2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 54
Unique and distinctive jagged granite
peaks, called Minarets, are located near
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
photo courtesy of
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
The Public Affairs portfolio of programs is designed to present
the positions of the FWSA to the outside world. As "The Voice of the
Western Skier", FWSA has been very active in a whole host of areas
that affect ski area development, safety, volunteer liability, transportation, taxation, ski history and consumer advocacy. Topics such as airline baggage rules, discounts for season passes, news about ski country
direct airline routes and ski area development are of interest to our
membership and to the Far West Skier's Guide readership. We also better
educate our members in areas such as the impact of changing demographics and the need for increased diversity, snowsports industry efforts like ski area growth, regulatory efforts to modernize state ski laws,
expanding snowmaking capabilities, development of e-commerce in the
industry, resort developments, consumer tendencies, the Forest Service's involvement in area development and the requirements to meet
visitor's various needs based on demographics such as age, capabilities,
interests and other factors.
The width and breadth of the FWSA's Public Affairs program is
significant and FWSA is committed to doing all we can in communicating issues, educating our membership and reaching out to the general public on a huge range of issues and interests that might be
included under the large umbrella of topics that could be considered
"public affairs". We strongly encourage all skiers and boarders to get
involved in issues that might affect them either directly or even indirectly by keeping abreast of industry news, government activities, area
developments, legislation, public meetings, consumer advocacy and
trends, safety issues, product developments and introductions. To keep
informed about relevant news and other issues, please visit
www.fwsa.org. Here are some topics of current interest.
This new entity - as yet un-named as of press time, will merge
12 four-season mountain resorts with approximately six million skier
visits, and 20,000 skiable acres. The twelve ski areas include: Squaw
Valley, CA; Alpine Meadows, CA; Mammoth Mountain, CA; Snow
Summit, CA; Bear Mountain, CA; June Mountain, CA; Steamboat, CO;
Winter Park, CO; Stratton Mountain, VT; Snowshoe Mountain, WV;
Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada; and Mont Tremblant, Quebec,
Canada, plus the four Aspen Skiing Company resorts of Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk, and Deer Valley Resort.
For the full 2017-18 winter season, the new company will continue to
honor the existing pass products that are currently on sale, including
the Rocky Mountain Super Pass +, the M.A.X. Pass, and the Mountain
Collective. In future years, look for them to be offering a multi-resort
ticket to compete with Vail's Epic Pass.
NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL
NEWS IN SNOWSPORTS
United States Ski and Snowboard Association: The US Ski and
Snowboard Association has rebranded its name. The governing body
will now simply be known as US Ski & Snowboard. According to
the organization, the changes will unite athletes, members and fans as
one team with a vision to be the best in the world in Olympic skiing
and snowboarding. The new logo features elements of the American
flag, the letters "US" and a mountain, in a shield design. "With the continuous evolution of our sports, it was important for us to have a common
brand that truly represented who we are as an organization and what we
aim to achieve across all of our different sport programs and teams together,"
said Tiger Shaw, US Ski & Snowboard's President and Chief Executive.
FIS World Snow Day - the goal is to encourage children with
MAJOR MERGER UNITES NUMEROUS
their families to enjoy and explore snow while learning about the enAMERICAN & CANADIAN RESORTS
vironment, health benefits of snow activities and safety on and off the
Intrawest was seeking buyers for its stable of resorts. More than snow. There were 225 events in 39 countries this past year, that had
170 potential bidders lined up to buy the famed ski resorts under the over 200,000 participants.
Intrawest umbrella. Some were resort operators, but most were financial firms and individual billionaires. Destination resorts are currently SKI AREA DEVELOPMENT, CONSUMER
a coveted asset.
ADVOCACY & TRENDS
The winning bid was a combination. Affiliates of KSL Capital
Winter Park Resort (CO) and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
Partners, LLC - a Denver private equity firm, and Henry Crown and (MA) - Digital Screen on a Chair Lift? Yep! This winter, you could
Company - a privately held operating company which includes Aspen be staring at a screen while on a chairlift. This process is Lift Digital,
Skiing Company, LLC, formed a new joint venture. The completion of and is similar to those screens seen at gas station pumps, in elevators
their previously announced acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Holdings, and in taxis. Contracts have been signed with two ski areas. For this
Inc. was announced on July 31, 2017. Through these transactions, coming winter season, the screens will include information like GPS,
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Intrawest Resort Holdings, Inc. and trail maps, safety tips, weather updates, social media and trail condiMammoth Resorts combined as one company. On August 21, 2017, tions. Each seat on the chairlift will receive a screen, and the goal is
it was announced that this new venture will also be purchasing Deer to install 180 screens on Mary Jane's 6-person Super Gauge chairlift
Valley Resort in Utah. Solitude Mountain Resort, which Deer Valley at Winter Park and up to 120 screens at Wachusett.
bought in 2015, is not part of the deal and will remain under the curMammoth Mountain (CA) - has brought together work and play
rent Deer Valley ownership.
by offering "The Fort". With the need to work remotely, The Fort is
Far West Skier's Guide 2O17 - 2O18 / See the Digital Edition of the Far West Skier's Guide at www.fwsa.org.