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ExcelsiorTheFathead last won the day on December 7 2019

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About ExcelsiorTheFathead

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  1. A new book, “Ski Inc. 2020,” breaks down everything that’s happened in the world of ski resorts since the birth of Alterra Mountain Co. This is next on my reading list. Chris Diamond's first book, Ski Inc., had just hit bookshelves in December 2016 when shock waves reverberated through the ski resort landscape. In early 2017, the Alterra Mountain Company emerged to challenge Vail Resorts' supremacy, eventually buying 15 resorts, partnering with another 25-plus, and launching the Ikon Pass to compete with the Epic Pass. The story behind Alterra's rise is remarkable, as is Vail Resorts' counter-offensive in the form of its own buying spree, which most recently included the acquisition of the 17 ski areas of Peak Resorts. Through countless interviews, hundreds of sources, and deep firsthand experience, Diamond dissects this unprecedented upheaval, in which the business has been radically, disruptively, and yet positively transformed. "Ski Inc. 2020 accomplished in a matter of hours what I'd failed to do on my own in a decade: make sense of present-day resort headlines in the context of how we got here in the first place," says Gregg Blanchard, the senior vice president of Strategy for Inntopia. When Diamond started this Ski Inc. 2020 sequel, he thought it would be primarily the story of how these "Big Two" resort companies suddenly came to control more than half of the U.S. ski resort business through their mega-passes, and what it means for skiers and snowboarders. But as he dug deeper, he discovered dynamic trajectories among the next three largest ski conglomerates (Boyne Resorts, POWDR and Peak Resorts, now part of Vail), plus ingenuity and innovation at a host of small- and medium-sized resorts, dozens of which are chronicled in the book. Besides the widespread success of value season passes, which trade early commitment for dramatically reduced pricing, resorts large and small have polished their operations. The success starts with passionate leadership and extends to every line item. Resorts now avoid risky real-estate projects; vigorously market to and build relationships with digitally savvy customers; sharpen margins across all departments; and improve the product in every way. For an industry that historically suffered through peaks and valleys with the weather and economy, the result today is an impressive bottom-line consistency that has drawn investor interest worldwide. There are daunting hurdles ahead, with climate change and sluggish participation trends at the top of the disrupter list, but the future is arguably brighter than ever. With season passes at circa-1970s prices, while providing access to dozens of resorts rather than just one, there's never been a better time to be a skier or snowboarder. This book is an eye-opener, a deep, colorful dive beneath the headlines, for any skier or rider who wants to understand today's landscape. And it's a must-read for anyone who works—or wants to work—in the ski industry. "Chris Diamond takes the reader to a higher level of understanding on the state of the ski-resort industry than anyone has ever done," says Michael Berry, who served as the president of the National Ski Areas Association for 25 years. "Key executives opened up to Chris in a way that is unique to this book; their candor and Chris's astute observations combine to make a compelling read. If you love winter, love mountains, and love to slide on snow, this book is a must-read." Chris Diamond is the award-winning author of the first Ski Inc., a resort consultant, and a veteran resort operator. He started his career as an assistant to the president of Killington in 1972, and was the president of Mount Snow, Vermont, from 1977 to 1994. From 1994 to 1996 he served as the vice president for Business
  2. Thanks. Good to hear from somebody who goes there. Ever since I started snowboarding at Stevens Pass back around '08, I've heard good things about the terrain at Mission. It must be sunnier than the typical WA state resort? The limited schedule is the only thing that bugs me, but if it isn't so crowded even on weekends then that seems hopeful.
  3. When I was at Targhee last season I met more than a few Jackson skiers who said that many locals were complaining about congestion and crowding (seemingly) caused by the new participation in the Ikon pass. Also note that A-Basin took themselves off of the Vail Epic Pass. It was probably unsustainable. All I know is that when I look around for a resort to visit (for an entire season), I now check to see if they are on some kind of mega-multi-pass, and consider such participation to be a demerit.
  4. Crystal's web site has some info. There was also much coverage in the Seattle press. Crystal's Open Letter.
  5. Anybody have anything new on Mission Ridge? Anybody go there at all recently? What's the deal there?
  6. Best morning yet. Cold, dry snow. Grippy groom. Good viz.
  7. A Skwal is the most fun you can have for the least amount of weight.
  8. The epic story of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, whose elite soldiers broke the last line of German defenses in Italy’s mountains in 1945, spearheading the Allied advance to the Alps and final victory. This book seems to be getting good reviews. From the Wall Street Journal: "Meet the men of the 10th Mountain Division. Their peacetime achievements are themselves remarkable: Five of them were on the United States ski team in the 1948 Olympics, and a sixth was their coach. All told, five dozen ski areas across North America bear their mark, from selecting the terrain to designing the trails to installing the ski tows, lifts and funiculars. Their postwar achievements—basically building an industry out of an avocation—were set in motion by their unusual training as the nation’s World War II ski troops. It was in such an undertaking that they harnessed their reverence and respect for the mountains and then set out to share their sense of wonder—and their remarkable skills on skis."
  9. Rode with Mark for about an hour this morning. Temps just around or below freezing. Vis was ok as the cloud deck was just above the WROD. Not very crowded and some real turns could be made with caution. The bottom of the run had some hard and thin spots but it wasn't too bad. On my last run some old skier guy went by me and he said something. He either said: "Nice Carving Turns!" or he said: "Die Carving Turd!" I'm not sure which.
  10. I went up this morning in the cold and wind. 3 runs and out in less than an hour. At least it was sunny. Poor to fair WROD conditions with people going fast, people going slow, everything. Snow is inconsistent and downright hard in some spots. I didn't see rocks in the main part of the run but I still took minor scrapy rock damage somehow.
  11. I might go Friday unless it is too cold. I've got nothing else to do. But I'm going to assume that there are going to be rocks and I'm only riding my disposable board until I get confident about the conditions. I've got the Sun-Fri pass so Saturdays are out all season. How is the bus from the Red Barn? Is this a good option for going up? Schweitzer says that there will be no beginner terrain on Friday. Does this mean that the green trail under Musical Chairs will not be open? My plan was to park in the lower lot halfway down Musical Chairs and take that chair up. I always go for the shortest car-to-snow distance.
  12. A bit off topic. Back in the late '80s the Victoria conglomerate purchased Breckenridge just as the Japanese Bubble Economy was beginning to burst, starting a malaise that continues to this day. Victoria was heavily promoting Breck to the domestic market, trying to entice them to fly across the planet to make a visit. Sometime in 1990 (or 89?) I walked into a recording studio in Tokyo with a couple of other Americans to do some voice over work. It turned out to be a TV commercial spot for Victoria. It had been filmed at Breck but voices needed to be dubbed in. At this time I barely knew what Victoria was and had never been on snow myself. I was young and broke. All I know is that for a very brief time in the studio I was paid around $400 and I immediately went out and bought a new stereo and VCR. During the following winter I saw the TV commercial a couple of times. I thought that I would never see the commercial again, but as luck would have it, some weirdo put it on YouTube.
  13. Other photos shot by a local carver, also on Blackfoot. Michael, a regular from Germany Me on my new Coiler Skwal.
  14. Some good photos on this reel shot by the local photographer on 27 March 2019 under the Blackfoot chair.
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