News Roundup, 10/14/16

Ski Hesperus/Scott D.W. Smith photo

14 October 2016 — Durango Colorado’s James Coleman has quietly become a key player in the U.S. ski business; he just added small but mighty Ski Hesperus to his growing list of southwest ski resorts.  Coleman and his investment group — or perhaps groups, not sure — already own Purgatory in Colorado, Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff, plus Sipapu  and Pajarito in New Mexico.  At 700′ vertical Hesperus is the smallest and probably least-known in Coleman’s portfolio.  Hesperus had been run by Jim Pitcher since 1988.  Coleman says they’ll maintain things as-is for the coming season, which will enable them to figure out any plans for improvements.  He also said that Hesperus’ comfortable, family atmosphere will not be changed.  Don’t know much about this guy but definitely appreciate what he’s doing to energize the ski scene in Four Corners country, and he’s doing it with some terrific ski areas…Great news for Michiganders, Caberfae Peaks adding a brand new Doppelmayr triple chair for the 2016/2017 season. The new fixed-grip triple chairlift is designed to provide better and slightly higher service on the North Peak complex. It should definitely give easier access to a handful of greens on the back side — Smiling Irishmen, Easy Street, Shelter — as well as a few runs on the front. It’s also intended to reduce liftlines, so kudos to Caberfae…update from the Front Range, Arapahoe Basin is close but not quite there, while Loveland has a bit further to go; both have temporarily suspended snowmaking due to warming temps. Basin says all they need is one cold night and they could be ready…meanwhile up in Idaho the Tamarack Resort follies continue, this time (hopefully) a more positive development. A new group called the Tamarack Municipal Association — comprised of local homeowners — has acquired the resort from New TR Acquisitions Co. LLC. A good chunk of Tamarack, including lifts and semi-finished lodge, was slated for the auction block on Monday. GM Brad Larsen says the resort “has all the assets it needs to operate this winter” and is set to commence snowmaking next month with a target opening on December 9th. Tamarack has been in flux since a 2008 bankruptcy…speaking of Loveland Basin, a little humor here, German ski consultant Chrisophe Schrahe has compiled a new set of stats for comparing ski resorts, as Germans are wont to do. Something must’ve gone wrong with the auto translator, however, as the top five highest lift elevations include the USA’s Breckenridge, and a place called Love Country Basin. Heh heh heh. Back Monday….