Where Do I Begin

So much has happened since the last report, it’s hard to say where to start…probably the biggest deal is that the Broomfield Borg, aka Vail Resorts Inc. has assimilated three more ski resorts, this time on the Allegheny ridge in southwest Pennsylvania: Seven Springs, Hidden Valley Mountain Resort, and Laurel Mountain. This in addition to an already long list of Vail properties in the Keystone State, namely Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, and the duo of Jack Frost and Big Boulder in the Poconos…anyone from the Federal Trade Commission paying attention to any of this? All of those are in Pennsylvania. There aren’t many others. If I may borrow from President Biden, c’mon man…why would anyone complain about Vail gobbling up more and more and more resorts? Oh I dunno, just ask the folks at Boston Mills/Brandywine in Ohio, which are yet to open. C’mon man, it’s January 6th. Or you can ask the New Hampshire skiers dedicated to their beloved Wildcat Mountain, which finally opened to the summit this week with exactly one (1) trail off the top. Or you can head up to Stevens Pass in Washington state, where frustrated skiers have been on line so long they’ve had time to create an online petition. I’ve signed it, I’ve never skied there but as a skier I am compelled to sign it. Or you can just check out SAM Info, an online publication for Ski Area Management, that details a trail of epic misery from coast to coast…I got more bad news folks: Through all of this, Vail Inc. crunches the numbers better than anyone. It’s all in the data. They know that of all the skiers who bought a pass this year, most will be back next year. So as they say in Maine, suck it hard, Bub…over in Michigan, Cannonsburg Ski Area (near Grand Rapids) is set to open this weekend, finally. They rely heavily on natural snow, perhaps too much so according to some unhappy locals…incredibly sorry to report that veteran snowmaker Kimberlee Francoeur died in an accident at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Massachusetts earlier this week. The popular outdoors enthusiast was stopped on a snowmobile when a groomer inadvertently backed into her; our hearts go out to all involved in this tragic accident. By all accounts, if you were choosing sides, you’d want her on your team…throwback photo above, Mount Snow Vermont from the American Skiing Company days. Mount Snow is one of the Vail Resorts that doesn’t seem to be throttled back this season.