Browse Our Archives

July 2018

News & Views :: July 2018

Vail acquisitions, indoor snow, supplier and staff moves and awards; NSAA's response to "Statistical Disarray."

Written by The Editors | 0 comment


The rapid pace of ski area ownership consolidation has sparked a lot of discussion about its impact on the industry and the individual mountains involved. Is it good or bad? People feel strongly one way or the other, and aren’t afraid to share their opinion on social media.

Vail Resorts’ plans to acquire Okemo, Vt., Mount Sunapee, N.H., Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colo., and Stevens Pass, Wash., prompted a slew of commentary on the SAM Facebook page. Here’s a sample of what SAM followers, and those who follow them, had to say (lightly edited for clarity):

Gross. Goodbye small hill feels. Hello employee number 6543287

It may help secure their future. If towns like Newbury lost the revenue from Sunapee and all the additional tourism revenue they’d be in serious trouble.

Pretty soon Vail will own everything

Here in Park City, Vail has made capital investments [that POWDR wasn’t going to make]. All to the good.

I’ve got my Vail pass. I’m skiing Steven’s all winter. Love this!

Maybe Jay Peak and Burke are next

jul18 news and views magic mountainMain entrance sign at Magic Mountain, Vt. Photo: Magic Mountain/It’s not just skiers and riders weighing in, though. Magic Mountain, located between Stratton (Ikon) and Okemo (Epic) in Vermont, has been vocal on social media following the latest transactions. The recently revitalized ski area openly wonders if it’s good or bad for the industry, and takes pride in its independence—as passers-by can see at its main entrance.


At its annual meeting in May, the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA) celebrated its 50th anniversary. The meeting was held at Lake Louise, Alberta, drawing more than 600 ski industry professionals for education, networking, business, and fun. The association also recognized a handful of individuals with awards, welcomed a new board member, and a new board chair.

Fred Bosinger was recognized posthumously with the 2018 Jimmie Spencer Lifetime Achievement Award. Bosinger held leadership roles at Red Mountain, B.C., and finally at Sunshine Village, Alberta. Darcy Alexander, Sun Peaks Resort general manager, received the 2018 Jim Marshall Leadership Award. And Christian Theberge, general manager of Shames/My Mountain Coop in B.C., was the 2018 recipient of the Lars Fossberg Excellence Award.

jul18 news and views LockeCWSAANewly named CWSAA board member Kim Locke of Lake Louise (right), with her father Charlie Locke and sister Robin Locke. Lake Louise Ski Resort VP Kim Locke was named to the CWSAA board of directors. Outgoing board chair and Panorama CEO Steve Paccagnan was recognized for his dedication to the ski industry and his tremendous efforts leading the board. Mt. Norquay GM Andre Quenneville succeeds Paccagnan as board chair.

The celebration of CWSAA’s 50th anniversary included a presentation that looked back over the history of skiing in Canada through the eyes of five former board chairs: Peter Gibson, Bill Oak, Darcy Alexander, Dave Gibson, and Doug Forseth.


jul18 news and views PigeonForgeThreeGirlsThree young patrons enjoy the snow play area at Pigeon Forge Snow, Tenn.The popular tourist destination of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is now home to a facility billed as “the first indoor snow complex in North America.” Pigeon Forge Snow, as it’s called, opened in March. The 35,000-square-foot building has 12 tubing lanes, each 200 feet long, a snow play area, and a conveyor lift to transport tubers. Snow for the facility is produced by a SnowMagic system, which uses cooled forced air to turn water into snow crystals “regardless of ambient temperature.” The ambient temp inside PFS is 60 to 70 degrees. According to reports, the facility can handle 300 guests at a time, and lines were out the door when it first opened.


jul18 news and views PrinothTacoBeastThe Taco Beast, a “Snowlicious” food-truck concept groomer by Prinoth at Steamboat Resort, Colo.Steamboat Resort, Colo., purchased a PRINOTH “Snowlicious” food-truck concept snow groomer, the first in North America. The “Taco Beast” will debut this summer in Steamboat’s base area, serving tacos, breakfast burritos, Mexican-style beer, and margaritas. In winter, it will roam the mountain and serve from various locations on snow.

KÄSSBOHRER ALL TERRAIN VEHICLES, INC. is building its new $1.4 million regional headquarters in Auburn, Maine. The new facility is 20,500 sq. ft., 7,000 sq. ft. larger than its current location in nearby Lewiston. The new site’s 2.5 acres of outdoor storage space is triple that of the old.

HKD SNOWMAKERS recently broke ground on an addition to its factory in Quebec City, Canada. When complete, the new space will increase manufacturing capacity, as well as provide more room for engineering and R&D teams.

PHOCUSWRIGHT appointed Kimberly Newbury as vice president of sales.

Jesse Hunt has returned to U.S. SKI AND SNOWBOARD as alpine director, a role he previously held in 2009, after 16 years with the organization. Tom Kelly, vice president of communications with U.S. Ski and Snowboard, is retiring after 32 years with the organization.

jul18 news and views Doppelmayr GerhardGassner AntonSchwendinger 1Gerhard Gassner and Anton Schwendinger, Doppelmayr Silbahnen GmbH.Over the next year, Anton Schwendinger will transition his duties as managing director of DOPPELMAYR SILBAHNEN GmbH to Gerhard Gassner. Schwendinger will remain a consultant with Doppelmayr.


In the East, Darcy Lambert has been promoted to vice president of skier services at Sunday River, Maine.

In the Rockies, Alterra Mountain Company has appointed Jamie Williams as chief information officer. … At Snowbasin, Utah, Davy Ratchford will succeed the retiring John Loomis as general manager, and Ryan Woolsey was promoted from patrol director to assistant mountain manager. … Visit Salt Lake appointed Katie Van Riper to the new position of Ski City brand marketing manager. … Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo., CFO Matt McCreedy is now on the JHMR board of directors.

In the Far West, Mel Toney has taken the reins as director of mountain operations at Mt. Hood Meadows, Ore. Mt. Hood also welcomed Jeremy Evans as director of fleet operations and Amanda Kandler as director of finance.


John Henry Auran died April 22 at the age of 90. Auran was a 25-year veteran of the editorial team at SKI and Skiing magazines.


Jay Peak Resort, Vt., earned the Vermont Tourism Summit’s SMART Award for Creative Marketing in Tourism.

The North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA) named its 2018 award winners: Klaus Obermeyer, the Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award; Stowe Mountain marketing and communications director Jeff Wise for the Bob Gillen Memorial Award; and Heather Burke for the Mitch Kaplan Award.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard bestowed the Julius Blegen Award to the late Bruce Crane, acknowledging his lifetime of service as a competition director and volunteer in the world of ski racing.

The Canada West Ski Areas Association recognized three individuals at its 50th Annual Meeting: Fred Bosinger was recognized posthumously with the Jimmie Spencer Lifetime Achievement Award. Sun Peaks Resort general manager Darcy Alexander received the Jim Marshall Leadership Award. And Shames/My Mountain Coop GM Christian Theberge received the Lars Fossberg Excellence Award.

Sunday River president Dana Bullen was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

Freelancer and SAM contributor Peter Oliver is the recipient of the Paul Robbins Journalism Award from the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) presented the inaugural Steward of Skiing History Award to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum.

jul18 news and views OnnoAwardOnno Wieringa (center) accepts his Lifetime Achievement Award at the NSAA Convention.The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) presented several awards at its annual convention in May: Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Jerry Blann, former president of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo., and Onno Wieringa, former president of Alta Ski Area, Utah. … Snowbasin Resort was presented with the NSAA Conversion Cup. … Sustainable Slopes Grant winners were: Blue Mountain Resort, Pa.; Mountain High, Calif.; POWDR Resorts in Utah; and Snow Creek Ski Area, Mo. … Golden Eagle Award winners were Bear Valley and Boreal, Calif., and Crystal Mountain, Mich.Sha Miklas of Arapahoe Basin, Colo., is the “Hero of Sustainability” honoree for 2018.