Jim Spring, the man universally respected and known as “the smartest man in the specialty retail business” died this week of throat cancer. His wife and business partner, Joy, and his three children and two grandchildren survive him.
Long-time publicist, educator, and writer Mary Jo Tarallo received the Industry Achievement Award from SnowSports Industries America (SIA). It was presented by SIA Board Chair Tim Petrick at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
Whistler Blackcomb has been named one of Canada’s best employers for young people as chosen by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and also picked up several conservationist awards.
The booking pace for winter reservations is down 3.9 percent for the next six months year-over-year, says the Mountain Travel Research Program. MTRiP tracks reservations at 260 property management companies in the west.
Wachusett Mountain Marketing Director Tom Meyers was a recipient of a Larry D. Meehan Award for his contributions “to the expansion and vitality of the Massachusetts’ tourism industry.”
The largest annual gathering of mountain travel professionals in North America– the Mountain Travel Symposium – has announced that Michael J. Pierson, Inc. has taken over sole ownership of MTS.
Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) has named Aaron Kellet as the new General Manager for Whiteface Ski Center in Wilmington, NY near Lake Placid. Kellet replaces Bruce McCulley who leaves to become pastor of his church.
Occupancy this summer at 16 western destination resorts moved ahead of the previous two summers with increases in both occupancy and nightly revenue. That’s the verdict from the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP) monthy report.
Ski show entrepreneur Bernie Weichsel has been named the 2012 recipient of the New England Ski Museum’s seventh Spirit of Skiing Award for his influence in popularizing the sport.
The award will be presented Nov. 17, 2012 at the museum’s 35th Annual Meeting and Dinner at Wachusett Mountain Resort in Princeton, Mass. Tickets are $75. A limited number of rooms are available at the Wachusett Village Inn. Call 978-874-2000.
Weichsel, who serves as Chairman of the Board of the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Ishpeming, Mich., is no stranger to awards. He is the founder of BEWI Productions and, as such, has presented the BEWI Award to honor pioneers in the industry at an annual luncheon during his Ski & Snowboard Expo in Boston. Now, it’s his turn to receive a major award.
The Spirit of Skiing Award is given annually to a person “who embodies the adage put forth by ski pioneer Otto Schneibs that ‘skiing is not just a sport, it is a way of life,” according museum officials. Previous Spirit honorees include Tom Corcoran, Stein Eriksen, Herbert Schneider, SE Group, Penny Pitou, and Georg Capaul.
BEWI Productions was formed in 1979 to produce events modeled on the ski shows of the time run by Harry Leonard and Jerry Simon. He had worked at the Leonard-Simon shows while attending the Colorado School of Mines. BEWI currently produces fall consumer ski expos in Denver, Minneapolis, and Boston.
Weichsel is currently working on an initiative that will combine the Beekley Collection of Skiing Art and Literature with snowsports exhibits from several museums into a visitor attraction in Downtown Denver, Colo.
Champlain College has named Sugarbush Resort Owner and President Winthrop Smith its 2012 Distinguished Citizen, while the resort has picked Russell Kauth to head the Vermont resort’s Ski and Ride School.
The Champlain honor stems from Smith's and Sugarbush's commitment to civic engagement and philanthropy in Vermont.
Sugarbush, under Smith's leadership, has provided support for a number of cultural and civic organizations including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Burlington City Arts, Vermont Foodbank, Mad River Valley Rotary, Quench Art Space, Mad Marathon, and the Green Mountain Opera Festival.
Kauff, the new school chief, has spent the past 11 years “chasing an endless winter” between Vermont and Wanaka, New Zealand. He has taught at Cardona and Treble Cone, NZ. He has held numerous positions in Vermont as a staff trainer, a supervisor, and an instructor at Okemo and Stratton resorts.
Kauff holds a PSIA Level III and a PSIA Children's Specialist 1 certification and is a USSA/USSCA Licensed Alpine Race Coach.
Photo: Win Smith, Sugarbush President
The partnership will provide SnoCountry’s website visitors with one-stop vacation planning services, including the ability to book the widest selection of vacation rentals, hotels, lift tickets, equipment rentals, ground transfers, rental cars, airfare and various vacation activities. Guests will be able to book these services online or with the assistance of a local customer service expert available seven days per week.
“We are very excited to extend the marketing reach of our member resorts who participate with VacationRoost to offer visitors at SnoCountry.com this valuable resource,” said Tom Cottrill, president of SnoCountry Ski Areas Association. “Our partnership with VacationRoost further positions SnoCountry.com as the Internet’s most complete and up-to-date source for resort snow conditions, news, weather, events and activities, and now vacation services.”
VacationRoost has a deep background in online booking of specialty lodging and vacations for over 80 popular beach and ski destinations. The services will be operated on its Partner Services platform. Complete website merchandising capabilities, online booking, and full call center capabilities will be provided under the SnoCountry Vacations brand. Visitors will be able to access SnoCountry Vacations through the leaderboard widget and various ads throughout all pages on SnoCountry.com.
“We look forward to providing SnoCountry the best available vacation services to share with their customers,” said Julian Castelli, CEO at VacationRoost.
Camelback, Pennsylvania’s Arthur Berry reports that Camelbeach, the resort’s summer waterpark attraction, is concluding a record-breaking season.
The Chairman’s Outstanding Service Award from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority was given to Squaw Valley President and CEO Andy Wirth this week.
Dave Riley, CEO of Telluride Ski and Golf Resort in Colorado is moving from the mountains to the sea shore, according to an announcement from Chuck Horning, resort owner.
Riley begins immediately as CEO of Newport Federal Financial, a subsidiary of the parent company, based in Newport Beach, Calif. He has been Telluride chief executive for the past five years.
Horning said Riley’s new work will include “acquisitions, strategic initiatives, master planning, development, and transactions involving commercial properties, multi-family properties, resort properties, office complexes, ranches, and raw land.”
Horning said Riley will continue to advise him on Telluride, but will primarily be pursuing new projects across North America and Hawaii.
Slifer Smith & Frampton, a 50-year-old Vail Valley real estate firm, is reporting the local real estate sector performed well, on average so far in 2012, with “a higher number of sales and less time on the market.
The Slifer Report, an in-depth analysis of local real estate activity, provides a snapshot of the Eagle County real estate market and, by extension, a picture of Eagle County’s economic health as a whole. The current report covers the first six months of 2012.
“We expected that the real estate market in 2012 would outperform last year,” said Jim Flaum, president and managing broker at Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate.
The report shows sales volume, number of sales, average days on market, and average median sale for both single-family/duplexes and condominium/townhomes in neighborhoods from Vail Village through Gypsum. A price per square foot comparison and sale price versus list price comparison is also included.
Halley O’Brien joins SnoCountry Ski Areas Association as the new host of SnoCountry’s television program slated to broadcast in more than 30 key winter destination markets for the 2012-13 ski and snowboard season.
The new program will be titled the “SnoCountry Snapshot,” and will focus on the weekend’s weather and snow conditions, while highlighting events, activities and showcasing the mountain lifestyle for those planning their next winter adventure.
“We are very excited to work with Halley on this new program,” said Tom Cottrill, president of SnoCountry Ski Areas Association – a non-profit association that promotes the ski and snowboard industry through radio, television, online and snow report data distribution to more than 3,200 media affiliates. “Her passion for snowsports and the mountain lifestyle, combined with her knack for storytelling made her an easy choice for hosting this original new program and showcasing all that our resort partners have to offer.”
A new management structure has been announced by President/CEO Karl Kapuscinski for Mountain High Resort in southern California and Stevens Pass Resort in Washington’s Cascades. The two ski areas will share personnel and best practices.
The goal, Kapuscinski says, is to “develop synergies that continue to establish the individual resorts as leaders in their respective markets.
“I am excited about the management team we have assembled. They bring a lot of industry experience, passion, and leadership to their respective positions. I consider this team to be one of the most diverse and talented in the industry,” he said.
The corporate level overseeing both areas includes Michele Roy, CMA, as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Senior Vice President. She comes to the new role with 17 years experience. Paul Bauer will be COO for both resorts, overseeing operations and environmental affairs. He has held that position at Mountain High for 11 years.
John McColly is Chief Operating Officer. He’ll oversee sales, marketing, and business development for both resorts. He parlays 20 years experience to the new role after serving in that position for Mountain High.