Top Five Fridays - October 30, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Welcome to the World, Cherry Peak Ski Resort!:
For skiers and snowboarders living near Richmond, Utah, some interesting news was made this week. Under construction since 2013, Cherry Peak Ski Resort has officially announced that it will be open for the 2015-2016 ski season! Built upon owner John Chadwick’s former personal property, Cherry Peak features 29 trails, a terrain park, 3 detachable lifts, and 1,300 feet of vertical. In a day and age where it’s more common to see small ski resorts closing their doors or being acquired by larger companies, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a land owner decide to take the leap in building a ski resort. It’s a reminder of past times when the earliest ski hills were on the owner’s personal property, and just like the feeder hills of the past, Cherry Peak hopes to play an important role in the Richmond, Utah community. Best of luck guys!
#2: Midwest Cat Skiing Operation to Open in Michigan:
Speaking of new resorts opening up- this week we learned about a new cat skiing operation opening in Michigan of all places. No, you didn’t misread that. Located on the Northern most part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Mount Bohemia has been a well kept secret of Michigan’s for years. Due to its location, the mountain is blessed with an annual snowfall of over 250” as well as 700 vertical feet of steep terrain. Sound a bit like a small mountain out West? Well, the owners of the resort would agree which is why they’ve announced the opening of a new peak called, “Voodoo Mountain,” which will be exclusively accessed via snowcat. While a ticket for a day of skiing at Voodoo Mountain is considerably more expensive than a lift ticket to Mount Bohemia ($150/day compared to $59/day), you have to expect that you get what you pay for as you’ll be accessing untouched glades, in a snowcat, in Michigan. If that sounds good to you, you’ll want to secure a ticket quick as they appear to be selling out fast. For more information, visit the Voodoo Mountain page on Mount Bohemia’s website.
#3: Colorado Ski Resorts Start Spinning Their Lifts:
Last week two East Coast resorts kicked off the ski season by spinning their lifts for the first day of the year. Now, two Colorado resorts have joined the club. Not to be left in the dust, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area opened for business yesterday, Thursday October 29, 2015. That brings the total of open ski resorts to 4, with two other Colorado resorts eager to open. Despite earlier announcements that they would also open this week, Copper Mountain and Mt. Rose have pushed their opening dates back a week. As the days get shorter and colder, we’re excited to see more resorts blowing snow and getting ready to open. So if your mountain hasn’t opened yet, just hold tight- it won’t be long now!
#4: More News from the Future- Drone’s Employed for Avy Control:
As another week passes, another news article about the role of drones in skiing has surfaced. This time, it’s an article from Outside Online discussing a new company called Mountain Drones that hopes to use drones strapped with explosives to perform avalanche control. Prompted by the death of a friend, company founders Brent Holbrook, Warren Linde, Gray Byers, and Robert Blank started Mountain Drones in an effort to reduce risk to ski patrollers while performing avalanche control. By using drones, the company hopes to keep more ski patrollers out of harm’s way. While the idea sounds great and its already received some solid backing and support from patrollers, the real challenge for Mountain Drones will be receiving clearance from the FAA. The biggest hurdle at the moment seems to be the rule which doesn’t allow drones to drop anything while in flight- especially bombs. Still, this application of drone usage seems to make too much sense to ignore, and we hope to see the FAA make an exception and allow for their use in avalanche control situations.