Top Five Fridays - November 30, 2018 // Ski Industry News
#1: World Cup Racing Recap: Shiffrin Steam Rolling:
Now that we’re into the full swing of the World Cup Ski Season, you can expect to see a weekly recap of the previous week’s results every Friday. With that said, it should also be noted that if this season plays out the way that last year’s did, you should also expect most weeks to start out the same way this one does. That is, with the news that Mikaela Shiffrin took home more gold over the weekend. This time, the women’s circuit raced in Killington, VT, which has become one of the most exciting events of the year. And, just like last year, Shiffrin stole the show with another first place finish in the slalom race. As weekly readers likely know, this gives her 34 slalom gold medals, putting her just one gold medal behind the all time leader, Marlies Schild who has 35. While nothing is certain, it would certainly be a surprise if Shiffrin didn’t surpass Schilds in the coming weeks, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated as she reaches this goal. Unfortunately though, Mikaela just barely missed the podium in the Super G race, having finished 4th. On the men’s side of things, the results were a bit more subdued for the Americans as athletes in both the Downhill and Super G races in Lake Louise failed to crack the top 10. For a comprehensive list of race results, you can view the women’s events here, and the men’s races here.
#2: There’s a Dying Interest in Playing Host to the Winter Olympics:
Have ever found yourself wondering why the Winter Olympics were hosted in PyeongChang, South Korea last winter, or why they’re being held in Beijing in 2022, where the proposed venue’s annual snowfall is just under 40” a year? If so, an article that popped up on AroundTheRings.com this week, from Olympic expert Mike Moran might provide some answers. In short: most cities don’t want the burden (yes, burden) of hosting the games. The article kicks off on a key point: 56.4% of the citizens of Calgary, Canada voted against hosting the games in 2026, causing the city to withdraw its bid to host. Calgary joins a list of other potential host cities who have withdrawn their bids, including Sapporo, Japan; Graz, Austria; Sion, Switzerland; and Erzurum, Turkey. This of course might cause each one of our highly intelligent readers to ask, “why?” Well, the answer is simple: money. As the article does an incredible job of detailing, the Olympics have a long history of requiring massive spending to create a proper environment for the games, but the infrastructure that’s created does little to ensure long term prosperity. As a result, many cities, and particularly their wary citizens, are less enthused than they may have once been, realizing now that with great games comes great burden. Knowing how powerful the Olympics are in terms of creating a sense of world wide unity though, it would be extremely unfortunate to see this issue lead to their downfall. For more details, and several subplots, give this article from Around the Rings a read!
#3: Outside Magazine Shares Their View on Conglomerate Culture:
Next up this week is an interesting read from Outside magazine, who put out what we consider a well reasoned editorial this week in regards to the hottest topic in skiing: consolidation. While we often share articles like this one that aren’t necessarily news, we were extra excited for this particular editorial as it echoes a sentiment that we’ve been talking about for a few years now: ski conglomeration isn’t necessarily the bad new that a significant number of serious skiers suggest. For our part, we’ve been sure to mention that along with consolidation also comes a sort of lifeline to the small and mid size resorts who are facing more significant struggles with each passing year. From aging infrastructure (lifts, snowmaking, and lodges to name a few), to the uncertainty regarding annual weather conditions, the fact of the matter is that operating a small to mid size ski area is a much more precarious business than it used to be. As a result, being brought into the fold of a larger company such as Vail or Alterra could actually be the best possible outcome for some of these resorts who significantly benefit from their larger cash reserves and purchasing power. With all that said, the author makes several great points of his own, so rather than run our mouths (metaphorically of course), we’ll pass the mic (again, a metaphor) to Marc Peruzzi.
#4: They Went to Iraq for War, and Came Back for the Skiing:
*** Warning, Moderate Language ***
Finally, we’ll wrap things up with a story that simply feels good this time of year. This week, Popular Mechanics published an article covering a film that was released about a year ago called, “Adventure Not War.” Now, we fully realize that we’re a bit late to the game with this one, and many of our readers are probably already familiar with the film, but it’s new to us and too awesome not to share. For those who, much like us, missed the memo last November, Adventure Not War is a documentary that follows Stacy Bare and a number of other U.S. soldiers who were previously stationed in Iraq as part of America’s armed forces. While there, Stacy couldn’t help but cast his eyes towards the snow covered mountains in the country, day dreaming about skiing them. Ten years after his deployment, he returned with a handful of other veterans with the goal of not only skiing the mountains, but to meet the people and connect with the culture in an entirely different way. Besides the fact that we’ve just discovered this documentary, it also feels appropriate to include in this week’s news as Popular Mechanics has just published a great summary of the film, and adds a bit of perspective that you may otherwise miss from watching the film alone. For their story, click here. For the film itself, feel free to click above, although we should warn you: it contains harsh language.