Top Five Fridays - June 10, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: Strange Happenings at Eldora Ski Resort:
A few weeks back, we mentioned that rumors had started bubbling up regarding the possibility of Colorado’s Eldora Ski Resort being purchased. Well, about a month later, it turns out those rumors were true as it’s been announced that Powdr Corp has acquired the mountain. With the addition of Eldora to their portfolio, Powdr Corp now boasts nine ski resorts- several of which are destination resorts (Killington, Copper Mountain, Mt. Bachelor). While it’s unknown what affect this will have on Eldora’s efforts to expand its trail systems within its existing boundaries, one would have to guess that that’s where the focus will be for the new owners. The reasoning? Powdr Corp is pretty open about their focus on developing mountain operations, and not the real estate around the mountains.
For a relatively small ski area in Colorado, this would seem like the most important news this week. Oddly enough though, the resorts purchase is being challenged by another bit of strange news. Last week, a resort employee came across a winter boot containing a severed foot. Yes, you read that right- a random boot, with a random foot. At the moment, the foot is being DNA tested, but no other evidence has been found despite search efforts. Strange happenings indeed.
#2: Antelope Butte Gets Final Approval, All Systems Go:
This week brought some great news for our friends at the Antelope Butte Foundation. After several years of handwork, they’ve finally received a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service that will allow them to begin restoring the resort. Amongst the planned upgrades and repairs for the resort is the restoration of their lodge, trails, ski lifts, and other facilitates. According to their website, this puts the Antelope Butte Foundation right on track with their estimated timeline, which states that the restoration of their lodge and facilities should begin this month. If things stay on track, Antelope Butte hopes to be open in December 2017. For more information about the Antelope Butte Foundation you can visit their website here, and you can read more about their most recent update here.
#3: Mandatory Helmet Law Making its Way Through New York Legislative System:
This week, news broke in New York that a law has been approved by the state’s Senate which would require skiers and snowboarders under the age of 14 to wear a helmet on the slopes. If the bill makes it through the state Assembly, then skiing with a helmet-less child under the age of 14 would become a fineable $50.00 offense. Of course the bill isn’t without its fair share of complications. Take for instance a provision in the bill that states that a fine could only be issued if the child is in the presence of their parent or guardian. As you might remember from your own childhood, kids often go off and ski in groups with their friends, especially at feeder hills. Or, here’s another question we have: who’s going to be out there enforcing this new law? Ski police on every trail? Regardless, we won’t pass judgement on the bill either way, because essentially we agree. While it does seem like a bit of a stretch to make wearing a helmet an enforceable law, we absolutely agree with the state of New York that everyone should wear a helmet when on the slopes- no matter how old you are. You can buy one here. (Just kidding, but seriously).
#4: Lindsey Vonn Vows to Ski for Three More Years:
Despite being a member of the triple decade plus club and having suffered a season ending injury back in March, Lindsey Vonn made news this week by announcing her plans for rounding out her career. With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics just two years away, many speculated that the games would be Lindsey’s swan song. As it turns out, Lindsey does plan on competing in the games if she qualifies, but hopes to keep competing for another year following the games. Why? Well, her goal is to compete in an FIS Men’s race at least once. This isn’t the first time she’s raised the idea either. Back in 2012, Vonn petitioned the FIS to let her compete in a men’s downhill event at Lake Louise. Unfortunately, she was denied for no reason other than “a woman is not allowed to race on the men’s tour.” Still, Vonn is determined to make a second attempt at convincing the FIS in 2019 to let her compete against the men. Ultimately, Vonn wants to race against the men for personal reasons- she simply wants to know how she would stack up against the best male ski racers in the world. Honestly, we’re kind of curious too so come 2019, we’ll be anxious to see if this race ends up happening.