Mountain Creek Seeks Reorganization Under Chapter 11

Mountain Creek Seeks Reorganization Under Chapter 11

The resort plans to remain fully operational during the bankruptcy process. (Mountain Creek)

New Jersey’s Mountain Creek  last week filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 that will allow the company to restructure its debt and attract new outside investment.


 

The four-season resort, located 47 miles from New York City, with 167 skiable acres on four mountain peaks, night skiing on all runs, a bike park, waterpark, and multiple restaurants and lodges, will continue to operate fully during the bankruptcy process.

Mountain Creek bike park

“Today’s filing will allow us to deal with the legacy debt we inherited from the property’s former owners and attract new investment into the resort,” said Jeff Koffman, CEO of Mountain Creek Resort. “We remain committed to seeing Mountain Creek develop to its full potential with new hotels, new outdoor attractions and expanded residential homes. Our vision to create a world class, four-season resort here in New Jersey is still our main objective and this move will put us in the best position to achieve that.” 

Subject to Court approval, the debtor-in-possession financing, along with the company’s cash from operations, is expected to provide ample support to its continuing business operations and minimize disruption throughout the season. Mountain Creek will maintain its staffing levels and continue without any layoffs.

Along with the filing, Mountain Creek filed a number of “first-day” motions with the Court to minimize the disruptions to any business operations and facilitate a smooth transition into chapter 11.  Among other things, the motions request authorization to honor employee pay and benefits along with certain customer programs currently in place, such as seasonal pass holders, Triple Play cards and gift cards. Customer deposits for weddings and other events will also be honored.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Storm Finishes The SnoCast Season

SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Storm Finishes The SnoCast Season

(Yes, this is really the end of April at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta, Canada with nearly 145cm this month. Similar scenes will overtake the Rockies as yet another snowstorm finishes the month of April. (Lake Louise Ski Resort/Twitter)

Believe it or not, we’ll be turning the calendar into May with a bonafide snow storm for part of the Rockies and upper Midwest.

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Lift Served Mountain Biking Available Around Great Lakes Ski Resorts

Lift Served Mountain Biking Available Around Great Lakes Ski Resorts

Crystal Mountain's woodland pathways are a delight to bike. (Crystal Mountain)

Several Heartland ski areas allow mountain biking on their summer slopes, but if you’re looking for lift served, five resorts will turn the lifts for downhill fun.


Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Crystal Mountain and Marquette Mountain in northern Michigan and Spirit Mountain in upper Minnesota offer lift served mountain biking trails and in one case a bike park complete with drops, ladders, rollers and other features.

Boyne Mountain offers lots of biking trails.

Boyne Mountain offers seven miles of paved trails that goes right across the spine of the mountain offering great countryside views and overlooks. There’s also over 30 miles of marked trails, both two-track and gnarly single-track. You will need a map. It’s all accessible from Hemlock lift, which begins summer lift operations on Memorial Day. They also rent mountain bikes including E fat tire bikes. Check out the mountain biking page for details.

Boyne Highlands bike park is one of the nation's top bike parks.

Boyne Highlands offers cross country routes up to five miles in length, free-ride downhill trails modeled after popular North Shore designs found in the upper Northwest and Vancouver areas, and a Skills Park complete with flow tracks, berms, rollers, skinny bridges, a teeter-totter, ladders, and small drops. It’s the only true bike park in the Midwest and ranked among the top parks nationwide. The MacGully chairlift opens for the summer Saturday, May 27. Check out the resort’s biking page for details. Rental mountain bikes, including beefed up suspension bikes for the bike park are available. Helmets are included with all rentals.

Crystal Mountain offers close to 20 miles of off-road mountain biking pathways and single-track, including the DNR’s Betsie River Trail that takes you down along the river. They also have six downhill, lift-served trails that range from easy to expert, all considered “technical.” All the details are on the resort’s mountain biking page. Rental mountain bikes and fat tire bikes are available.

Marquette Mountain offers some great downhill rides.

Marquette Mountain, Michigan’s UP, will offer lift served mountain biking on selected days beginning June 14. Trails range up to a mile-and-half length with views of distant Lake Superior. Details are on the summer page.

Spirit Mountain's bike park is also rated among the nation's best.

Spirit Mountain, overlooking Duluth and Lake Superior, offers downhill trails up to a mile-and-half in length ranging from easier to difficult in ability level. All offer breathtaking views of the city and harbor on the way down and back up the chairlift. The bike park is consistently ranked among the top parks nationwide. Summer details will be announced on their mountain biking page.



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Northeast Keep Lifts Turning In To May

Northeast Keep Lifts Turning In To May

 Sunny spring days ahead at Sugarloaf. (Sugarloaf)

Soft spring bumps and goggle tans are still calling many to the mountains in the Northeast, and a stormy March has left a handful of resorts in great shape to make it to May for those who aren’t ready to trade the skis for bikes and boats.

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Endless Winter: Where To Keep Skiing, Riding In West

Endless Winter: Where To Keep Skiing, Riding In West

Squaw-Alpine wants to stay open all summer. (Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows/Facebook)

A bonanza year in much of the Sierra Nevada and plenty of late-season snow in the Rockies will keep a dozen ski and snowboard resorts operating into May and beyond.


Officials at Squaw Valley continue to kick around the idea of staying open all summer -- beyond the July 4 date they previously earmarked for closing. And, as usual, Timberline in Oregon will have lifts turning into next fall.

Here’s a list of resorts that have announced they will be open well past when most others have shut down for winter and begun to prepare for the summer season:

AZ Snowbowl extending for first time. (Arizona Snowbowl/Facebook)

Arizona Snowbowl. Longest season ever for northern Arizona mountain, closing on May 7.

Loveland. Front-range fave will keep going until May 7.

Sugar Bowl. Tahoe-area mountain plans to drop the ropes until May 7.

Boreal. Tahoe-area mountain will close in early May but reopen for the weekends of June 10 and July 1.

Mt. Bachelor. Oregon big mountain expects to keep thing running until Memorial Day.

Timberline. The leader long seasons once again will go into autumn.

Snowbird. Utah powder mountain will stay open daily through May 18, then weekends if conditions permit. Tram closed for maintenance.

A-Basin always ready for a late spring.

Arapahoe Basin. Coloradans can carve the soft stuff right into June, with a scheduled closing on June 11.

Nothing like Mammoth in the springtime. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

Mammoth. SoCal behemoth eyeing July 4 but will be open at least through Memorial Day.

Squaw-Alpine Meadows. Record snowfall will keep California mountain going through July 4 -- and maybe beyond.

Mt. Rose. High elevation and record snowfall will keep this local fave open through the end of May.

Whistler. British Columbia snow-catch plans to run through May 30.



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PC SkiGal: The Pacific Northwest Delivers

PC SkiGal: The Pacific Northwest Delivers

Cheers to a great season. (Mt Hood Meadows)

Ryan shook his head. "Why would you want to go to Portland when we have great snow in Utah?" he asked. My boyfriend doesn’t get out much and apparently he doesn’t follow the weather. It’s been snowing in Mt. Hood Meadows; a lot. The snowpack at the Oregon resort has surpassed 200 percent of normal. You might wager that Hood has gotten snow at least three days a week, every week this season. The reports of massive dumps began rolling in around Christmas time and kept on rolling.


 

Ryan has a point, though. It is such a challenging choice to travel away from Utah in the winter. It's often not as sweet someplace else. Utah is known for the driest, lightest snow on the planet and even on a mediocre day it beats skiing “Sierra Cement." Those coastal resorts usually see a mix of rain and snow which can wreak havoc on a ski slope. Hence, I’ve never gone to the Pacific Northwest for a ski vacation. But there's something to be said for a change of scenery. As yet another storm moved through the PNW, the timing just seemed right.

I didn’t get the memo.
I landed in the middle of freezing rain and an ice storm that closed the highway to Hood River. As people around me commented about how this was the “worst winter” they've seen, my anticipation escalated. Powder in the mountains! But… WTH is freezing rain? I stepped off the MAX lightrail train from PDX to Chinatown wearing my YakTrax for traction and the hipster dude next to me nodded, “You came prepared.” I solidly placed my boot into a pile slush that sat atop black ice. Yep, that’s what freezing rain is.

Portland, Oregon

The Portland rain was heavy and wet and dank as I walked the few blocks from the commuter rail to the hotel.  In Utah, we're good with a down puffy and knit hat. In the PNW, Gore-Tex is king unless you happen to have waterproof down (and even that would probably be soaked in this weather). In fact, the top of my boot bag and Eagle Creek carry-on were drenched and leaking as I wheeled it down the few blocks to my hotel.

My Utah mind had a hard time wrapping my head around rain in the middle of winter. I was now stranded in Portland at the uber hipster, boutiquey Society Hotel (no TVs in the rooms which are powered by solar, but a public coffee bar in the lobby for live podcasters). The vintage feel of the mahogany floors, vaulted ceiling and single check-in stand created a timeless calm to the chaotic weather outside. The minimalist lodging was built in 1881 to house sailors who stopped into port then later offered shelter to Japanese immigrants, gypsies and the homeless through the years. It eventually became this funky urban spot with a rooftop garden that offered beds to backpackers and honeymooners alike.

Society Hotel Portland

After a restful night (courtesy of the provided earplugs), I threw open the curtains. Rain. Then the email from the Mt. Hood folks: just in case you hadn’t heard, all of the roads through the Gorge are shut down. Wait, I came all this way and I’m not going to ski?? I walked myself to a delicious breakfast diner called Fuller’s to contemplate my next move. The communal place consists of two horseshoe-shaped counters- no tables or booths- that serves up hashbrowns and bacon grilled to perfection. I was determined to find my way to the slopes even if I had to bum a ride off the guy next to me, Craigslist or bus.

Fuller's Coffee Shop

The waitress mentioned ODOT operates a carpool resource called Drive Less Connect. There is also a Facebook Ride Share group. Dave Tragethon to the rescue! The resort’s head of PR picked me up on his way to work and drove us along the old-school ski road (Hwy 26). The rain quickly turned to light snow. A couple of hours later I had my Atomic ski gear from the mountain’s pro shop and was ready to rock the conditions which ranged from soft blower to coral reef, aka dust on corrugated crust.

To Hood Or Bust
The clouds socked us in to the point of disorientation and I had no clue where to go. Local ski instructor Katie Kadlub was happy to show me around. The layout of the hill made me feel like I was in different spots but we actually kept circling back around. I expected a mom and pop place but Mt. Hood skis like a big mountain. Though the resort has a base elevation of 3,600 feet, it has a vertical of 3,700 feet, an average base of 100+ inches on mostly intermediate and advanced trails. They’ve got steeps, bowls, tons of PNW trees and gentle groomers back to the base. And when you hit it right, the snow builds and builds.

Mt. Hood Meadows

After a quick lunch inside the South Lodge at the Alpenstube, we were back out for laps in Heather Canyon as the snow accumulated and the hardpack beneath dissipated. With legs on fire and a Cheshire cat grin, we clinked beer mugs for the ‘Stube apres scene and I waited for Dave to get off work. He was my ride to the “Lodge Suite” at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort just around the bend from Meadows. The pet-friendly, cabin-style room had a giant log bed and flatscreen. All you need after a hard day of lapping empty trails.

After I downed a hearty filet and chocolate torte at their Crooked Tree Tavern I rushed to bed. Cooper has its own attractions including a Nordic Center, but most residents do their serious alpining at Meadows. There wasn’t a lot going on this evening.

The volcanic Mt. Hood itself is home to six ski areas totaling over 4600 acres: Timberline, Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood Ski BowlCooper SpurSnow Bunny, and Summit. And when Meadows closes May 6 you will still be able to ski through the summer at Timberline if you’d rather make turns than paddle in the Columbia River Gorge.

Day 2 Powder Day
The snow continued into the night, clearing by morning so that we had access to the experts only gates into Private Reserve and S&R Cliffs. PNW skiing? Now, we were talking! Nearly a foot swirled around us with no one else to poach it. Interstate 84 was still closed because of the ice storm so we danced among the glades and mini-rockchutes, lapping the empty lift mazes until it was time to fly home.

Ski Season Is Never Over In Oregon
At this point there are only a few resorts doing winter. Snowbird, Utah; Mammoth, Calif.; Arapahoe Basin, Colo.; and Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.; there’s enough snow in Mt. Hood Meadows to keep you skiing into August but with big plans in the works for their upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration, they’ll let Timberline do the honors.

The anniversary website has already launched and the list of events and deals is growing by the day including a special 50 time pass (limit 50) as well as special midweek $50 lift ticket and learn to ski or snowboard packages (limit 50 each). There’s no better time than next season to experience Mt Hood, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.



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New Spruce Peak Triple Chairlift Coming To Sunday River

New Spruce Peak Triple Chairlift Coming To Sunday River

More laps on Spruce Peak next winter. (Sunday River/David McLain)

Sunday River will break ground on a new Spruce Peak Triple chairlift in May.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Who's Open, Where To Find The Snow

SnoCountry SnoCast: Who's Open, Where To Find The Snow

Brighton enjoys the buttery corduroy of their last few days of the season. Brighton expects to close for the season on Sunday, April 23 after an impressive season total of over 600" of snowfall. (Brighton/Facebook)

And we press on. The ski season is definitely winding down, but that won’t stop you die-hards from seeking out the last turns. If you plan to shred what’s left at the slopes, here’s what to expect weather-wise in this week’s SnoCast.


 This outlook and forecast is for the week of April 19-24, 2017.

Across the U.S.:

It’s clear that spring is “springing.” There have been some amazing days of mild temps and sweet, soft turns. There is still some new snow in the forecast, you just have to know where to look. Here’s the forecast for the U.S. snowfall through Saturday evening, April 22,  from the National Weather Service:

This time of year, elevation is key.  Naturally, the Western U.S. is where we’ll find more snow overall this week because the elevation is overall higher than the East. For the West, look for the next system to push into the Pacific coast through Thursday, with high snow levels. Higher peaks of the Oregon and Washington Cascades will squeeze out several inches of new snow. That system then spreads to the interior Rockies by Friday and Saturday, leaving several inches over the mountains. Maybe a few pockets near a foot for the highest ranges in Colorado and Wyoming.

For the East, you’ll need to watch the weather closely to find dry windows of opportunity for your spring turns. Sugarloaf picked up a bit of fresh snow early Wednesday.

Sugarloaf Mountain picks up fresh snow early Wednesday. (Sugarloaf Mountain/Facebook)

There is a little bit of new snow for the handful of Northeast ski areas still in operation. A light coating of a couple of inches are possible over Northern N.H. and Maine by Thursday morning. But the weather turns damp and warmer for this weekend. 

 

To see all ski areas open:

In the Rockies, click here.  

In the Northwest, click here.  

In the Southwest, click here.

In the Northeast, click here.  

In the Midwest, click here.  

There are no Southeast region ski areas still turning chairs this season.  

Canada:  There is still some great spring skiing to be found in Canada, too. Generally the ski areas in the West (British Columbia and Alberta) will do best this week, compared to the Eastern ski areas. 24cm of new snow to report at Whistler Blackcomb as of Wednesday morning, with almost double that on the way. Lake Louise is still enjoying the spring turns, too,, with 14cm of fresh snow early Tuesday.

Lake Louise cranked in a fresh 14cm of new snowfall early Tuesday.

To see all the ski areas open in Canada click here  

 We'll take one final look at the ski forecast in next week's SnoCast. 'Til then, happy turns, skiers and riders.

-Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

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Local Ownership Returns To Crystal Mountain

Local Ownership Returns To Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain returns to local owner. (Crystal Mountain/Facebook)

In an era of consolidation, Crystal Mountain is going against the grain, as its longtime CEO has purchased the largest resort in Washington state from Boyne Resorts.


John Kircher, who has been CEO and president at Crystal for 20 years, said he will immediately invest $5 million into upgrading the mid- and lower-mountain snowmaking capabilities at the 2,600-acre ski and snowboard area.

“Crystal will go into the 2017/18 season with snowmaking capabilities on the mountain unmatched anywhere else in the region,” Kircher said.

In addition, the resort has ordered eight new gondola cars for the Mount Rainier Gondola that runs from the base to the 6,870-foot summit to increase capacity by more than 20 percent.

Mount Rainer looms over Crystal Mountain

Other changes for the 2017-18 season will include extending some holiday and peak hours, and add new lighting on the Quicksilver novice slope to give skiers and snowboarders more time on the slopes that sit in the shadow of Mount Rainier.

“We should see Crystal reach its full potential in the next five to 10 years,” Anderson said.

The local purchase of the mountain, which is set to close April 23 this season, comes as consolidation in the winter resort business has dominated headlines. In March, a partnership based in Aspen purchased six Intrawest properties and four California resorts including Mammoth Mountain.

The move by Aspen Ski Corp. and KSL Capital Partners is seen as a challenge to Vail Resorts’ two-decade effort to bring 14 worldwide resorts under its ownership.

“(Local ownership) runs totally counter to the corporatization trends in the ski business,” said Kircher, who helped Boyne Resorts build its portfolio. “The number of large resorts that are locally owned and managed can be counted on maybe one hand. It’s a small fraction of the business. Crystal has done very well over time, and now we are free to reinvest our dollars with complete concentration here.”

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Northern Michigan Resorts Had Good Winter Season

Northern Michigan Resorts Had Good Winter Season

Great snow makes for happy snowboarders at Shanty Creek. (Shanty Creek/Facebook)

While results for the just finished Midwest snowsports season aren’t finalized yet at least northern Michigan resorts and ski areas are reporting they had a good season.

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DesLauriers Family, Local Investors, Buy Bolton Valley

DesLauriers Family, Local Investors, Buy Bolton Valley

Bolton Valley lifts run until 10:00 Tuesday-Saturday. (Bolton Valley)

Vermont’s Bolton Valley returns to its roots as a group of local investors led by founder Ralph DesLauriers and his son, Evan DesLauriers, closed Friday on the purchase of the resort.


 

DesLauriers and his father Roland owned and operated the resort from it’s founding in 1966 through 1997. Since then, the resort has changed hands several times and until Friday, was owned by two real estate developers from Burlington, Larry Williams and Doug Nedde.

New Bolton Valley ownership group

“People are pretty excited about having Ralph and his family back involved with the mountain and I think staff are on the same page,” Bolton Valley’s Josh Arneson told SnoCountry.com.

The group has ambitious plans to update and renovate the property, restore summer amenities, and enhance customer service.

“Growing up, we could ski the whole mountain as kids and our parents never worried,” said Evan DesLauriers. “We don’t want to change any of that. But we know that it needs to be updated and that’s what we plan to do. Starting this summer we will embark on a gradual, multi-year plan to improve the facilities, offer more amenities to our guests, and bring summer back to the mountain. And we’re committed to doing it in a way that keeps Bolton accessible and affordable for Vermonters.”

The idea that every Vermont child should have an opportunity to learn to ski will remain a core part of the new owners’ social mission and will be the basis for expanding kids’ offerings into summer programs as well.

Each year Bolton works with local schools and rec programs about to bring about 2000 kids to their after school program. “Ralph really tried to make it affordable for kids to come up after school on the bus and learn to ski in the 60s and 70s. We are continually looking to expand that,” Arneson told us. “Bolton has a unique offering because we do it after school, so kids can finish the school day, get on the bus, and come up and enjoy some skiing.”

The purchase includes approximately 700 acres of land, six lifts, a 64-room hotel, 10 lodge condominium units, four restaurant facilities, a small general store and deli, and a 20,000 square foot indoor Sports Center. The company has contractual access and use rights for cross-country and backcountry skiing and hiking on 1,144 acres of adjacent land in Mount Mansfield State Park.



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$150 Million Settlement Reached For Jay Peak And Burke

$150 Million Settlement Reached For Jay Peak And Burke

Investors in Tram Haus Lodge will receive a full repayment of their investment. (Jay Peak/Facebook)

Exactly one year after securities fraud charges were filed against Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resort owner Ariel Quiros and resort President and CEO Bill Stenger, financial firm Raymond James Financial, Inc., has agreed to pay a $150 million settlement over its role in the alleged fraud relating to EB-5 projects in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

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Bear Mountain Revitalization Project Planned For Killington

Bear Mountain Revitalization Project Planned For Killington

The Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge is a rite of spring for bumpers and tailgaters. (Killington)

Fans of Bear Mountain at Vermont’s Killington have a revitalized base lodge and housing, as well as a new South Ridge Lift and trail improvements to look forward to. The two-year development plan is estimated to cost $60-70 million, with a resulting retail value of $110 million once construction is complete.


 

Phase 1 of the Bear Mountain Revitalization Plan, called “Base Camp at Bear Mountain” is expected to begin in summer 2018 with the construction of six or seven multi-family buildings estimated to cost $45 million, plus a major remodeling of Bear Mountain Base Lodge (keeping the original footprint), the installation of a fixed grip quad chair lift on Killington’s South Ridge, and on-mountain improvements for skier flow including bridge and tunnel work. On-mountain improvements are expected to cost approximately $8 million total.

Base Camp At Bear Mountain

“This Bear Mountain Revitalization Plan is especially exciting for me because I know that our core group of season pass holders has wanted a new South Ridge lift since the day we removed the old one,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “With the trail work our team has planned, this layout should greatly enhance the Killington experience by improving connectivity between the north and south sides of the resort, and I’m glad to have a local Vermont company planning and executing this important project.”

Snowshed crossover trail Killington

Phase 1’s on-mountain trail improvements include reestablishing the Snowshed Crossover trail with the construction of a ski bridge and tunnel to enhance the on-snow experience for lower ability levels, while at the same time maintaining uninterrupted top-to-bottom flow on the more advanced terrain in the Bear Mountain area

South Ridge quad Killington

The new South Ridge Quad chair lift will carry skiers and snowboarders from the top of Bear Mountain and bottom of the South Ridge trails to the top of Killington’s South Ridge area, just below the Killington Peak Lodge. Constructing the new lift along the previous South Ridge lift’s return line eliminates the need for any significant trail clearing or rerouting of trails.

“From the top of the Bear Mountain Quad, the long-awaited replacement of the South Ridge lift will give skiers and snowboarders easy access the resort’s north side terrain including the Canyon and Snowdon areas, or easy access to the many trails in the sunny South Ridge area,” says Jeff Temple, director of mountain operations for Killington Resort. “We’re also excited to offer a bridge and tunnel solution that provides a more quality ‘tour’ experience for beginner and intermediate skiers riding the south side trails off the K-1 Gondola while at the same time maintaining the quality top to bottom skiing and riding experience in the Bear and Needle’s Eye areas.”

Phase 2 of the Bear Mountain Revitalization features construction of 18 duplex buildings near the foot of the Devil’s Fiddle ski trail with an estimated cost of $25 million, and is expected to begin during summer 2020.



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Stowe Hosts U.S. Ski And Snowboard Hall Of Fame Induction

Stowe Hosts U.S. Ski And Snowboard Hall Of Fame Induction

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame class of 2016. (Mary Jo Tarallo/Facebook)

Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort hosted the induction of nine new members to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame April 8.


Among the inductees were President of the National Ski Areas Association Michael Berry; skiing film legends Dan and John Egan; ski jumping Olympian and coach Jeff Hastings; and Copper Mountain conceiver Chuck Lewis. Also joining the class are athlete and author Ellen Post Foster; freestyle icon Marion Post Caldwell; National Ski Patrol visionary Gretchen Rous Besser; and ski marketing and trade-show impresario Bernie Weichsel.

The new inductees bring the total to 428 Honored Members in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

“Each member of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 was a remarkable leader, as either an athlete or sport builder,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Chairman Tom Kelly. “So much of what all of us enjoy in our sport today has emanated from these outstanding honored members of the Hall of Fame.”

Attendees of Snowsport History Week get first tracks at Stowe.

HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016

Michael Berry, Colorado: Michael has been President of the National Ski Areas Association since 1993. Under his leadership, the NSAA significantly increased annual visits to resorts throughout North America. Michael’s vision helped create continuity and a sustainable growth model for resorts.

Dan and John Egan, Vermont | New Hampshire: The Egan brothers have starred in more Warren Miller films than anyone worldwide. As pioneering explorers and ambassadors they traveled the globe to put “extreme” in skiing. This dynamic duo set the standard for what is possible in big-mountain skiing.

Jeff Hastings, New Hampshire: Jeff impacted Olympic ski jumping as a competitor and coach. His fourth-place Olympic performance in 1984 in Sarajevo holds as a record in modern U.S. ski jumping. He has continued his work teaching, judging and commentating competitions and advocating for jumping and Nordic combined.

Chuck Lewis, Colorado: A competitor at heart, Chuck is known within the industry for his vision and passion. His dedication and meticulous planning helped to conceive Copper Mountain and a trail design and layout philosophy widely accepted and used to this day.

Ellen Post Foster, D.C.: Ellen touched both the freestyle skiing world as an athlete and the Professional Ski Instructors of America as a model instructor and visionary. Her efforts and passion for snowsport motivated countless youth skiers to hit the slopes. Her contributions continue as an author and advocate of skiing education.

Marion Post Caldwell, D.C.: As a freestyle skiing icon, Marion dominated the sport in the 1970s. Women’s overall champ in ’76 and ’77 and being named Freestyle Skier of the Year are among her accomplishments. She brought skiing to the world stage as an ambassador and pioneer of the sport.

Gretchen Rous Besser, Vermont: While her unprecedented career as a ski patroller and first aid instructor are impressive, her impact as an historian, international liaison and visionary in the world of skiing sets her apart. She generously shares her passion and vast knowledge to better industry organizations worldwide.

Bernie Weichsel, Massachusetts: Known globally throughout the industry, Bernie has done it all. As an advocate, he created an organized freestyle competition circuit. His innovative SKI USA worldwide promotions continue to bring thousands of international skiers to U.S. slopes and his consumer ski and snowboard expos attract tens of thousands of visitors each year.

The mission of the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is to honor athletes and sport builders for their lifelong national and international achievements in the sport. The National Ski Association of America, now known as USSA, was established in 1905 in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of organized skiing. The Hall of Fame Museum, established in 1954, resides in Ishpeming as well.

A national voting panel selects the incoming class in the fall of each year. The class of 2016 will be enshrined next September at the Museum in Ishpeming.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Snow Still In The Forecast

SnoCountry SnoCast: Snow Still In The Forecast

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe boasts the deepest overall base depth of any resort in the West with nearly 220" left on the ground, and a season total of nearly 750."  There has been near record amounts of snow for the central Sierra Nevada range for the 2016-17 ski season. (Mt Rose Ski Tahoe/Twitter)

We continue to dig deeper into spring, but ski areas continue to press on. This week, we look to the Northwest U.S. for the best chance of new snow and fresh turns. But, cold enough temperatures at night in the Northeast may allow the ski season to continue for another week or more for some determined ski areas in the Northeast.


Here’s what to expect in the forecast for April 12 -17.

Western U.S.: We have to look to the Northwest part of the country to see fresh snow this week. Parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and some of Wyoming are in luck with this next storm system to roll through. Wednesday night through Thursday, expect snow to develop over the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and northern Rockies. Snow levels will generally be at or over 5500’ for this system. Expect a general 4-8” of new snow at many ski areas, with locally a foot or more for the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and also the higher mountains in Idaho by the end of the week.

On a side note, it has been an incredible year for snow over the Western mountains. The Central Sierra have about twice normal precipitation levels for this time of year, near the record pace of the '82-83 season. This has left current base depths deep enough to keep the season going strong well into spring for many Western resorts.

To see all ski areas open:

In the Rockies, click here  

In the Northwest, click here  

In the Southwest, click here  

 Computer model forecast snowfall through this weekend for the western US and Canada. Model forecasts are meant to be used for forecast guidance, and not absolute values. Actual totals will vary.

Eastern U.S. / Midwest: As I alluded to in last week’s SnoCast, the seasons are choosing sides. The cold is still left in the West, but spring has thoroughly sprung for the east. It’s been an awesome run this year for northeast ski areas with plenty of big dumps, but unfortunately this week is going to make it tough for ski areas to hang on much longer with several resorts targeting their last days. Temperatures will continue to be warm and spring-like by day, but still dip near the freezing mark at night. For those determined ski areas that keep going, snow blowing may be possible a few nights this week in the northeast and New England, but little or no natural snow is expected in the forecast. Hey! The best news of all, for those apres-ski and pond skimming events coming up, the weather looks absolutely perfect!

To see all ski areas open:

In the Northeast, click here 

In the Midwest, click here  

There are no Southeast region ski areas still turning chairs this season. See ya next year .

 Jay Peak

Canada:  Much like in the U.S., all the cold air this week will be confined to the western part of the country. Snow will overspread the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta Thursday, and continue periodically into the weekend. Generally 4-8” of new snow can be expected, with locally a foot or more over the higher peaks. Meanwhile, in the East, it’s going to be tough to get much (if any) natural snowfall in the next 3-6 days at least. Temps will be near freezing overnights, but reach into the 40s and 50s by day for Southern Ontario and Quebec for the next several days.

To see all the ski areas open in Canada,  click here  

 Look above at the model snowfall forecast image for a peek at possible snow amounts for Western Canada.

Finally, we'll cap it off with a mid-range forecast. Here’s a look at the temperatures outlook for the 6 -10 day forecast (April 17-21, 2017) from the Climate Prediction Center.  Looks like there will still be cold air left in the Northwest and California, perhaps to bring in more snowfall with each passing system. Also in New England, blue on the image means colder than normal air. Otherwise, spring warmth builds in for next week.

Forecast April 17-21, 2017 from the Climate Prediction Center. (NOAA)

That's all for this week's SnoCountry SnoCast, skiers and riders! Enjoy it while it lasts!

-Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

 

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