The coveted crystal globe – the traditional award for winning a World Cup discipline -- remains in familiar, competent hands. Olympic Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin won her second straight globe in the slalom, while Olympic Gold Medalist Ted Ligety claimed his fifth giant slalom globe Saturday. The World Cup finals wrap up Sunday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Lodges throughout the country have posted a 10.4 percent increase in revenue this winter, according to the just released monthly data report released by DestiMetrics. Western resorts have already eclipsed last year’s total overall revenues.
IIt was a nice way to head into next week’s World Cup Finals. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) wrapped up her second consecutive slalom title at Are, Sweden before it even begins. Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) won an historic sixth straight Giant Slalom at the same Kranjska Gora, Solvenia venue.
The other piece of the Grand Balsams Resort resurrection that leaked out last month (see SnoCountry.com story) may have fallen generally into place this week. The developers appear to be planning to quadruple the size of the Balsams Wilderness Ski Area, perhaps to the scope of Vermont’s Killington, the perennial “beast of the east.”
UPDATE (March 1): Travis Ganong, who 24 hours earlier stamped the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup top three of his career, finished fourth Saturday, a mere .05 from a second downhill podium in Kvitfjell.
A pile-up of more than 30 inches of fresh snow in a week has led Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia to extend its season. The resort will close as planned March 30, but only temporarily. The slopes will re-open for a weekend bonus April 5-6.
“For the second winter in a row we’re watching fantastic snow conditions building into March,” says Snowshoe’s Dave Dekema. “It has literally snowed every day for a week, with 14 inches in one day alone.
Single day lift tickets during the extended weekend are $40 in appreciation of the resort’s 40th season. There will also be a “buy one, get one free” special offer available. Value season lodging prices will be in effect.
The announcement comes on the heels of the return of the “Ridiculous Pass” now available for purchase at $199. The pass gives users unlimited skiing and riding all of March 2014, and the entire 2014-2015 winter season with no blackout dates. Note that the pass price goes up $5 per day until Feb. 28.
Full retail price of the pass is $449.
“The Ridiculous Pass is the best deal out there,” says Snowshoe’s Dave Dekema. “It was so incredibly popular last year that we had to bring it back this year… It’s ridiculous.”
The pass offer is good through Feb. 28, 2014 and valid for all ability levels and age groups – adults, students, seniors, military, children and teens. Children ages six and under and seniors 75 and over will ski free next season.
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Photo: Snowshoe Mountain Resort piles on the February snows (Snowshoe Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Les Otten, founder and former president of the now defunct American Skiing Company (ASC), has teamed with Dan Dagesse and Dan Hebert, principals of Balsams View LLC to “establish a viable path forward for the redevelopment” of the historic Balsams Grand Hotel and the Balsams Wilderness Ski Area in Dixville Notch, N.H. The resort has been closed since 2011.
Stowe, Vermont’s 10-year development effort at it’s Spruce Peak area will get a decidedly family-flavored makeover starting later this spring. This next phase comes after extensive conversations with homeowners, club member, and guests.
The U.S. Ski Team was named Sunday for the upcoming Winter Olympiad at Sochi, Russia. Included were Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, Julia Mancuso and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin. Missing, of course, is veteran gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, recovering from knee injuries.
The weekend that never seemed to end finally did Sunday. American gold medalist Ted Ligety parlayed two slalom runs and a downhill into second place in a Super Combined at Kitzbuehel, Austria. Meanwhile, Stacey Cook finished 13th in a windblown, flat light super G at Cortina, Italy.