News Roundup

Welcome to the season that just won’t end…Mammoth Mountain CA will wrap it up this Sunday, June 17, that’s incredible…meanwhile plenty of diehards still earning turns in Wyoming, Colorado, etc. and that will go on and on…and of course, Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, OR going strong on the Palmer Snowfield, see photo above taken this morning…for many it is indeed the off season, or silly season…biggest news thus far is the sale of Triple Peaks (aka Tim and Diane Mueller) to Vail Resorts Inc. This includes Crested Butte CO, Okemo VT, and the operations at state owned Mount Sunapee in NH. This move strengthens Vail’s position in the east, which was previously limited to Stowe VT and a smattering of hills in the midwest. I make no bones about the fact that Vail Resorts-type operations are not my fave, but fortunately for shareholders (MTN NYSE) I am definitely in the minority. I try to avoid their ski areas but I have no problem owning their stock…biggest news in the New England ski scene? Hard to say. Perhaps the Okemo sale, perhaps the crash and burn/foreclosure etc. at Haystack VT, or perhaps the crash and burn of the Saddleback ME transaction…on a positive note, Magic Mountain in VT is replacing their summit triple, known to the Magic faithful as “the black chair” and known to the rest of us as the contraption of horrors. I believe it was loaned to the movie studios for the Mordor scenes in Lord of the Rings although I can’t be sure. Magic management assures us that it has been broken down and sold off in pieces so that Sauron can never again reforge it as a ski lift. Anyway they’re replacing it with a fixed-grip quad purchased from friendly neighbor Stratton. Strattonites will recall this as the Snow Bowl lift, which is installing a zippity quick high speed something in its place. I think this is good for all concerned, as a rising tide lifts all boats…and we wrap up today with some tragic news concerning retired World Cup superstar Bode Miller; his 19-month-old daughter Emiline “Emmy” died Saturday evening in a swimming pool accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bode and his family. With father’s day almost upon us, I can’t imagine his heartbreak.