21 February 2017 — In a move anticipated by many and dreaded by some, Vail Resorts Inc. has finally turned its epic machine eastward by entering a deal to purchase Stowe Resort from AIG Corp. Only detail thus far is the reported agreed price of $50 million, and according to Vail’s announcement they are “acquiring all of the assets related to the mountain operations of the resort, including base area skier services — food and beverage, retail and rental, lift ticket offices and ski and snowboard school facilities — at Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Other facilities such as the Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe Mountain Club, Stowe Country Club and certain real estate owned and held for potential future development will be retained by MMC.” “MMC” is AIG’s operating arm for all things Mount Mansfield. So that’s $50 million for skiing infrastructure and branding, the assimilation begins…other newsworthy news out of Vermont, Magic Mountain had its temperamental “black” chairlift approved by the state Friday, giving it a much needed second summit lift in time for the holiday weekend. Crowds responded in kind, giving the throwback area what was likely its biggest weekend since the 1980s. Photo above taken by Sam Shirley this weekend gives you an idea of what Magic is all about; thanks Sam!…snowing again in the Tetons, no problems this time at Jackson Hole, they’re firing on all cylinders [update: turns out, no. JHMR closed this day due to severe weather]…warm temps and blue skies rule the day in much of the midwest, great snow being served up at Ski Brule MI but they are definitely looking forward to something a little colder and snowier by the weekend…Ski Boreal in northern California got another two feet of snow yesterday, but no power outtage problems this time around…one place where weather is wreaking havoc to some extent is Powder Mountain UT. Power issues at the Sundown section making some night terrain unavailable; they’re also having some wind issues today and have a couple of lifts closed, expecting calmer and colder temps return tomorrow…back to Stowe, we neglected to report that 22-year-old Brett Cohen, of Needham, Massachusetts was snowboarding last week, got lost, got hurt, was found hours later but his injuries proved too much for the University of Vermont student. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family…wrapping up the World Cup Ski Championships from St. Moritz this past weekend, no surprises whatsoever in the slalom gates. Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin both grabbed gold, as expected, and both are walking away with the overall titles. Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener and Swedish star Frida Hansdotter took silver and bronze respectively for the ladies, while Austria’s Manuel Feller and German Felix Neureuther did same in mens competition. One other skier I always enjoy watching due to her love for the sport and genuinely great attitude is team USA’s Resi Steigler, who had a very good performance with an 11th place finish. Well done Resi! The men are now headed to Kvitfjell Norway while the ladies move on to Crans-Montana Switzerland.
Above: Magic Mountain VT, Sam Shirley photo.