s most significant terrain expansion in the last decade, upgrading the Colorado Super Chair from a quad express to a six-passenger express will provide a 30 percent increase in capacity for Peak 8’s primary and most-used lift. It will help disperse skiers to the surrounding peaks and provides a faster route from Peaks 6 and 7 to Peak 9, where an entire interior remodel of the existing Peak 9 restaurant, along with a new kitchen will provide a warm, welcoming, high-quality guest experience at the resort’s most scenic dining location, sitting at 11,274 feet.
  • The Lodge at Vail Renovation– Vail’s most historic hotel, The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort, will undergo significant renovations to 56 hotel rooms and the lobby for the 2014-15 winter season, including contemporary mountain interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, lighting and the installation of air conditioning. The lobby’s refresh will include new furnishings, textiles, paint, artwork and lighting designed to maintain the boutique hotel’s authentic character and cozy ambiance. The property will remain open for business during the renovations, starting in August and completing in December.
  • Canyons Cloud Dineand Snowmaking Expansion – Heading into its second year of operating Canyons, Vail Resorts is replacing the temporary Cloud Dine structure with a permanent, 316-seat restaurant, a 41 percent increase in seating capacity. Cloud Dine is the only on-mountain restaurant serving the Dream Peak and Iron Mountain lift pods. Upgrading Canyons’ pump station will increase snowmaking efficiency by 25 percent and will enable top-to-bottom skiing and superior early-season snow surface conditions.

Lifts turning this Memorial Day at Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain snagged Chris Benchetler, who grew up in the Eastern Sierra and calls Mammoth Mountain home, for a quick video about Mammoth’s world famous spring conditions and some of his favorite off-hill activities come spring time. You can find it here.
As usual Mammoth is the last resort open in California and the lifts will be turning this Memorial Day weekend. More information, including an events schedule and up-to-date deals on lodging and lift tickets is available on the Mammoth website here.

Last chance to buy Park City Mountain passes at best price

Park City Mountain Resort’s spring sale for 2014–15 season passes is in its final hours, which means this is your last chance to lock in your pass at the best price of the year.

This season, we’re including lift privileges at 5 of our sister resorts with all passes; and expanding discounted Young Adult pricing to include all pass holders 18–29 years old.

Build your pass with the features you want at the price that’s right for you: choose from Underground Parking (available on a limited basis); Fast Tracks express lane access; and night skiing & snowboarding privileges. And, of course, our passes come with NO BLACKOUT DATES for PCMR access.

Last call for best pass prices — rates go up after May 15!

Buy 2014-15 Season Passes

Bass and Cumming families to run Snowbird ski resort in Utah

The Bass and Cumming Families announced today that they have entered into a partnership for the future operation and development of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.  The partnership will provide continuing direction and funding for major capital improvement projects, including a new restaurant and skier services building atop the Aerial Tram, a Four Diamond remodel initiative for the Cliff Lodge, and the future renovation of the Snowbird Center.

“This partnership will enable Snowbird to achieve more rapid growth and even greater benefits for our guests in keeping with our founding perspective and philosophy of providing a year-round destination mountain resort for the enhancement of body, mind, and spirit, with our ever present emphasis on environmental protection and sensitivity,” said Richard D. Bass.

In addition, Bass feels extremely fortunate to have the Cumming Family join in Snowbird’s future, owing to his inability to live and work at Snowbird’s altitude because of his advancing age.

“I look forward to working with the Bass Family and the team at Snowbird in providing world-class experiences on and off the mountain,” said Ian M. Cumming, an original investor in the Inn at Snowbird.  Cumming owns a home at Snowbird and his family has a long history of skiing at Snowbird.  “We are very happy to be involved at a place that has so many fond memories for our family,” said Cumming.

“Partnering with the Cumming Family ensures a bright future for Snowbird,” said Snowbird CEO and President Bob Bonar, one of the first employees when Snowbird opened in 1971.  “Snowbird’s commitment to providing exceptional skiing and year-round hospitality, entertainment, and guest service will only greatly increase as we go forward.”

Snowbird’s current management team, led by Bob Bonar, Tom Jones and Jerry Giles, will remain in place. The partnership is between the Bass and Cumming Families and does not involve Powdr Corp.  Mr. Cumming will own a majority share of Snowbird.  Dick Bass will remain as Chairman of the Board.

Learn new tricks with Monster Energy Air Bag at Mammoth Mountain

bag

Measuring at 50 feet wide by 50 feet long, the Monster Energy Air Bag covers the entire surface area of a jump allowing users to attempt new tricks, with an airbag landing, before taking it on a snow landing.

Single Jump / Unlimited Day Pass

The Monster Energy Air Bag is open to adult and youth skiers and snowboarders of intermediate-advanced ability. A lift ticket is required to participate.

  • Dates:  May 3, 4, 10 and 11
  • Times:  10am to 2pm
  • Prices:  $10 for a single jump or $30 for unlimited day use; unlimited day use ticket includes a FREE Monster Energy drink; tickets available at the base of the jump

Camp Sessions

Coaches with Mammoth’s Snowboard and Freeride Teams will be offering traning camps to help hone in on your jumping.  Camp Sessions are open to the public.  Enrollment includes one hour private jump session, individualized instruction, daily video review and unlimited use of the Monster Energy Air Bag.

  • Dates:  May 10-11
  • Camp Schedule:  9am to 10am private air bag session; 10am to 3pm on-snow traning and air bag session; 3pm to 4pm video review session
  • Prices:  $200 per person; call 800.MAMMOTH to book today!

 

Team Training is also available.  For more information on the please contact Ben Wisner at bwisner@mammoth-mtn.com or 760.934.2571 ext. 3144.

*Lift ticket and helmet required. Weather and conditions permitting.

Still snowing in Mammoth, still time to ride

It’s a rite of spring in Mammoth. Every year, while other resorts in California, Colorado and Utah are closing their slopes, we keep skiing. And riding. And skiing. And riding! With 6-8″ of fresh snow (and more coming), great spring deals and top-to-bottom terrain open through Memorial Day, now is the time to hit the slopes.
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SPRING DEALS
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Get unlimited skiing and riding this spring and for the entire 2014/15 season with no blackout dates. Your pass entitles you to tons of discounts and benefits across the mountain.
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SKI FOR ONLY $60/DAY

The season is still going strong at Mammoth Mountain. With top-to-bottom skiing and riding and beautiful California sunshine, now is the time to head for the hills! You and your friends can hit the slopes for 3 days of fun for just $180 – that is $60 a day!*
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