Not content to own nearly every major winter resort in North America, Vail Resorts announced today that it is adding Australia’s Perisher Resort to their portfolio at a cost of approximately $136 million in cash.
“The acquisition of our first international mountain resort is a significant milestone for our Company. We’re thrilled to welcome the guests and employees of Perisher, Australia’s largest and most iconic resort, into the Vail Resorts family and deepen ties with one of our most important international markets,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “This acquisition is part of Vail Resorts’ continued strategy to drive season pass sales and build loyalty with guests from around the world. Australia is one of the most important international markets for ski resorts across the Northern Hemisphere, generating an estimated more than 1 million skier visits annually to resorts in North America, Japan and Europe.”
And yes, if you’re wondering, next year’s Vail Epic Pass will now include unlimited access to: Perisher, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Canyons, and Park City. If you’re going to take a year off to shred the world, this might be the year to do it . . . all year long. For the official word from Vail Resorts, please follow the jump.
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With that pen Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory officially tied together all the lose ends in Mammoth’s plans to own Southern California mountain recreation. Mammoth now owns Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Sure, Mtn. High and Snow Valley are still running lifts, but you know what we mean. Gregory, however, is much more poetic about it.
“This is more than a merger of ski resorts, we’re creating greater access to year-round mountain experiences with a distinctly southern California feel,” said Mammoth CEO Rusty Gregory. “At Big Bear Mountain Resorts our goal is to provide the best first-time ski, snowboard and mountain bike experience in the country.”
And then, as soon as he gets them up and sliding (or rolling) he’s going to entice them to make the six hour drive to Mammoth and maybe even buy a condo! Yes, now Mammoth Resorts really is Mammoth. For the official word from Mammoth Resorts, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]
Spy announced today that they will be the official eyewear sponsor of all eight Powdr-owned and operated resorts and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resorts. That means the you can look for Spy eyewear on employees at Copper Mountain, Mt. Bachelor, Boreal, Ski & Snowboard Las Vegas, Soda Springs, Killington, Pico and Gorgoza Park (looks like that last one’s a sledding hill).
“We’re very happy to enter into an exciting union with Powdr,” says Michael Marckx, SPY president and CEO. “Bolstering our commitment to snow, this opportunity will allow us to spread the cheeks of Powdr resort visitors each season through our happy presence. It will also allow us to gain vital feedback from retail employees and resort staff regarding our sunglass and goggle offerings, most notably our Happy Lens and Lock Steady™ quick change goggle technology. This is our largest partnership with a mountain resort in the history of SPY, and we’re looking forward to expanding SPY’s presence on-hill and in the market.”
For the official word from Spy, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]
The Oregon Supreme Court has allowed a $21 million lawsuit against Mt. Bachelor Resort to proceed, overturning two lower court rulings, and saying the liability waiver that Myles Bagley signed when he purchased his season pass is unenforceable, according to a story in the Bend Bulletin.
The court’s opinion is that the resort’s release is offered on a “take-it-or-leave-it basis” and that doesn’t mean the resort is free from any liability resulting in conditions the resort created, according to the story.
“As Mt. Bachelor is open to the general public largely without restriction, and visitors subject themselves to the risk of harm from conditions created by the resort operators, the safety of resort visitors “is a matter of broad societal concern,” the opinion stated. . . . The court found there are “inherent risks” to skiing and snowboarding but those risks do not justify insulating ski area operators from all liability.. . . Skiers and snowboarders have important legal inducements to exercise reasonable care for their own safety by virtue of their statutory assumption of the inherent risks of skiing,” read the opinion. “By contrast, without potential liability for their own negligence, ski area operators would lack a commensurate legal incentive to avoid creating unreasonable risks of harm to their business invitees.”
Bailey was paralyzed from the waist down after breaking two vertebrae while snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor in February of 2006, according to The Bulletin. Obviously, this new court opinion could open the doors for all manner of injury lawsuits against resorts, and we will be following it with interest. Compared to the tight “no-jump” policies of the 1980, resorts have had freedom to create bigger and bigger features in their snowboard parks over the last decade. It seemed only a matter of time before someone blamed the builders of the jump for the injuries of a jumper. For the rest of the story, please click the link.
[Link: Bend Bulletin]
We’re seriously hoping this isn’t some harbinger of the kind of winter we’re going to have in North America this season, but Copper Mountain just pushed their scheduled opening from October 31 until November 7, 2014 thanks to what they are calling “unusually warm temperatures.”
Unusually warm temperatures have limited snow making production causing the inability to create a top-to-bottom skiing and riding experience for our planned opening day. With the forecast looking favorable, Copper Mountain’s Resort Leadership is confident the snow making team can create a quality surface for opening on Friday, Nov. 7. Top-to-bottom skiing will be open on Ptarmigan via Excelerator lift as well as on Rhapsody and Main Vein via American Eagle lift. Easy Rider will also be open for beginner terrain . . . “Mother Nature is starting to release her hold on winter and we will have a great start to the 2014/15 season,” said Gary Rodgers, President and General Manager of Copper Mountain. “Delaying Opening Day was a hard decision to make, but the quality of our snow surface and the experiences of our guests are most important.”
Let’s hope this is just a localized event. Right? For the official word from Copper, follow the jump. [click to continue…]
The Wyoming Office of Tourism has just signed Jackson Hole’s own Travis Rice to be the official “voice of winter” for the state of Wyoming.
For those wanting to get up close and personal with Rice, Wyoming is giving fans a chance to ski or ride with Rice . . . Additional contest winners will receive a Wyoming branded, Rice designed, custom Lib Tech snowboard. Follow the conversation about the sweepstakes with the #RoamwithRice or enter the sweepstakes at: http://winter.wyomingtourism.org/sweepstakes/.
If you win you’ll get lots of goodies from Lib Tech and a full two hours trying to keep up with Mr. Rice at Jackson Hole. Good luck with that one. Click the link if you’re feel in’ lucky. . . well, are ya punk?
[Link: Wyoming Tourism]
Utah snow resort consolidation continues with news that Deer Valley Resort has “entered into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort” and will start running the place on May 1, 2015.
“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.”
Will snowboarding be outlawed? Will Deer Valley bring in their butt wiping valets and nose powdering pamperers with them to Solitude? Will lift ticket prices sky rocket? Will the One Utah lift system finally bring Deer Valley and Big Cottonwood Canyon together? For answers to all these questions — and more– follow the jump. [click to continue…]
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson has reportedly dismissed a Utah lawsuit brought by snowboards (Wasatch Equality) that claimed they have been discriminated against at Alta Ski Resort, according to a story in the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Benson wrote in a 30-page opinion that federal court was not the right arena for the snowboarders to argue they should be allowed on the Utah resort’s famed runs such as Baldy Chutes. . . “There are many forums plaintiffs can resort to in an attempt to accomplish their goal of snowboarding down the Baldy Chutes at Alta,” Benson wrote in his decision. “Seeking an injunction from this court is not one of them.”
Seems like a nice way for the judge to get out of making a decision, doesn’t it? The attorney who filed the lawsuit, Jon Schofield, say he and his clients are evaluating a possible appeal.
[Link: SLC Tribune]
For years Mammoth Mountain has been Southern California’s favorite winter resort (even though it is technically in Northern California). Now, with Mammoth’s just announced purchase of Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Mammoth Mountain owns Southern California winters for real with four resorts total: Mammoth, June, Bear Mountain, and Snow Summit. And, yes, all of them will be grouped into one Cali4nia season pass for only $689 for adults.
“We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this agreement with Big Bear Mountain Resorts. These two uniquely southern California resorts have been providing great skiing, riding and biking experiences to visitors from California and beyond. Millions have enjoyed their first mountain resort experience on the slopes of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, and we look forward to expanding upon the legacy that Dick Kun and his people have created over the past six decades,” said Rusty Gregory, Chairman and CEO of Mammoth Mountain. “This acquisition represents the beginning of a renaissance for both Mammoth and Big Bear and is the first step in the next era of skiing and riding in California. In the coming months we will be announcing exciting new development and expansion plans for each of our four resorts designed to attract visitors from down the street, across the country, and around the world.”
For people in Southern California this is the best season pass ever. Makes us almost feel sorry for Mountain High. For the official word from Mammoth, please follow the jump. [click to continue…]
Powdr Corp. appears to have thrown in the towel in its long running legal battle with Talisker and Vail Resorts by finally deciding to sell Park City Mountain Resort to Vail for $183 million according to a story in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Vail will get the terrain owned by PCMR along with the base facilities—the parking, lift ticket offices, and other parts required for a functioning ski resort. The base also has zoning approval for almost 700,000 square feet of residential and commercial development.
Not only that, but Vail is planning to hook Park City up with Canyons to make the “largest single ski resort in the U.S., with 7,000 skiable acres.” But don’t worry for Powdr Corp just yet. They still own Copper, Killington, Mt. Bachelor, Boreal, Pico, Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, Gorgoza Park, Soda Springs, and of course, Woodward Camps. It will likely be a little while longer before Vail gets there hands on all those.
Oh, and the good news for Vail Epic pass holders is that Park City is now included on your long list of resort options. For the official word from Vail, follow the jump. [click to continue…]