Top Five Fridays - August 16, 2019 // Ski Industry News
#1: The Annual SkiEssentials.com, 2020 Ski Test is Now Live!
It’s our favorite week of the year here at Top Five Fridays for one simple reason: we get to kick things off by announcing some news of our very own! On Wednesday, we published our 2020 Ski Test! Now in its third year, our annual ski test has become a well oiled machine, bringing you genuine skier perspectives and opinions on next year’s most promising skis. For those uninitiated, the SkiEssentials.com Annual Ski Test takes a different approach to the concept of ski testing. Due to our belief that in 2019 most skis are pretty high quality, we’ve decided to shift the question from, “which ski is best?” to, “Which ski is best for me?” By adjusting the focus of the question, we hope to offer a more meaningful ski test that allows skiers of all shapes, sizes, and abilities to determine which ski is most suited for their particular style and needs. Of course to achieve this different perspective, we must use a different method.
Rather than rank skis using a scoring system and handing out awards, we simply ask testers to write a quick review of their own for each ski they try. In doing so, we’re able to collect a number of different opinions in regards to each ski from a variety of different testers, ultimately helping us better understand the type of skier that that ski is best suited for. With these personalized reviews in hand, we put together a quick overview of the ski, focusing on comments the callout the strengths and weaknesses. In addition to a writeup of each ski, we’re also sure to include tester profiles which showcase each tester’s style as well as the skis they tested. By offering this second level of detail, we hope that readers of the test will be able to “pair up” with a ski tester whom they identify with, and use their reviews as a way to sort through the overwhelming amount of options on the market.
#2: Plans Announced for Massive New Ski Resort Outside of Salt Lake City, UT:
Ok, enough about us. Next up in ski news this week, is a pretty massive announcement from New York City based real estate developer, Extell, who announced their intentions to build a large size ski resort near Salt Lake City, Utah. Yes, you read that right: there could be another significant ski resort located in Utah’s Wasatch range within the next five years. At this point, we’ve got the broad strokes of how this thing is going to look, but there are sure to be plenty more details and discussions regarding some of the more intricate matters of the business in the months and years ahead. For now, we’ll share what we know.
Located on the backside of the same mountain as Deer Valley, Mayflower Mountain Resort would be approximately 5,600 acres of ski trails and base area developments. To give that some perspective, Mayflower would be over twice the size of Deer Valley (2,026 acres), and approximately 3/4’s the size of Park City (7,300 acres). If successfully developed, the resort would be the largest ski area built in the United States since 1980 when Beaver Creek was completed. If that strikes you as intriguing and you find yourself wondering how a resort the size of Mayflower can seemingly come out of nowhere with massive development plans, well, you’re not alone. As it turns out, the management team at Extell has a bit of a trick up their sleeve: an agreement with the U.S. military. Without getting too caught up in the details, the situation is this: there’s a branch of the Military Industrial Development Agency (MIDA) located nearby, and those in charge of the base have expressed interest in developing lodging and an agreement for reduced lift tickets at the resort for their employees for recreational purposes. In return, MIDA will essentially be paying Mayflower a significant amount of money in the form of tax breaks. In other words, a development of this size is largely possible due to an agreement with the military. Of course there’s much more to the story, such as how and why the land became available for development, but we’ll let you read all about that for yourself, over at Deseret News.
#3: Andrzej Bargiel Announces Intent to Summit & Ski Everest Without Oxygen:
Does the name, “Andrzej Bargiel” ring any bells for you? If so, it’s likely because you read about his exploits just over a year ago, when he became the first person ever to ski the entirety of K2, the world’s second largest mountain. This week Bargiel made headlines again by announcing his plans for an equally amazing feat: he’s hoping to hike and ski Mount Everest without oxygen. Now, if it was anyone else, we’d immediately start having doubts. After all, it is the world’s tallest mountain, and the climb alone has proven deadly, even with oxygen. Plus, as you likely learned over the course of this summer, the mountain itself has become a bit of a circus with tour guides leading under prepared hikers to the summit. As a result, the peak of the world’s tallest mountain has literally become a deadly traffic jam.
So how, with all of that in the background, does Bargiel expect to summit the mountain with his skis, but without oxygen, and then ski the thing from top to bottom? Well, first of all, it should go without saying that Bargiel is familiar with the mountain, having climbed in and around the area since 2012. With that knowledge, he’s developed a familiarity for both snow patterns and human traffic patterns. As such, he’s planned to make his attempt at the end of September, when hiking crowds have thinned out and snow conditions have improved. Still, hiking Everest without oxygen and skiing it from top to bottom without taking his skis off would be an incredible feat regardless of conditions. For that, we wish Bargiel the best of luck. For more on this story and to read an interview with Redbull on the topic, check out this link.
#4: Mikaela Shiffrin Announces Multi-Year Deal with Adidas:
Finally, last but certainly not least, we’d be remiss not to mention some exciting news from Mikaela Shiffrin this week: she’s officially joined the Adidas team.? Now, if you’re anything like us, your first thought after reading this was something along the lines of, “is she really dropping her outerwear sponsor for Adidas?” As it turns out, the answer to that question is a hard “no.” Instead, this new multi-year deal with Adidas is for their performance and athleisure lines, and not any kind of technical winter gear. For Shiffrin, this new announcement is actually a great fit, and one that she seems genuinely excited for. As a professional athlete, it’s no secret that she puts in significant work at the gym, and yet up to this point, seemingly lacked a sponsor for her fitness gear. With this new partnership, not only does Shiffrin find a solution for that, but there’s potential for her to become a more prevalent face for the brand, possibly with her own line of gear somewhere down the road. As fans of ski racing, we also love this announcement for selfish reasons: to see a big international brand such as Adidas take interest in sponsoring an athlete like Shiffrin for their fitness and lifestyle apparel seems to suggest that the marketability of the sport and its athletes is on the rise. To learn more about this latest announcement, check out the official press release from Adidas.