3/20/18 Spring Silly Season

Spring has sprung and the rumor mill is running amok…first we head to Maine, where the deal to sell currently-shuttered Saddleback Ski Resort in Rangeley Lakes area seems to be falling apart. The Berry family had contracted to sell the oversized and underbuilt ski area to an Australian developer, however the head honcho of that firm was recently recorded by a Portland news station saying the “opening the mountain at Saddleback for the Saddleback Resort is not a primary concern for us” and explained that “EB-5 program is the reason we are actually buying Saddleback.” If you’d like more details on this mess, head to NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com. As for the rumor mill, some locals are saying that other resort operators are lined up to buy the lifts. Others are saying the comments have been taken out of context, Saddleback will open next season. Again, these are rumors. Stay tuned.

Let’s come back down to earth for a moment, recap the just completed World Cup season. I’ve reported this in dribs and drabs, now officially have the officialized list from FIS, here are the official Discipline and Nations Cup winners for the 2017/18:

Overall: Marcel Hirscher (AUT), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)

Downhill: Beat Feuz (SUI), Sofia Goggia (ITA)

Super-G: Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), Tina Weirather (LIE)

Alpine Combined: Peter Fill (ITA), Wendy Holdener (SUI)

Giant Slalom: Marcel Hirscher (AUT), Viktoria Rebensburg (GER)

Slalom: Marcel Hirscher (AUT), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)

Nations Cup Ladies: Austria

Nations Cup Men: Austria

Nations Cup Overall: Austria

Back to that rumor mill, buzz around northeast Pennsylvania that the owners of Montage Mountain and Elk Mountain are “talking.”  Hey there are no laws against talking!  But this implies something — what?  We have no idea.  We don’t even know if it’s true, which is why it is called a rumor.  What I can tell you as a fact is that both areas are 100% open right now, enjoying the best conditions they’ve had all winter, and the slopes are pretty much empty.

Equally awesome conditions in the Dakotas right now, they have all but a couple slopes open at Terry Peak, serving up packed powder.  But as spring tends to do, thoughts turn to warm weather activities and the crowds are thinning.   Still, the lifts will spin for a while, as the official announcement from the mountain sez:  “We have been receiving some recent snow so the spring conditions are holding up well.  Currently, we plan on being open through April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday.  The rumor on the mountain is the Terry Peak Easter Bunny may make an appearance on the snow.  There go those darn rumors again!

Elsewhere in the midwest, Mt Brighton Michigan sez they’ll spin lifts this weekend through 8 PM Sunday, and that will do it for the season…Down in Ohio, Boston Mills and Brandywine still going; I think that’s the only offering in the Buckeye State right now.

Associated Press reporting that Southern Vermont’s Hermitage Club, which operates the old Haystack ski area, is not operating due to a late tax bill. Interesting thing is, I just heard that they staved off closure by paying a tax bill, so who the heck knows.  Update: According to Vermont Public Radio, Vermont Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom sez public notices were put on the doors of the Hermitage Club yesterday, and the company is not permitted to operate until it can make its payments to the tax department.