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July 2011

Industry Reports :: July 2011


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Windham Mountain president and general manager Tim Woods will assume ownership of Woods Valley Ski Area in Westernville, N.Y., about 15 miles northwest of Utica, in early fall 2011. Woods will continue to serve as president and GM at Windham Mountain through the end of the 2011-2012 ski season.

The ski area was created by Woods’ late father, David, in 1964. His family sold the resort upon David’s death in 1988 to the Olney family. Now, Tim Woods will repurchase the ski area from them.

Peak Resorts, Inc. announced in mid-April that it filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Peak owns or operates 10 resorts in the U.S., including Mount Snow, Vt., and Attitash, N.H.

small ski areas rise from the ashes
Little Switzerland in Wisconin, which closed after the 2006-07 season, will reopen under new ownership. Wayne Erickson bought the area and plans on investing $2 million (which includes the cost of real estate) in the operation, including an updated lodge and new runs for tubing.

The owner of Maple Valley Ski Area in southern Vermont, Nicholas Mercede, has asked the town for a conditional use permit to resume operations. Mercede would also like to expand operations to include summer activities.

Snow King Resort, Wyo., will operate the town-owned ski area next winter, avoiding closure of the hill.

Powder Ridge Ski Area, in Middletown, Conn., was close to being sold to Alpine Ridge, LLC, for $1 million at presstime. The town of Middletown, which owns the defunct area, set up an agreement whereby Alpine Ridge would be required to invest $2 million, as well as offer downhill skiing by Dec. 31, 2013.

The Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association awarded Joe Gmuender, of Gmuender Engineering, LLC, the Industrial Strength Award. Kent Fellows, director of facilities and electrical maintenance at Mt. Hood Meadows, received the Tower of Excellence Award. And Denny Coughlin received the Forest Service Partner of the Year.

In Colorado, Colorado Ski Country USA bestowed the President’s Award on Cindy Dady of Echo Mountain. Debbie Caves of Copper Mountain, was named Terrain Master; Slope Groomer went to Alan Burnham of Aspen Mountain; Snowmaker was awarded to Sabrina Straszewski of Copper Mountain; Instructor of the Year was Eldora’s Jonathan Delk; and Patroller of the Year went to Joey Riefenberg of Loveland.

Ralph Walton, who co-owned Crested Butte Mountain Resort with Howard “Bo” Callaway for more than three decades, died April 17 at his home in Georgia. He was 80.

Bud Klein, founder of Kirkwood Mountain Resort in 1972, died May 5 at the age of 83.

John Falconer Fisher III died in mid-June at the age of 97. Fisher was one the founders of the eastern ski industry. In 1939, he hand-cut the original ski trails, at both Catamount Ski Area and Jiminy Peak Ski Area, Mass., which he owned.

In Vermont, Okemo welcomes Brian Flanders as the new executive chef. . . Brian and Tyler Fairbank have been retained to run operations at Bromley. Bill Cairns was promoted to GM. . .At Stowe Mountain Lodge, Cody Vasek was appointed executive chef.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colo., named Sean Damery VP and GM.
Park City, Utah, added Andy Miller as communications manager.

Schweitzer Mountain, Ida., promoted Rod Engel to director of real estate development.

Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif., named Davy Ratchford director of marketing.

HKD Snowmakers and Turbocristal have merged to form HKD Turbo, which will service the U.S. and Canada and have international distribution. The new company offers a complete line of air/water and fan snowmaking technology in both manual and automatic, as well as engineering services, construction supervision, and turn-key installation.

Doppelmayr USA announced two key staffing changes at its U.S. headquarters: Mike Beeley, current senior VP of sales, will step down to the new role of manager of special projects on his road to retirement. F. Scott Pierpont will assume the role of senior VP of sales.

Mountain News Corporation named Patrick Crawford director of content for the company’s global digital and mobile multi-media brands.

Transworld is increasing the duties of Transworld Snowboarding’s publisher Adam Cozens—Cozens will also oversee Transworld Business.