Top Five Fridays - December 21, 2018 // Ski Industry News
#1: FIS World Cup Ski Racing Recap:
As always, we kick things off in this week’s Top 5 Friday with a recap of what went down this week in FIS World Cup Ski Racing action! Those of you who have been following along are likely keenly aware of Shiffrin’s continued dominance, for the second year in a row. As such, Mikaela decided to utilize the hard earned luxury of being able to take a break, and decided to sit out during this week’s races. With Shiffrin on the sidelines and Lindsey Vonn still recovering from a knee injury, this week’s report is slightly less celebratory than usual. Still, we will take a moment to shout out Alice Merryweather and Laurenne Ross who represented the USA in both the Downhill and Super G races this past week in Val Gardena / Groeden, Italy. Looking ahead, Mikaela Shiffrin has already confirmed that she’ll be back in action this weekend when the circuit returns to Courchevel for a Slalom and Giant Slalom Race. With any luck, we’ll be back to rejoicing in 7 days time!
In other World Cup Racing news, news leaked from the Lindsey Vonn camp, indicating that she’s hoping to return to competition in January. Looking ahead, there are a number of Super G and Downhill races scheduled in the second half of the month, starting in St. Anton, Austria on January 12th. Fans of the sports are well aware that Vonn is currently just 4 wins short of tying Ingemar Stenmark’s all time high of 86 wins, with this being her retirement year (aside from a return to Lake Louise next season). Considering Super G and Downhill are Vonn’s specialties, you can bet she’ll be back on the 12th if it’s at all possible.
#2: More 2018 Dew Tour Results and Recap:
If you read last week, we got a bit of a jump start on our Dew Tour coverage as a couple of events (primarily Women’s Slopestyle and Men’s Ski Team) went down last Thursday. For the rest, we promised to give you a recap this week, and since we feel it’s important for you to trust us, we’re back with just that!
Over the course of last weekend, a number of freeskiing events went down in Breckenridge. Last Friday, the women competed in the Modified Superpipe competition, which was won by Rachel Karker, followed by Cassie Sharpe and Devin Logan in second and third. Later that night, a group of male skiers competed in the Streetstyle contest, which is more or less a high level rail jam. There, Alex Hall took home the gold while Keegan Kilbride put down the event’s best trick. A day later, on Saturday, the men competed in the Slopestyle contest, where Evan Mceachran took home the gold, followed by Alex Hall and Henrik Harlaut. Finally, events wrapped up for skiers on Sunday morning, when Alexander Ferreira won the Modified Superpipe gold, followed by Aaron Blunch and David Wise. All in all, it was a successful weekend, fueled by the Tour’s innovative way of formatting both the Slopestyle and Superpipe competitions.
As you might guess, there are simply too many details for us to go over in our brief recap, but if you’re interested in learning more about any event, we suggest following the links above, or checking out the Dew Tour’s homepage here!
#3: Parking & Conserving in Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons:
Following this week’s trend of recurring themes, let’s dive into another aspect of ski culture that’s as old as time: finding the right balance between land conservation and development. This week, we bring you to Alta, Utah; a real skier’s resort. Those familiar with the layout of ski areas outside of Salt Lake City are well aware of the congestion and popularity of the Cottonwood Canyons (for those who don’t know, a number of ski areas in the region are only accessible by a pair of roads, one up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and one up Little Cottonwood Canyon). As such, traffic and parking in particular can be a major problem on even the most average of winter days, with cars lining the road a mile or more away from the resort.
The reason we bring all of this up, is because we caught an article from Utah’s Deseret News this week, in which Alta’s president and general manager has voiced his frustration with the desire to create a new protected area covering 80,000 acres of land without addressing the traffic concerns. His argument is simply this: conserving more land to encourage more recreation, but not allowing the resort to add parking to handle the added visitors, is problematic. Critics of Alta’s management, such as those involved with Save Our Canyons, are accusing them of opposing any land conservation at all, in order to pursue further development of the resort. As always, it’s a difficult situation, and an ongoing conflict that skiers everywhere must keep in mind as they balance their love for the outdoors, with their love for convenient access to skiing. To get the full story and all the details, check out the writeup from the Deseret News.
#4: Salt Lake City Selected to Represent United States in Bid for 2030 Winter Olympics:
Finally, let’s round out the week by discussing a fourth recurring theme that also happens to tie in nicely with the Salt Lake City ski scene. As you might recall, we shared an article a few weeks ago discussing the declining interest in cities to play host to the Winter Olympics. What many cities once believe to be an economic stimulus package, has now become seen as an economic burden. As such, it’s getting to be more difficult to find host cities, as many aren’t interested.
Many, that is, besides Salt Lake City. In an article from the Denver Post this week, we learned that the U.S. Olympic Committee has decided to support Salt Lake City in representing the United States for the 2030 Winter Olympics bid. Prior to this week’s announcement, the race had been between Salt Lake City, and Denver, with Reno-Tahoe pulling it’s name from the running earlier this year. Between the two, the committee was forced to decide whether they wanted to propose sending the games back to Salt Lake City, where they were held in 2002, or to take on Denver’s creative plan which would’ve been privately funded and taken place across the United States. In other words, it was a decision between tried and true, and novel and new. Ultimately, the committee elected to play it safe in choosing a location that has had experience hosting the games, as well as a strong head start on the infrastructure required as a number of venues previously created for the 2002 games can be reused. Of course the 2030 Winter Olympics are still a ways away, so we don’t quite know what other cities Salt Lake City will competing against in the bidding process, but here’s to hoping the games make their return to the U.S.A.!