U.S. SKI TEAM TO MANAGE NASTAR
The U.S. Ski Team is assuming operational control of NASTAR through a partnership with Active Interest Media (AIM). Ski Team CEO Tiger Shaw says the move will capitalize on the overall success of the Team and individual star athletes, bringing greater awareness to the sport and ultimately more value to the industry by motivating skiers and riders of all ages to get involved in ski racing. NASTAR runs at 115 resorts nationwide.
SEASON’S VISITS DROP TO 53.6 MILLION
The U.S. ski industry tallied an estimated 53.6 million skier and snowboarder visits this past season, according to the National Ski Areas Association. This represents a 5 percent decrease from 2013-14, and is down 3.8 percent from the five-season industry average of 55.7 million. NSAA cited weather extremes for the decline. This season saw the lowest snowfall on record for many areas of the Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountains. Meanwhile, the Northeast and Midwest got hit by long cold snaps.
HEAVENLY SUMMER PLAN WINS APPROVAL
The local Water Quality Control Board added the final stamp of approval to Heavenly Mountain Resort’s expansion of on-mountain summer activities. New attractions will include multiple zip line canopy tours, a ropes course, an alpine coaster, a mountain bike park, additional multi-use trails, and interpretive and educational tours.
In the West, Tamarack Resort has hired Brad Larsen as general manager. . . . Jim Kercher returns to Jackson Hole as senior director of Mountain Sports School.
Red Mountain Ventures has hired Matt Henry as director of sales. Don Thompson has become president of Red Mountain Ventures.
Intrawest has promoted Jim Snyder to senior vice president of food & beverage. . . . At Vail Resorts, David T. Shapiro was named executive vice president and general counsel, and Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns has joined as senior manager of mountain community affairs.
In Utah, Deer Valley Resort has promoted Jodie Rogers to director of food and beverage. Andrew Fletcher has been appointed the new food and beverage director at Solitude Mountain Resort.
In the East, Tim Smith has been promoted to general manager of Waterville Valley Resort. . . . Peak Resorts has made changes in its Northeast marketing team. Greg Fisher has become director of marketing, and Mike Chase is director of marketing technology.
The California Ski Industry Association named Michael Reitzell president. . . . Seth Ehrlich is the new executive director of SOS Outreach.
Ryan Locher, Beth Howard, and Hiram Towle received the 2015 SAMMY Leadership award from SAM Magazine.
Patrick Torsell from Ski Cooper received the Colorado Ski Country Groomer of the Year award. The CSC Terrain Master of the Year (Night Crew) award went to Chris Branstetter from Snowmass; Tyler Reynolds from Snowmass earned the Day Crew award. Emily Barker from Vail Mountain received the Snow Maker of the Year Award.
The Rocky Mountain Lift Association honored Dave Herman from Steamboat with the Robert E. Lesage Award.
Canada West Ski Areas Association presented awards at their annual winter conference at Whistler. Tom Prentice received the Marshall Award and Mike Manara received the Fossberg Award.
SNOWBOARD magazine and snowboardmag.com has hired Brandon Parrish, Justin Parkhurst, and Taylor Boyd. . . . Kimberly Beekman has been named editor of Skiing Magazine.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assn. (USSA) has four new board members: Dan Leever, Grete Eliassen, Chris Seemann and Martina Lussi. . . . Matt Gnoza has become head moguls coach, and John Cashman is head coach of the U16 National Training Group.
Retirements: Mark Schoppet, chief accounting officer at Vail Resorts . . . Julie Wilson, Deer Valley’s former food and beverage director, is now a consultant. . . Ski & Snowboard Club Vail executive director Aldo Radamus will end his tenure in April 2016.
Dr. Lester Keller is leaving his position as USSA Western Region Rocky /Central alpine director to go into private consulting with clubs. Troy Flanagan, USSA’s high performance director, is taking a similar position with a National Basketball Association team.
Ski journalist Denise McCluggage died on May 6 in Santa Fe, N.M. She was 88.
Lee Poole, the founder of Moonlight Basin, died at age 66 in Bozeman, Mont.
John Brian Baxter, founder and owner of Powderpak International, died at age 70 in Waleska, Ga.
CORRECTION: MUELLER LIFTS LIVES
In “Orphan Ski Lifts” (SAM March 2015), we mischaracterized the status of Mueller and Murray Latta. Mueller Lifts (www.mueller-lifts.com) has been operating out of Vernon, B.C., for the past 45 years. President Russell Karp informs us that the company offers full factory support to resorts across Canada and the U.S. for parts, service, and engineering, and provides service bulletins as necessary. The North American operations are supported by Rowema AG, a name adopted in 1985 by three key employees who took over the Swiss company following the death of founder Gerhard Mueller.
Rowema specializes in the manufacture of both fixed-grip and detachable single-cable lifts. It has sold more than 500 lifts and is present in markets worldwide.
Karp also informs us that Murray Latta (www.murraylatta.com), based in Surrey, B.C., is still manufacturing and supplying parts for its existing lifts.