Top Five Fridays - August 11, 2017 // Ski Industry News
#1: Rossignol Leans into Mountain Biking:
Well, it’s not exactly ski news, but in a way it is. This week, Rossignol let it be known that they have plans to break into the mountain bike world in the Spring of 2018. For those in tune with that industry, this comes with little surprise as the brand had purchased Felt Bicycles back in February, marking the first step in the process. While we’ll obviously have to wait to see the results of this gamble, we’re pretty confident that if they approach the world of mountain biking in the same way that they’ve taken on the ski industry, then the good folks at Rossignol will be bringing new innovations to the industry in no time. Plus, from a business standpoint, this move makes sense as there’s plenty of crossover between ski enthusiasts and mountain bike enthusiasts, implying a certain level of brand recognition amongst consumerst. At present, information is limited as to the exact details of Rossi’s first product line, but a press release does indicate that the brand will launch with 11 different mountain bike models spanning everything from Junior bikes to Downhill, Enduro, and Trail bikes. As always, we wish Rossignol the best of luck with their latest venture! To read the press release and join the conversation, we direct you over to our friends at PugSki.
#2: Red Mountain’s Unconventional Ownership Experiment Charges Forward:
This week, we came across an update from RED Mountain up in British Columbia. You may recognize the name as it was just about a year ago when they launched a somewhat unorthodox campaign to crowd fund their entire mountain. At the time we shared the news, the resort was in phase one of their experiment, in which they tested their idea by symbolically selling reservations to buy equity in the resort. In other words, anyone who was interested in owning a part of RED Mountain could pledge (but not actually spend) $1,000 or more for their slice of ownership pie. Now, almost a full year later, RED Mountain is moving onto phase two of their plan in which those who reserved their piece of equity will have a chance to actually buy in. Starting on August 14th, Canadian residents will have an opportunity to begin buying equity in the resort via FrontFundr. This campaign will run independently until November 2nd, at which point Americans will be able to get in on the fun via a Start Engine campaign. All in all, it’s a pretty interesting story to watch as this method of resort ownership certainly has the potential to counteract the current conglomeration culture occurring at skiing’s highest levels, and could provide a path to sustainability for smaller mom and pop ski slopes. To learn more about this campaign, checkout the original Start Engine page.
#3: Plans to Connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows One Step Closer to Reality:
Depending on who you are, we caught wind of some good and/or bad news coming out of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows this week. Last Friday (after we posted our weekly update of course), Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows CEO Andy Wirth held a meeting with Troy Caldwell (owner of a crucial piece of property between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows) to discuss the future of their plan to connect the two resorts via gondola. At the conclusion of the meeting, a clear route had been laid out for the proposed gondola, as well as a host of guidelines that would regulate when and how the lift would operate. If the current route and schedule are approved, a gondola would be constructed that would feature 4 loading/unloading platforms (2 per side), and would run only during the winter months. In addition to operating during lift hours, the gondola could also be used to transport patrons to and from Squaw Village to enhance the Apres-Ski scene. In truth, this week’s meeting represents a small, but significant step in a process that is far from over. To read more about the details of this project and to find out how to make your opinion heard, visit this page from the Friends of Squaw Valley.
#4: TGR Releases Trailer for “Rogue Elements”:
Another week, another new trailer to share! This time, we’ve got the latest from Teton Gravity Research, one of the powerhouses of the action sports film industry. For 2017’s release TGR sticks to their tried and true formula of showcasing a cocktail of mega-mo powder skiing, intense nature, and the general chaos that comes with life as a professional athlete. Now, saying that they’ve decided to stick to their previous formula isn’t intended as a knock against them. Rather, we’re happy to see that TGR is returning with their signature style while adding an even higher level of skiing than their previous films. All of this is to say: we’re extremely excited for this year’s flick. Check out the above trailer for yourself, and get ready to see some incredible action this fall from the likes of Angel Collinson, Ian McIntosh, Nick McNutt, Tim Durtschi, Sammy Carlson, Elyse Saugstaud, Dash Longe, Sean Jordan, Dane Tudor, Clayton Villa, and plenty more!