Top Five Fridays - August 7, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Echo Mountain Set to Reopen to Public:
Denver residents should have reason to rejoice after Echo Mountain announced that it will reopen to the public on December 10, 2015. The ski area has had its ups and downs ever since initially opening in 1960 as Squaw Pass Ski. The resort successfully ran for 15 years until it was shut down in 1975. Over the next few decades, the resort was mostly used by backcountry skiers who enjoyed its accessibility, solitude, and low avalanche risk. Then, in 2002, the property was purchased by Jerry Petitt and turned into “Echo Mountain Park”, a concept mountain who’s goal was to create a ski resort that was one huge terrain park. After running the resort for 10 years, Pettit sold the resort to Nora Pykkonen who created the Front Range Ski Club and turned the mountain into a private training facility for young ski racers. After a few years of remaining private, Echo has just announced that it will be open to the public again for the 2015/2016 winter! We have to imagine this comes as welcome news to those who are full time employees living in Denver who would love to log some midweek night skiing hours. For all the hardcore ski bums with day jobs in Denver, we hope this most recent change lasts a while!
#2: World’s Largest Indoor Ski Resort to be Built in Dubai:
Does the summer heat and talk of climate change have you feeling like you may never ski again? Don’t worry! Dubai, the desert city that oil built, has already mastered the art of making indoor ski resorts. Already home to the current largest indoor ski resort (Ski Dubai), the city just announced plans to build another enormous indoor ski resort which is set to break the record again. Included in the plan, is a 1.2 Kilometer run which is nearly 3 times longer then the run at Ski Dubai. The indoor ski resort will be a part of a new complex called “Meydan One” which will also host the world’s tallest residential building as well as the largest dancing fountain. Construction of the mega complex is expected to be completed in 2020 at an estimated cost of $6.8 billion.
#3: Beijing Wins 2022 Winter Olympic Bid:
In other skiing where there’s no snow news, congratulations are in order for Beijing, China for being awarded the hosting duties of the 2022 Winter Olympics! This marks the first time that a city will host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, while also acknowledging the growth of China. That’s the good news. The bad news is that China has some serious hurdles to overcome if they hope to pull off a successful Winter games. Most notably, China will need to find a way to make enough snow in an area who’s average snowfall is just 39.3” a year. To make matters worse, China already has water conservation issues, as seen in their war on golf. Yet despite their water woes, China is planning on spending $90 million to divert enough water to satisfy the snow demands required to host the Winter Olympics. Perhaps the most ironic piece to the puzzle though, is that while China has essentially outlawed golf due to its use of water, they’re currently promoting winter sports in airports all over the country in an effort to increase interest and talent in the winter sports world. So, it’s with equal parts doubt, confusion, and concern that we’ll keep our eye on China over the next 7 years as they try to turn all of their water into snow in hopes of impressing us all.
#4: Saddleback Extends Their Doomsday Deadline:
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Saddleback Resorts unfortunate circumstances. In essence, they needed to raise around $3 million in two weeks in order to reopen the resort for the 2015-2016 ski season. The reason is, they need to replace their old Rangeley Double Chairlift with a newer four person lift. In order to have enough time to install the lift before the season starts, the resort set a two week fund raising deadline from July 20th - August 3rd. Well, that date came and went and Saddleback still is without funding. Knowing the importance of the resort to the local economy though, Chris Farmer, Saddleback’s general manager, has agreed to push the deadline back a few days. Currently, the resort is in a “holding pattern,” and is working with local financial institutions and potential buyers to hopefully secure the necessary funding in time. Knowing how hard it is to reopen a shuttered resort, we wait with baited breath to find out whether or not Saddleback will be able to open this coming season.
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
This week’s edit of the week was a clear choice. The above edit from Kitten Factory skis has all of the ingredients needed for a great late summer ski edit: big mountain lines, big cliffs, double stagers, back county jumps, inbounds features, backflips, naked backflips, failed backflips, hot dogs, beer, more beer, and of course, American flags. Enjoy!