Mammoth Mountain opened today, November 7, 2013, and kicked off the 2013-14 season in style. Guess who was on the first chair? We have no idea (the banner was in the way). But we know they weren’t a bunch of lazy ass, sleepin’ in skiers. Skiers haven’t gotten first chair at Mammoth in what a decade? The first hundred people in line got FREE lift tickets as well. That’s worth sleeping in the snow for, right? Those who made out were treated to 12-18 inches of snow, three lifts running and six runs to slide on. Wish you were there, huh?
[Link: Mammoth Mountain]
Eneliko “Liko” Smith, the man behind The Block snowboard hotels and the ensuing legal problems that arose regarding unpaid taxes, is back in the winter sports game while apparently continuing to work on the launch LV Air, an airline serving Las Vegas, Nevada.
Smith claims to have purchased Traverse City, Michigan’s Sugar Loaf Resort and plans to transform the 560-acre property into a “snowboarders’ Mecca” titled The RoK At Sugarloaf.
“This is the single biggest challenge of my life, I’m fortunate I was able to find partners that not only understand the risks involved at Sugar Loaf but also the complexity of reopening a resort that has been shuttered for over 10 years,” says Smith. “The key is getting down to bedrock on what’s required and then taking massive action…I will not let this resort waste away on my watch,” he says. “The residents and children in the region deserve a resort that will compete with others worldwide and The Rok is going to do just that.”
Some locals had been worried about Smith’s past issues, however, Smith promises “that tax payments will never be an issue again” because he “learned from that mistake.” The upside is we just may get another snowboarding reality TV show out of the deal. And that always was the best thing about The Block. For the official press release, follow the jump. [click to continue…]
The Snow Industries of America just released their 2013 Participant Study and as you might have guessed the numbers were down for pretty much everyone but those free heelers. Yeah, we see that bump in “freeski” but come on, that’s just skiing. We all know that.
Ultimately, overall snow sports participation was down 3% to 19.3M participants across all disciplines; alpine ski had a 19% drop in participation but still brought the most to the mountain with 8.2M, followed by snowboard with 7.4M, freeski with 5.4M, snowshoe with 4M, cross country with 3.3 million and telemark with 2.8M participants.
For the official release from the SIA follow the jump.
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Half of Southern California snowboarding is now up for sale as the owners of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have put the resorts up for sale according to a post in the OC Weekly.
The San Bernardino Sun, citing county tax records, reports Snow Summit was assessed to be worth $6.14 million in 2012, up from $5.93 million in 2010. Summit bought Bear Mountain for $200,000 in 2003 and that resort was valued at $5.7 million in 2012, according to the Sun.
We’re guessing with the way the world is heating up you could probably get both mountains for less that $7 million. And from the photo above it appears they’re doing their SoCal sexy marketing best to get these resorts moving. Anyone in?
[Link: OC Weekly]
Earlier this month, when Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory told the Mammoth Lake, California Town Council that “in a few weeks Mammoth Mountain will not be run by Rusty Gregory” he was simply adding his usual flair to a less exciting story.
Truth is, while Gregory announced several changes in the management team on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, what didn’t change is the guy in the CEO position. Yes, Gregory is still CEO and that’s probably a good thing. Here’s what he said about the management changes.
“The last seven years have presented us with a series of hardships; drought, lawsuits, town bankruptcy, and global financial meltdown and the ensuing recession have left their mark on all of us,” said Gregory. “As we acknowledge the challenges behind us, it is critical now that we look to the future and recognize and act upon the opportunities that lie ahead. I believe our company and our community will not realize these opportunities by employing the visions and solutions of the past. It is time to pass the baton to a new generation of company leaders, who dare to have a new vision, possess the audacity to take risk, the guts to change the old ways, and the energy to do the hard work, with their teams, to transform the opportunities of the future into reality.”
Most of the “changes” appear to be simply adjustments to job descriptions, however, Gregory is continuing the search for a new chief operating officer of hospitality. For the official word from Mammoth Mountain, follow the jump.
During the summer of 2012 the City of Mammoth Lakes, California (home to Mammoth Mountain) filed for bankruptcy thanks to losing a lawsuit to a developer. Rather than throw in the towel, the City worked with Mammoth Mountain to plan for their eventual rise from the ashes and the strategies they used over the past seven months could work for almost any business that is down and feeling like there is no way out. For the entire breakdown check out this story by Robert Holmes on Urban Land.
[Link: Urban Land]
Rusty Gregory, the man who has helped run Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort for decades (first as Dave McCoy’s right hand and more recently as CEO) announced to the Mammoth Lakes, California Town Council this week that he is stepping down from the position, according to a story on Sierra Wave.
With little explanation, Gregory said, “In two or three weeks I’ll be announcing who will run Mammoth Mountain Ski Area next. Mammoth Mountain,” he said, “will not be run by me.”. . .After saying he would not be running the Mountain, Gregory said, “We’re making a lot of changes organizationally that are difficult to make because for us to do things in the future, we can’t do things the same way harder and faster and expect a different result.”
Sounds like more changes are coming. Wonder what those will be?
[Link: Sierra Wave]
It’s been a cold, hard winter for fans of June Mountain’s rocking terrain, after parent company Mammoth closed the mountain due to budgetary constraints last year. Now, it appears Mammoth Mountain is putting that all behind them by announcing that June Mountain will reopen for business in “mid-December 2013.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that June Mountain will be back in operation for the 2013-14 season,” said Carl Williams, general manager of June Mountain. “Next winter we look forward to bringing skiers and snowboarders a great on-mountain experience while also planning for June’s future, including the possibility of a new lift and enhanced snowmaking.”
Now all they need is a new way to get up the face and things will be right back on track. Might have to wait until 2015-16 for that, however. For the official word from Mammoth follow the jump.
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That new snowboarding reality TV show staring Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, Frank Wells, Josh Chauvet and the rest of the Snow Park Technologies team hits the National Geographic Channel on Thursday May 9, 2013 at 8 PM EST.
Mountain Movers, National Geographic Channel’s new adrenaline-packed series presented by Chevrolet, goes behind the scenes to show viewers how these world-class, high-intensity snow competition courses are constructed. Starting Thursday, May 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, bundle up as the hazards of winter weather, avalanches, heavy machinery and big personalities present constant challenges. But when metal, wood and snow are finally transformed into something Mother Nature never dreamed of … it’s epic.
Normally, a show about people pushing snow around at a resort would be pretty boring. Knowing the people involved we’re guessing this could get good.
[Link: National Geographic Channel]
Due to the high cost of half pipe upkeep Whistler Blackcomb decided to close their halfpipe on Sunday, April 21, 2013. But that hasn’t gone over well with the shred crowd. Canadian national snowboard team member Katie Tsuyki even started a petition, according to a post on Pique News.
For Tsuyuki, now is the worst time of year to close the pipe. “It’s a big feature and it’s intimidating for some people to ride when it’s cold and icy, and I know people wait for spring for it to soften up and you have a bit of leeway before they ride that feature. It’s a great opportunity for the public, not just athletes, to get out and enjoy it,” said Tsuyuki, adding that a lot of riders also get distracted by powder and big mountain riding during the winter months, and wait for spring to ride the park and pipe.
The mountain reportedly says they’ll keep the halfpipe open if Snowboard Canada or others “provided some funding.” Otherwise, guess everyone will just have to head to Mammoth, huh?
[Link: Pique News]