Catching Up on FIS & Other News

Biggest news on the ski racing scene during the off-season is the retirement of Austrian star Marcel Hirscher. Hirscher steps down after 12 seasons showcasing 67 World Cup wins in four disciplines, 138 podiums across five disciplines, 12 discipline titles, and most impressive of all: Eight overall globes. Add in a pair of Olympic golds plus seven World Championship golds, plus countless other medals, team medals, and other titles. My hope was that as the rigor of technical racing took its toll, Hirscher would turn to speed events, where he showed brilliance in the few events he did enter. Alas that was not to be, but he’s no less impressive for it. In the all-time “Super Ranking” — using statistics from multiple disciplines and championship events — Hirscher’s 358 points is probably out of reach in our lifetime…and the White Circus will indeed kick off the season in about ten days, as the Audi FIS Ski World Cup races in Sölden (AUT) are “confirmed following the official snow control from today 17th October 2019. As scheduled, the races will take place on 26th-27th October 2019,” according to the Federation…now on to the resort and general news…A couple of classic, established, smallish ski areas are on the lookout for new GMs, Sleeping Giant WY and Dartmouth Skiways NH…speaking of NH GMs, Mount Sunapee GM Bruce Schmidt moving to a VP/GM role at Okemo VT; he’ll still be overseeing things at Sunapee as well as Crotched Mountain NH. Tracy Bartels, currently with Keystone CO, will be moving into the big chair at Sunapee…and in New Jersey, the big snow job may finally come to fruition if Big Snow American Dream meets its targeted grand opening of December 5. Big Snow is the first indoor facility of its kind in the US. It is 1,000 feet long with 160′ vertical, with two conveyors, a platter, and a fixed-grip quad. Skiing operations will be managed by Snow Operating, which owns Mountain Creek. Ground was originally broken on this monstrosity over fifteen (15) years ago as the “Meadowlands Xanadu,” and the assorted fits and stops, wacky paint schemes and nefarious dealings by previous operators drained billions of dollars from the state treasury. Hopefully Snow Operating’s proven capabilities and experience will enable them to overcome the attraction’s colorful past.