Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lech-Zürs and Warth-Schröcken to Link

Skiing in Zürs (photo credit: Hilary C. Smith)

Exciting news from the Austria's Arlberg region and this time it looks like lawyers have done something good for a change. Ski, Esq. is proud to be the first English language source to report that Lech-Zürs and neighboring Warth-Schröcken are to linked by a new gondola. After lawyers resolved issues over land ownership, the decades-long dream of combining the two adjoining resorts is about to be realized, says the Lech-Zürs tourism office. Construction on the new "Auenfeldjet" lift is to begin in the spring of 2013 at a cost of 12 million Euros.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Snow Guarantees and Ski Vacations: A Few Tips for Vacationing Skiers This Winter

Telluride, CO (photo credit: Ski, Esq.)
October is the time of year when skiers' minds turn towards their winter trips. However, no one needs reminding that the winter of 2011-2012 was one of the worst on record. Snowfall was down across almost every part of the United States and skier visits plummeted. In response, it appears that many skiers are playing it safe this year and waiting to see where the snow will fall before booking winter trips. 

A September 30 report by Mountain Travel Research Program shows very sluggish early season booking across the industry. (For more, see the excellent article on FirstTracksOnline entitled, "Skiers Are Having Reservations About Making Reservations.") To counteract this trend towards later bookings, a huge number of ski resorts are introducing fantastic early booking discounts, many of which center upon some type of "Snow Guarantee." The concept of a snow guarantee has become increasingly popular amongst resorts in recent years.

The premise is simple. In essence, the resorts are saying, "We know you're a bit gun-shy after last winter, but book now because we'll have snow. If not, we'll either let you cancel, switch your dates or somehow make it right." Sounds great, right? Well, as always the devil is in the details. What to look for and how to decipher ski resort legalese after the jump.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sno Mountain Forced into Bankruptcy by Creditors

photo credit: Sno Mountain LP
The trouble brewing at Sno Mountain, PA may finally have boiled over. The financial difficulties of the former Montage Mountain have been well-documented. Back in July, a sheriff's sale was scheduled to auction off the resort's assets to satisfy a mortgage holder. A late infusion of cash forestalled the sale.

On Monday, Sno's creditors filed a petition to force the resort's owner, Sno Mountain LP, into bankruptcy under Chapter 11. According to the pleadings filed by the creditors, the total debts amount to a staggering $15,646,206.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Judge's Ruling Allows Aspen's Burnt Mountain Glade Clearing to Proceed

photo credit: Aspen Skiing Co.

First Tracks Online is reporting that U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg has dismissed a complaint filed by an environmental group - The Ark Initiative - which sought to prevent Aspen from clearing new gladed terrain within the boundary of the company's Snowmass resort.  The defendant, the US Forest Service, disagreed with The Ark Initiative's claims and was supported by Aspen Skiing Co., which intervened in the suit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Interview with Belleayre Resort Developer Dean Gitter

            Ski, Esq. caught up with Dean Gitter, Managing Member of the "Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park" project, a proposed resort development adjoining state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in New York's Catskill Mountains. Mr. Gitter is one of the principals of Crossroads Ventures, LLC, the company which has proposed the development as part of a public-private partnership endorsed by the State of New York. (Click here for a link to a detailed overview of the project). He was kind enough to agree to an interview, which appears in full after the jump.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ski Season OPEN!

Not A-Basin or Loveland, or even this year's first mountain to open is in Minnesota! Wild Mountain, located near the Wisconsin border, kicked off the season this weekend with one novice slope. Congrats!

photo credit: KARE 11

Ski, Esq. in SKIING Magazine

Be sure to check out the September issue of SKI magazine. 

Text of the story after the jump.