Top Five Fridays - September 25, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: The Results Are In, and France is the #1 Ski Destination:
Well, the results have been tallied from last ski season, and France has retaken the throne as the #1 ski destination in the world. The criteria? Simply have the most ski individual skier visits in the year. While France had a rough start to the year resulting in an overall decrease in visits from the year before, the United States unfortunately had an even worse year- removing it from the #1 position. Last year, France measured 53.9 million individual skier visits, which was down 2.7% from the 2013-2014 ski season. The United States on the other hand only registered 53.6 million individual ski visits, which was a whopping 5.2% decrease from the previous season. Overall it’s encouraging to us in the States that we’re still neck and neck with France, but it’s painful to be reminded of just how bad last ski season was out West. For the sake of snow and competition, let’s hope this Winter’s weather is better for everyone!
#2: There’s Another New Multi Resort Pass on Sale! But, This One’s Different:
We’ve been keeping you up to date on all the latest multi-resort pass deals and their expansion into overseas resorts in what’s becoming something of an arms race. Now, it appears that the multi resort passes aren’t just for the big boys anymore. This week, three New Hampshire feeder hills announced that they’re partnering up for a multi-pass of their own. Pats Peak, King Pine, and McIntyre ski areas have come together to offer the MiniMix pass which offers two days of skiing at each resorts for $199.00. While this isn’t a season pass by any means, it could be a good option for casual skiers in the New Hampshire area who want to spend their handful of days at a few different resorts. As always, we’re also interested to see where this trend continues. Several states, especially in the Mid West and on the East Coast, have an incredible amount of Feeder Hills and it would be awesome to see more multi resort season passes pop up for the more casual or localized skier!
#3: It’s Official, A Big Air Event is Coming to Fenway!:
Back at the end of July, we shared with you a story about how the U.S. Freeskiing Association was hoping to bring a big air event to Fenway Park in Boston in an effort to give Big Air skiing and snowboarding more exposure in advance of the 2018 Winter Olympics where they’ll make their debut. Now, we’re excited to share that the event has been given the official green light and will be a reality! The announcement was made on Tuesday (9/22), as more details surrounding the event were also shared. The Big Air will be a part of the U.S. Grand Prix tour, as well as the third stop on the FIS Snowboard World Cup. As such, there will be a monstrous grand prize purse of $150,000. Also worth mentioning is the size of the Big Air jump which really brings meaning to its name. At it’s final height, the structure will be 140 feet tall, which is more than 3 times the height of the stadium, and certainly tall enough to give even the most fearless skiers and snowboarders a bit of vertigo. The event will air live on NBC networks on February 11-13, and we’ll most certainly be watching!
#4: Brookvale Provincial Ski Park Makes Ski Helmets Mandatory:
In a somewhat but not totally unprecedented move, Brookvale Provincial Ski Park on Prince Edward Island in Canada has announced a mandatory ski helmet rule starting this season. Previously, the province rejected the idea of a mandatory helmet rule, stating that there were no models approved for use by the Canadian Standards association. Still, the ultimate goal of increased safety prevailed and the rule was passed earlier this week. The decision also comes a little over a year after a report from the New York Times revealed that their is no direct correlation between helmet use and a reduction in serious brain injuries. Of course as we argued when we first read the New York Times story, wearing a helmet isn’t always all about protection from brain injuries. We’d argue that helmets also play a huge roll in preventing any kind of injury in a low impact situation. Bump your head on a tree branch wearing a helmet? No problem. Without a helmet though? You’ll probably end up with a cut or bump of some kind. So while we’re not necessarily saying that all resorts everywhere should make ski helmets mandatory, we do have to applaud the province owned Brookvale Ski Park on Sir Edwards Island!
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
It's the time of year when ski trailers are all the rage. This week, we were blessed with the trailer for the new film from "Nimbus Independent, "After the Sky Falls." As is always the case with the Nimbus crew, this movie looks to be a promising mix of creative cinematography, backcountry features, and editing. Whether you've been a fan of the Nimbus crew for years or this is the first time you're hearing of them, you'll definitely want to take 4:47 out of your day to watch this trailer!