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The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

The Biggest SnoCountry News Of 2016

The Biggest SnoCountry News Of 2016

North America's largest resort Whistler Blackcomb is now owned by Vail. (Whistler Blackcomb/Facebook)

Consolidation of ownership, ticketing and even between mountains highlighted the winter resort news of 2016 – all giving skiers and riders more bang for their buck.

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New Book Offers Insider View Of Ski Industry

New Book Offers Insider View Of Ski Industry

Managing Steamboat under ASC wasn’t fun, but reviving it under Intrawest worked out. (Steamboat/Facebook)

So what’s it like to have chased the dream of a job in the ski industry?

Having worked for North America’s first-three major ski conglomerates, Chris Diamond was in a unique position to share his experiences and insights. So after retiring in 2015, he penned his 44-year ski-industry memoir, he told SnoCountry.com.


SKI INC. is a fast and fascinating read which describes not only players who shaped modern ski history but also the challenges resorts face, mistakes made, and keys to success and profitability. Add observations as to the future of skiing and how Vail Resorts came to have a dominant role as the world’s largest ski company and the insights are as instructive as they are surprisingly optimistic for skiing’s future.

From ski bum to career

A part-time bartender in Killington during college, Diamond had a short but effective stint in Killington’s marketing department working under the legendary Foster T. Chandler before service in Vietnam. In 1972, he continued his ski career as assistant to Killington Resort founder Pres Smith, which enabled him to be part of the tremendous growth of the ski area and its parent company’s acquisitions.

Mount Snow pool

At the helm of Mount Snow from 1977 to 1994, Diamond then became vice president for Business Development and president of the Vermont resorts for S-K-I Ltd. He was part of the team that saw S-K-I become the first successful ski industry giant after going public in 1985.

Killington ski instructors

Diamond shows how companies become successful but also notes missteps, writing: “Looking back at these early experiences at Killington and Mount Snow, there is one clear regret I have relative to their status today as regional resorts versus ‘what might have been.’ While the outside perception of the ski business insists that the core financial driver is real estate, nothing could be further from the truth. Well-run resorts make money on operations. That said, real estate is very important for destination ski resorts in that it can support or enable the strategic vision.”

His explication of being at a competitive disadvantage without a modern bed base is intriguing and his observation that “in Vermont, government is the enemy” is only part of his answer as what happened.

In 1999, Diamond became president of Steamboat under the American Skiing Company, which had purchased S-K-I to become the new largest ski company. Diamond praises founder Les Otten for his many contributions to skiing while denouncing the spending spree that cost him his company.

Steamboat’s revival under new owner Intrawest provides a look at what was then North America’s largest ski conglomerate until the bottom fell out of real estate.

The most intriguing chapter explores Vail Resorts’ amazing success. While he never worked for Vail, Diamond knew the players and offers an astute analysis that includes the ramifications of the Epic Pass and his opinion that “it’s just a matter of time” before Vail enters the Northeastern market.

SKI INC. is must reading for anyone interested in snow sports and is now available from skidiamondconsulting.com and from Amazon in January.

SKI Inc.

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Egan Brothers To Be Inducted Into Ski Hall of Fame

Egan Brothers To Be Inducted Into Ski Hall of Fame

Dan Egan prepares to jump over John Egan in a classic "extreme" skiing shot. (Dan Egan)

Action sport and extreme ski pioneers Dan and John Egan will be inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the class of 2016.

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Shiffrin Rocks Slalom In Front Of Wild Killington Crowd

Shiffrin Rocks Slalom In Front Of Wild Killington Crowd

Mikaela Shiffrin (center), Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland on the podium at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom in Killington, Vermont.(Agence Zoom/Getty Images-Alexis Boichard)

In front of a huge hometown crowd and her entire family, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) shone under pressure to win the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom at Vermont’s Killington Mountain. Shiffrin’s win capped off a successful weekend in the east coast that will impact ski racing for decades to come.

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Huge Crowd Greets World Cup At Killington Resort

Huge Crowd Greets World Cup At Killington Resort

Thousands of fans lined KIllington's Superstar Trail to cheer on the women's World Cup. (USSA-Reese Brown)

More than 16,000 fans cheered the best giant slalom skiers in the world at the base of Killington’s Superstar trail as the Audi FIS Ski World Cup returned to the east coast for the first time in 25 years.

 

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Killington World Cup A Go; Tentative Openings Continue

Killington World Cup A Go; Tentative Openings Continue

Killington grooms out Superstar in preparation for the first World Cup in the East in 25 years. (Killington)

Vermont's Killington Resort received the official approval from the FIS (Internal Ski Federation) for the Thanksgiving weekend Audi FIS Ski World Cup women's giant slalom and slalom events. Meanwhile, resorts across the country struggle to open for the 2016-17 season due to warm temperatures and lack of natural snowfall.

 

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Shiffrin Wins World Cup Slalom, Heads To Killington As Series Leader

Shiffrin Wins World Cup Slalom, Heads To Killington As Series Leader

Mikaela Shiffrin competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on November 12, 2016 in Levi, Finland (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images via U.S. Ski Team)

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) overcame Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom opener nerves, skiing two clean and solid runs en route to her first World Cup victory of the 2017 season in Levi, Finland Saturday.

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Killington Kicks Off 2016-17 East Ski And Ride Season

Killington Kicks Off 2016-17 East Ski And Ride Season

Killington is capitalizing on every snowmaking opportunity. (Killington/Facebook)

UPDATED 10-26-16: With long-term sights set on the longest season in the East, and short-term sights on the AudI FIS World Cup, Killington kicked off the 2016-17 season in the Northeast for season pass holders on Tuesday, Oct. 26.


 

Following a storm Sunday morning that brought snow to higher elevation peaks across the Northeast, Killington added to the five-plus inches of natural snow with snowmaking both on North Ridge ski trails Rime and Reason for public use, and Superstar trail, where the Audi FIS World Cup will take place November 26-27.

The first turns of the season were dedicated exclusively to Season Pass and Express Card holders, and the resort opened to the general public on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.


“With the World Cup coming up next month, we have been anxiously waiting for cold temperatures here at Killington, and now that we have a favorable window of snowmaking weather, our mountain operations team is running full steam ahead to make sure we’re once again the first ski area in the East to open for the season while also beginning production on the Superstar World Cup race course,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “After last season we are not taking anything for granted and will continue to make snow at every possible opportunity, at every elevation with the necessary temperature and humidity conditions.”



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SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Snow In East; Stormy Northwest

SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Snow In East; Stormy Northwest

Jackson Hole may see snow at upper elevations from the coming storm. (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)

Get ready, skiers and riders. There are more early signs that the season isn’t far away.

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Snowmaking Underway at Killington; A-Basin, Loveland Getting Close

Snowmaking Underway at Killington; A-Basin, Loveland Getting Close

Snowmaking in the Northridge Area at Killington Resort kicked off October 10, 2016. (Killington Photo / Chandler Burgess)


Vermont’s Killington Resort threw it’s hat into the #RaceToOpen ring when it began snowmaking operations early Monday morning, October 10, in anticipation of kicking off the 2016-17 ski and snowboard season.

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Snowmaking Underway At Loveland, A-Basin, Copper Mountain

Snowmaking Underway At Loveland, A-Basin, Copper Mountain

Colorado's Loveland Ski Area started making snow on Monday, October 3. (Photo Dustin Schaefer / Ricoh Imaging)

It’s snow time!

Colorado’s Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain Resort have all started making snow in preparation for kicking off the 2016-17 ski and snowboard season, and to welcome to U.S. Ski Team and back home.

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All Systems Go At Maine’s Sunday River Resort

All Systems Go At Maine’s Sunday River Resort

Sunday River cranked up 10 snow guns on Saturday, Sept. 24 to run a system check. Sunday River Photo.

The first wave of cold, Canadian air of the season swung into New England Friday afternoon and temperatures fell at Sunday River Resort overnight, allowing the snowmaking team to fired up 10 snow guns at 4 a.m. Saturday for their initial systems test.

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U.S. To Host 30 World Cup Ski, Snowboard, Freeski Events Throughout 16-17 Season

U.S. To Host 30 World Cup Ski, Snowboard, Freeski Events Throughout 16-17 Season

Beaver Creek Resort will once again host the Birds of Prey Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Dec. 2-4. (USSA photo)

The best skiers and snowboarders in the world will compete in 30 World Cup events across the United States next winter as athletes prepare for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea.

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Memorial Day Weekend Skiing, Riding, Brewfests And Hot Tub Parties

Memorial Day Weekend Skiing, Riding, Brewfests And Hot Tub Parties

Squaw Valley is one of eight resorts offering skiing and snowboarding Memorial Day Weekend, plus a Hot Tub Party at High Camp. (Squaw Valley photo)

Memorial Day Weekend traditionally marks the official beginning of summer, but eight ski resorts across North American are holding out for at least one last weekend of skiing and riding.

If you’re heading out this weekend to make some turns, don’t forget to bring the bikes, hiking shoes and kayaks too! So which resorts are open this weekend? Here is a rundown:

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Ski Season Continues At Seven Resorts

Ski Season Continues At Seven Resorts

Whistler is open daily for spring skiing and riding (Cover Photo: Whistler-Backcomb)

The golf clubs, kayaks and mountain bikes may be coming out from their winter hibernation, but the skis and snowboards remain in the quiver through the end of May and into June at numerous resorts across North America.

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Nine Resorts OPEN For Spring Skiing & Riding This Weekend

Nine Resorts OPEN For Spring Skiing & Riding This Weekend

It may be the middle of May, but for a handful of resorts across the country, it's prime time spring skiing and snowboarding. So where can you get out and make turns this weekend?

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Spring Skiing This Weekend In California, Colorado and New England

SwuawSpring may be taking hold where you live, but numerous resorts will continue to spin the lift this weekend … and well into May.

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Mountain Resorts Heat Up With Summer Fitness Events

Killington's Race to Peak (Chandler Burgess)Health, fitness, and well-being are hot topics today. Once ski season winds down, the active outdoors lifestyle trend heats up at mountains resorts. Events like Spartan races and Tough Mudders challenge participants to be fit and mentally tough.

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Looking For The Best Eastern Spring Trails? Try These

The JetEnjoy every last drop of this season by checking out our list of some of the best late spring eastern trails in the east.

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Preparations Underway To Transform Fenway Park For Big Air

Construction of Big Air

Boston's iconic Fenway Park is being transformed into an unprecedented venue for the Polartec Big Air at Fenway, Feb. 11-12, the third stop on the FIS Snowboard World Cup tour and the second stop on the U.S. Grand Prix Tour.

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