Top Five Fridays - June 3, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: Tenney Mountain Poised to Reopen with Unique Partnership Agreement:
Talking about the troubles facing small ski resorts is one of the most repetitive things a ski journalist could do. As a skier, you’re probably well aware of the difficulties that feeder hills face these days, and probably can name a resort or two off the top of your head that have closed, at least temporarily. But, this little bit of news is different and an encouraging look at how with a bit of innovation and creativity, it may be possible to save some of these resorts. Located in Plymouth, NH, Tenney Mountain has had a relatively short, tumultuous life. Originally opened in the 1960’s, Tenny Mountain went through multiple owners until 2010 when it was closed for good. Or so we thought.
Currently under new ownership, the mountains hoping to reopen for business by Christmas 2016, albeit with an interesting new partner. By joining forces with Plymouth State University, Tenney Mountain is looking to pioneer a new business model that mixes ski resort pleasure with academia. More specifically, the college is hoping to use the mountain for field research and educational purposes, in fields such as meteorology and environmentalism. While the partnership is currently just a Memorandum of Understanding (a step above a handshake), it’s a promising step towards a business model that could help bring unique positioning to both Tenney Mountain as well as Plymouth State University. For more about this project, read the full article from the Concord Monitor.
#2: Colorado Snowpack Healthy as Ever:
Colorado skiers listen up: your state is currently retaining a ridiculous snowpack and it’s your responsibility to ski it. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Colorado has, on average, 221% of its average snowpack. Some areas, such as San Juan, far exceeds that number with 498% of its average snowpack for this time of year. Why is that, you might ask? Well, one reason is that there’s actually less dust from Arizona and southern Utah deserts than normal, meaning the snow is taking longer to melt. As you could probably guess, this also means the quality of the snow is better than usual, leaving you no excuse to not get out there and make some of the last turns of the season. Heck, even if you’re not an “earn your turns” type of skier, you can still head over to Arapahoe Basin who’s already promised that they’ll be open through June 12th!
#3: Japan Needs Ski Instructors, Badly:
In recent years, Japan has been emerging as one of the most popular ski destinations, thanks to their seemingly endless natural snow and limited crowds. Ironically though, as global interest in the Japanese ski scene has risen, domestic interest has been on the decline since 1998. Since then, the number of skiers and snowboarders in the country has dropped from 18 million, to just 7.7 million. Concerned by the current state of the industry and encouraged by its potential, the Japan Tourism Agency recently surveyed Japan’s ski schools and found that almost all of them had a desire to hire foreign ski instructors, and 25 of the 129 ski schools would hire more than 80 foreign instructors. All of this has ultimately prompted Japan’s government to relax work visas for ski instructors in an effort to both boost ski tourism, while simultaneously reducing the amount of foreign ski instructors who had been illegally working in the country. If you’ve been looking to check a Japanese ski trip off your bucket list, then this might be one way to punch your ticket. For more information, check out the full article from Workpermit.com.
#4: Chilean Resorts May Have the Most Epic Opening Weekend Ever:
Imagine, if you will, that it’s November 15th, your home mountain is opening next weekend, and the weather is forecasting over 100” of snow over the course of the next few days. Okay, now if you’re in Chile, wake up. This is neither a dream nor a drill. According to multiple weather forecasts, several Chilean ski resorts are expected to get an absolutely ridiculous storm just in time for opening weekend. At Valle Nevado, snowfall began yesterday and is predicted to last through Saturday night, leaving approximately 90” of new snow in the storm’s wake- just in time for clearer weather to round out opening weekend. With this kind of snowfall, our hopes are high that Winter in South America will be a good one and some of us are already starting to check for cheap flights. Meanwhile, to all you lucky Chilean skiers, we’ve got one piece of advice from the East Coast: don’t take this for granted!