Ski Extreme

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

See my other group member's blogs to learn more about different winter sports

Brian Mastey's blog on the hockey world
Phil Kohn's site about the world of snowboarding
David Sherry's blog on something completely heterosexual....snow tubing

Or simply visit our group's homepage Abominable Sports for an introduction to winter sports.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Competition for the Big Resorts

CNN: Smaller ski resorts growing in popularity

Don't want to pay $74 for a one-day lift ticket to ski or snowboard? Many people are facing this decision as they head back to the slopes for the upcoming winter. Many of the big resorts like Aspen and Park City have hefty price tags for lift tickets, but they do provide an extensive range of terrain and other amenities. This season seems to be the comeback of the smaller ski resorts, which offer customers lift tickets in the $30-$40 price range and generally have fewer lines. The smaller resorts target the local residents, first-timers, and families. In fact, Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association in Colorado states, "I think actually they [small resorts] are doing very well now, better than probably any time in the last 20 or 25 years."

The CNN article above gives examples around the Las Vegas, Boston, and Denver areas of some of these small resorts that have been revived and are flourishing now. Their strategy is to not target the clientele that is going to rent a fully-furnished cabin and dine at expensive resort restaurants. Instead, many of these small resorts focus on students, senior citizens and other price sensitive customers. Establishing a loyal customer base will lead to more steady profit streams down the road and provide the funds needed to expand on current services.

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

The above picture is at the Alta resort in Utah. The Alta & Snowbird resorts ranked as the best resorts for early season snow. Grand Targhee in Jackson Hole, WY and Steamboat in Colorado came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

The skiing season has already started in some part of North America, while many other Northeastern skiers wait patiently for the machines to create the necessary powder. All in all, December remains an important month to ski resorts, especially Western and Canadian resorts. These areas receive heavy amounts of natural snow and are extremely popular for vacationers. One problem, however, is that these resorts are at the mercy of the weather. For many Western areas, December generally brings either feast or famine as far as snowfall goes. Subsequently, the article below says that experts advise eastern skiers to stick to home in December instead of risking poor conditions and a disappointing vacation.

MSNBC: Best resorts for early season snow

The article also goes on to give helpful websites for visiters to browse before making any decisions for ski vacations. Ski America & Canada, for example, is a comprehensive, international site that provides helpful research on numerous resorts around the country and the world. The site also provides insight as to snow conditions and estimates, which is vital in planning for ski vacations in the earlier months.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Bode Miller Wins 1st World Cup Downhill Race

Bode Miller finishes downhill run in 1 min. 42.75 seconds, winning his first World Cup Downhill Race in Lake Louise, Alberta on November, 27th.

ESPN: Miller's improvement shows from get-go

In the past, Miller was known for his top-notch slalom and giant slalom skills. For example, he just won the opening giant slalom race of the season in Soelden, Austria. However, when it came to downhill racing, the best Miller had done before the recent win was 5th place in Bormio, Italy in 2003. Downhill racing requires very different skills than the two slalom races and Miller was determined to improve on the downhill to become the renaissance athlete that will lead the U.S. in future competitions. Miller says it bluntly, "The prestige and sexiness of downhill are undeniable. It's the fastest, has the biggest jumps, the most risks." If Bode Mille wins all three races he will become the first American since Phil Mahre in 1983 to capture the World Cup overall title.

"The Bode Show"

Increasing it's celebrity endorsements and continuing to send its stock price soaring, Sirius Satellite Radio has signed Bode Miller on December 2nd to host his own show. The show will allow Miller and other guest skiers to talk about their experiences on the Alpine circuit. Miller will also talk about and play his favorite music.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

How to buy the right set of skis

Tired of waiting in long ski rental lines and paying for a mediocre set of used skis? Maybe now is the time that you should consider making the investment into buying your own pair of skis. This decision could run you between $800-$2000 for a good pair of skis, and then added expenses for boots, bindings, poles, and other important accessories. However, the payoffs of having comfortable, fitting, top-notch skis that put you on the slopes right after attaching the lift ticket to your jacket are well-worth it. If you have a good ski store near you, then you are in luck and can usually get very good service and learn about the large variety of brands, prices, and sizes. However, if you do not have a ski store near you, it may be beneficial to research various skis and ski equipment on the web.

How to buy skis is a good website for the buyer that has no previous knowledge of the different kinds of skis and what they should be looking for. In addition, the site also gives you help on what to look for in purchasing boots and poles as well. For the more intermediate skiers that know the type of ski equipment they want, Ski Magazine is a great resource that lets you search by brand and gives you many articles on tips for buying. The site also has lists of the best gear and other useful articles for the intermediate skiers.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Skiing in China and Russia: A Win for Capitalism

During the Cold War, a reference to the Chinese or Russians skiing would usually be part of a punch-line in a joke. Five decades later, however, these events are becoming reality, and are changing the way people view skiing on an international level. Recently, there have been incredible developments in the interest of these formerly "Red" countries to create skiing resorts for their citizens. For example, in 2002 the Chinese government announced that it was going to begin building 300 new ski resorts over the next decade. Also, many companies in Russia are expressing interest in this new wave of interest. In the Krasnaya Polyana region, for instance, there are plans to turn a billion-dollar development investment into a resort that could handle up to 50,000 skiers a day.

All of these recent skiing developments in Eurasia represent the new middle class emerging from a once-seen Communist stronghold. Even Vladimir Putin has publically expressed his increased interest in making skiing part of his personal recreational activities.

See the following link for more details on this new interest in Eurasia

Better Shred Than Red

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Skiing vs. Snowboarding

With the advent of extreme sports, snowboarding has become a respected sport around the world. However, as the popularity of this "sport" increases, so does the destruction of the prestine slope conditions at most mountains and resorts.

Ski vs. Snowboard

The link above is a nice comparion of the two. It describes both skiing and snowboarding in an unbiased fashion. However, it does point out the fact that it takes skiers about 8 years of constant practice to become experts, whereas snowboarders can do it around 3. Another drawback to snowboarding is a truth known all too well to patrons of any mountain - snowboarders tear up the snow. Similiar to hockey players skating on choppy ice towards the end of a period, this is the same condition that skiers face after droves of snowboards have cut back and forth through the slopes. Although snowboarding's popularity has risen exponentially in the past decade due to promotional events like ESPN's XGames, it will continue to pale in comparison to the deep-rooted tradition of skiing.

Friday, November 12, 2004

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