As we bid a fond farewell to 2018, the editors at SnoCountry take a look at the news that shaped skiing and riding at mountain resorts across North America over the year.
“Wow, that’s inspiring but I don’t think my knees will last that long!” exclaimed a thirty-something dude on the chairlift.
I had shared that I had just photographed members of the 70+ Ski Club racing, including some in their eighties and nineties.
The arrival of ski swaps each fall reminds winter enthusiasts that snow is on the way and that the ski season is right around the corner. Now is the time to get the best deals on ski and snowboard equipment, and ski swaps are a great way to purchase gently used or even new gear for short money. Swaps are not just for buying gear; you can also turn in your used gear that still has life left in it and earn back some of your investment.
New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain Resort is now boasting the highest disc golf course in New Hampshire, a scenic 18-hole course that starts at the 2,733-foot summit of Loon Peak.
The sale of the lease and operating agreement of New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee to Vail Resorts was discussed at a public information session Wednesday night at the resort's Sunapee Lodge. Many attendees of the meeting came for reassurances that the new owners of the lease would continue stewardship of the state park’s natural resources and protection of affordable outdoor recreation.
Thanks to continued investment in snowmaking and grooming, along with the snows of Miracle March, Ski New Hampshire is reporting skier visit just off average by five percent for the 2017-18 season.
Vail Resorts launched another salvo in the battle to own the winter destination market and a larger slice of the ski marketplace with the purchase of Vermont’s Okemo Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Crested Butte in Colorado and Steven Pass in Washington Monday.
Women to Women looks to take all women skiers to new levels of confidence, excitement and freedom. (Blizzard Ski/Facebook)
Leslie Baker-Brown, Blizzard Tecnica Marketing Manager, was on an athlete summit in Portillo, Chile, a few years ago when one of the pro skiers she was with made a comment that stopped her in her tracks: she gets intimidated when walking into a ski shop.
Lake Sunapee views from the top of Mount Sunapee. (Mount Sunapee/Facebook)
Less than two hours from Boston and close to southern New Hampshire’s cities, Mount Sunapee is a favorite for many looking for a resort with a big mountain feel and local hill charm. Parents don’t worry about kids getting lost and the grooming team makes morning corduroy a dream.
Epic skiing and riding under the orange bubble chair at Okemo. (Okemo/Facebook)
Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire, Okemo, Vermont and Crested Butte, Colorado have entered into a multi-year season pass partnership with Vail Resorts and the Epic Pass, bringing the total number of Epic Pass mountain resorts to 64 in eight countries.
Happy boarders at Mount Sunapee. (Mount Sunapee)
One of the absolute best reasons to rise and shine early for your trip to the mountains is the sweet reward of laying down some tracks in freshly groomed corduroy. The zip of your edges into those fine lines makes the first turns of the day often the most satisfying. While finding a powder day is never guaranteed, these resorts are known for their grooming finesse. So grab your coffee, boots and boards and head out for first chair.
With both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, everyone can relax and unwind after a hard day on the slopes. (Airbnb)
A perusal of Airbnb shows the concept of direct online rentals has caught on in ski towns nationwide. Airbnb rentals are popular for the savings and convenience they can afford and in some places supplement limited mountain or town accommodations.
Guided family hikes take in Presidential Range views at Bretton Woods. (Bretton Woods)
New Hampshire’s mountainous playgrounds plan to celebrate with family-friendly events across the state Labor Day weekend.
Wound Warrior, Ryan Major participates in the ASF's Warriors in Motion cycling program. (ASF)
After Kirk Bauer lost his leg from a grenade explosion in Vietnam in 1969, he experienced the thrill of skiing as part of his rehabilitation through Disabled Sports USA. “There was a demand from vets to get involved in sports so DSUSA began as a ski organization in 1967,” Bauer said.
Going for the basket at Gore Mountain. (Gore Mountain)
Want to add a little friendly competition to your mountainside hike? Disc golf at your favorite Eastern resort is a great way to get outside with your buddies, perfect your throw and explore the mountain from a new perspective. Scoring is the same as golf - count the number of throws needed to get the disc in the basket.
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.
Thanks to a mix of natural and man-made snow, Sunday opens Nov. 23. (Sunday River)
A mild fall kept many Northeast skiers and riders fearing we might face another winter like last year, but the temps have dropped, snow has arrived and opening days are happening across the region.
Maine's Sugarloaf will have new owners in 2017. (Sugarloaf)
After two years of searching for a buyer, CNL Lifestyle Properties has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with EPR Properties to obtain CNL’s 15 ski resort properties as well as other waterparks, amusement parks and family entertainment centers.
The sale, expected to go through in the second quarter of 2017, will be the largest transaction in the history of the sport. However, the ski resorts are leased to operating companies like Boyne Resorts who hold long-term leases, and sale will not have a direct impact on the day-today operations of the resorts.
EPR, a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Kansas City, Missouri, will acquire the portfolio of ski and attraction assets from CNL and provide debt financing to Och-Ziff Real Estate (OZRE) for its purchase of 14 CNL ski properties in a transaction valued at $700 million.
EPR will acquire Northstar California, along with 15 attraction assets (waterparks and amusement parks) for approximately $456 million. EPR will provide approximately $244 million of five-year financing for 14 ski and mountain lifestyle resorts to be acquired by OZRE for approximately $374 million.
“This sale will have no impact on our resort operations, as this is not a management change. This simply means that we will likely have a new landlord by next summer and we will know more once we engage in further discussions about their longer term intent,” Boyne Senior Vice President, Corporate PR and Programs, Julie Ard told SnoCountry.com.
Triple Peaks’ three resorts, Crested Butte, Mount Sunapee, and Okemo are also part of the deal. “This sale really has no impact on us or our guests. It is similar to a homeowner whose bank sold their mortgage to another bank. It makes little to no difference to the homeowner,” Okemo’s Tim Mueller told us.
Omni Hotels and Resorts acquired the Omni Mount Washington Resort, home of Bretton Woods, from CNL in December 2015.
Mount Sunapee has the green light to move forward with plans for the West Bowl Expansion from New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and state's Executive Council.