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November 2008

Industry Reports :: November 2008


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Belleayre CUTS BACK
In the wake of budget cuts by New York State agencies, state-operated Belleayre Mountain Ski Center will restrict lift and snowmaking operations for the 2008-09 ski and snowboard season. However, all programming will remain available.

The ski resort will continue to operate seven days per week, from Nov. 28 through March 2009, but officials at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirm that lift and snowmaking operations will be restricted this winter. Belleayre will run six of its eight lifts while snowmaking and grooming on most of the mountain will be unchanged.

In addition, advertising will be reduced, and other operational and administrative efficiencies achieved, officials indicate. Daily lift ticket fees will increase slightly to offset higher fuel and other operational costs.

Skiers getting older
A third of all resort visitors in 2007-08 were age 45 or older. Continued gains in visitation by these older skiers and riders is one of the most significant trends revealed in the recently released 2008 NSAA National Demographic Study.

Since 1997-98, the percentage of visitors age 45 to 54 has increased from 14.0 percent to 19.9 percent; the percentage of visitors age 55 to 64 has doubled, from 4.6 percent to 9.2 percent; and the percentage of visitors age 65 and over has also increased, from 2.4 percent to 3.8 percent.

The loyalty and staying power of older participants has helped fuel the increasing visits tallied in recent years, culminating in a record 60.50 million skier visits nationwide last season. The study also suggests a continuation of a “three-generation phenomenon,” as the Baby Boomers (ages 44 to 62 in 2008) continue to participate along with persons young enough to be their children and grandchildren, leading to an overall broadening of the participant age profile.

A total of 114,010 surveys were completed during the 2007-08 season at 83 participating ski resorts.

Dan Matthews of D.R. Matthews and Associates died in September. Dan was involved in the ski industry for over 30 years.

William “Sarge” Brown, 85, died at his home in Grand Junction, Colo. Brown was a longtime mountain manager at Vail Mountain. cont.

Saddleback Mountain in Maine named Warren Cook its new CEO and GM.

At Mount Snow, Vt., Paul Donahue was promoted to food and beverage director.

In New York, at Windham Mountain, Steve Jaconsen becomes the area’s new food and beverage director. . .At Hunt Hollow, Rick Roxin is the new GM and Greg Sherman is director of mountain operations.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Pa., promoted Jeff Coulter to executive director of lodging and hospitality; Chris Marso to executive director of resort operations; John Mates to senior director of winter operations; and Mike Mohr to senior director of resort activities.

Baxter Underwood was named chief investment officer at CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc.

In Michigan, Boyne hired Ken Griffin as director of snowsports marketing for Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands.

At Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area, Minn., Jeannine Mogan was promoted to Alpine ski patrol supervisor.

In Colorado, Vail Resorts promoted John Garnsey and Blaise Carrig to co-presidents of the mountain division. Stan Brown was promoted to president of the lodging division. . .Crested Butte named Daren Cole VP of sales and marketing. Andrew Cesati fills the role of mountain sports manager. . .At Echo Mountain, Cindy Dady was named GM and Molly Mueller is the new marketing director. . .At Telluride, Fred Rumford became executive director of the ski and snowboard school.

At Angle Fire, N.M., Pat Brunstad was promoted to CEO. Douglas Peters takes the position of food and beverage director.

At Grand Targhee, Wyo., John Urdi is the new marketing director.

In California, Kirkwood announced a new food and beverage manager, Dave Marguth. . .At Sugar Bowl, John Monson is the new director of marketing and sales.

At Alyeska Resort, Alaska, Dianna Hiibner is the new GM.

Supplier news
The Snow Industry Letter LLC, with longtime editor Mary McKhann at the helm, has purchased the newsletter from The new address is TSIL, P.O. Box 1032, Waitsfield, VT, 05673, e-mail, or call (802) 496-7757.

SunKid set a new record in length with a pair of 1,300-foot conveyor lifts installed in an indoor facility in Germany called Bottrop Alpine Center.

SMI announced the appointment of Peter Geise as sales agent, concentrating his efforts in PA and the Southeast. Peter’s phone number is (802) 899-4210.

Ski Racing Development and World Cup Supply established a Fast Skier Junior Alpine Scholarship Fund, which will award a junior Alpine racer $1,000.