Top Five Fridays - September 4, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Farmer’s Almanac Releases Winter 2015 / 2016 Predictions :
A little over a week ago, the Farmer’s Almanac released their 2015/2016 Winter outlook for the United States of America. This week, they released their 2015/2016 Winter predictions for Canada, so we thought we’d wrap them up together in this week’s Top Five Fridays! Let’s start by taking a look at what’s in store for the United States:
For the most part, we should all feel pretty excited about these predictions. Here in New England, the Farmers are predicting a repeat of last year, calling it, “Winter Deja vu.” Other Eastern and Mid Western regions are also promised to have solid snow years, with average or below average temperatures. Things look good for our friends in the Pacific Northwest where the Almanac predicts multiple storms rolling in from the Pacific. Unfortunately though, skiers in Utah, California, and Nevada may be in for another dry season. For the sake of both West Coast skiers and the West Coast environment, we’re hoping the prediction for the region is simply “playing it safe.”
Much like their predictions for the United States, the Farmer’s Almanac is suggesting that most Canadians are in for a cold and snowy Winter. From Newfoundland and Labrador to Alberta, the Almanac predicts each region will see their fair share of cold and snow. In fact, the only areas that the Almanac has low expectations for, are the Northern provinces where hardly anyone skis, and British Columbia, which as you’ll find out below, we have our doubts about.
#2: Big Mountain Jesus Will Not be Evicted:
Skiers and snowboarders at Whitefish Mountain might (or might not) be excited to hear that their mountain iconic “Big Mountain Jesus” statue has beat his case in federal court. Originally erected in 1954 by the Knights of Columbus to memorialize fallen World War II soldiers, trouble for Big Mountain Jesus has been consistently growing in the last few years. Led by the group Freedom From Religion Foundation, Atheists have been trying to have the statue removed from the mountain as it rests on public land, that’s simply being leased by the resort. As are most religious freedom cases, the issue ended up being complicated to sort out, with strong arguments from both sides. Ultimately though, a Ninth Circuit panel sided with Big Mountain Jesus supporters, saying that enough evidence had been provided to show that Big Mountain Jesus wasn’t just a religious icon- he also had, “cultural and historical significance for veterans, Montanans, and tourists.” Think what you will about the ruling, but as someone who doesn’t feel strongly about the case, I have to admit that I’m excited that “Big Mountain Jesus” is able to stick around- if only because he has an extremely entertaining name.
#3: Canadian Resorts Received Dustings of Snow:
So now that we’ve broken down the upcoming Winter with the help of the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s time to immediately contradict their predictions! This past week, ski resorts in British Columbia received a dusting of snow at their summit. Making the list were Whistler Blackcomb, Roundhouse Lodge, and Coquihalla Mountain. Each of these mountains received at least a dusting of snow on September 2nd, despite the Farmer’s Almanac predicting that British Columbia will have a “Mild and Dry” type of season. While it’s certainly too early to say whether this indicates what kind of Winter 2015/2016 will be for the area, news of snow this early in the mountains has to be considered a positive sign. At least for now anyways.
#4: Additional Tax Leads to Increase in Lift Ticket Prices at Vail Resort:
This week, Vail Resort and the town of Breckenridge agreed to bring to ballot a measure that would add a 4.5% tax to all Winter lift tickets sold at Vail resort. The tax funds would be used to support Breckenridge’s parking and transportation projects. The announcement comes after what was a lengthy and heated debate between the town and the resort over who was responsible for paying for infrastructure to support the resort, such as a new parking garage, pedestrian bridges, and road improvements. The two parties finally agreed to put a 4.5% tax to a ballot after Vail promised the additional tax would raise at least $3.5 Million a year for the projects. If the measure passes, the result will cost visitors approximately $6.70 per ticket. Of course, what’s $6.70 when you’re already spendings $149 a day?
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
When I have ski dreams, they usually look a lot like this. Safe to say, we're pumped to see Cody Townsend's "Conquering the Useless" when it comes out this Fall! Be sure to watch the trailer above, and keep an eye out next week for our complete list of ski trailers for this season's flicks!