Top Five Fridays - May 27, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: The Totals From This Season Are in!
With the 2015-2016 ski season just about wrapped up (emphasis on “just about”- there are still a handful of resorts open this weekend), the statistics are starting to flow in. Focusing locally, a report from Stowe Today highlights just how bad the economic impact of the ski season was on the area. According to Michael Colbourn, the Vice President of Marketing Sales and Communications at Stowe, this past season was, “the worst natural-snowfall year ever.” The impact of this was seen throughout the local economy with lodges, retail shops, and restaurants all reporting decreases in businesses throughout the season. Fortunately, the seasons have swung and local businesses are focusing on their growing summer business.
Speaking of snow troubles here in Vermont, another report was released by NOAA this week that shows the difference between the record breaking winter of 2014-2015 and last year’s dreadful snowfall. We’ll let the map tell the story, but take note of the disparity of snowfall in the Northeastern states.
Finally, the last stat that came out this week was in regards to the number of ski resort visits across North America this winter. Despite a dreadful winter in the Northeast, there was still a total of 53.9 million ski and snowboard visits this past season. This is slightly up from last year’s total which managed to reach 53.6 million despite the snow struggles of the West Coast last season. As you might guess, the full story is a bit more complicated than overall totals due to regional snow totals. If you’re interested in learning more about totals for different regions, the Aspen Times does a good job of unpacking the numbers in more detail over on their website.
#2: Ski and Snowboard Festival Coming to Montreal This Fall:
Die hard skiers will tell you that when a ski season ends, there’s only one thing to think about: next ski season. So in that vain, we want to let you all know about a new ski and snowboard festival that was announced this week. Introducing: the Montreal Ski and Snowboard Festival, scheduled to take place at the Uniprix Stadium indoor convention hall. At the festival you’ll find hundreds of ski and snowboard related exhibitors ranging from equipment to ski resorts and even lodging destinations. Plus, and possibly the biggest bit of news related to this, is the incorporation of the iF3 Ski Film Festival- an annual free skiing film festival that showcases the current years top films. Beyond this, there will also be a craft brew pavilion, a Burton Riglet Park, a ski/snowboard simulator, and tons of other attractions that’ll ensure a day of fun. At the moment, it seems like there are still a ton of announcements left to make (such as who the vendors will be), but if you’re remotely interested in this event be sure to keep an eye on their website and Facebook page.
#3: Jay Peak Tram Requires $4.5 Million in Upgrades:
The rocky road continues for Jay Peak resort who’s currently under federal receivership after the former owner was removed due to fraud allegations. After the change in management, the future of the resort was brought into serious question after an unfortunate financial situation was revealed. Ultimately though, it was determined that the resort could make adjustments and continue operating as planned. Now though, there’s more bad news for the resort as it was announced this week that its iconic tram requires $4.5 million in upgrades before the state of Vermont will allow the tram to operate this Summer. The concerns aren’t new, they were raised last summer as well, but the resort received permission to operate the lift through last Winter and was unable to start fixing the issues before the fraud accusations came to light this Spring. So what’s the next step? Well, Michael Goldberg, the federally appointed receiver, plans to immediately file a motion in federal court to receive approval for the funds needed to fix the tram. So far Goldberg’s done a great job handling the situation so we have high hopes that this hurdle will be cleared with relative ease.
#4: Bored With Skiing? Head to India for an Out of This World Ski Experience:
Are you bored of the same old earth themed skiing you’ve been doing all these years? I mean, each trip to the ski resort is the same: you strap on your earth boots with your earth skis, grab your terrestrial ski poles, and hop on a lift to the top of an earth mountain. At the top, you descend down earth snow, avoiding earthlings the whole way down. The boredom of it all has often made us wonder, “isn’t there more to life than all this earth stuff?” Well, if this sounds like you, then you’re just in luck. Over in India, they’ve found a way to make skiing an out of this world experience. Introducing Ski India, an indoor ski area with an intergalactic theme. Based around the concept of skiing on another snow filled planet (reference: Hoth), Ski India allows visitors to try all types of winter activities, ranging from skiing to ice skating, tubing, and more. So if you’re looking for a more exciting, or at the very least confusing, ski experience, we HIGHLY recommend making Ski India your next ski vacation!