Utah resorts create pass-sharing deal
Park City, Utah — Four resorts in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah announced they have reached an agreement adding three single-day lift tickets at each of the other resorts to their own season-pass privileges.
Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Alta and Snowbird are involved. The new benefit for season-pass holders is seen as an attempt to blunt the impact of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, which includes a Utah mountain resort, Canyons, for the first time.
The four resorts have set their own requirements for the eligibility of their pass holders. PCMR requires someone purchase a season pass at full price with at least one of its add-ons to be eligible. Someone at Deer Valley must purchase a full-price season pass to be eligible. Deer Valley said people holding hospitality, midweek or tot season passes are not eligible for the benefit.
Blackout dates across the four resorts run during the holidays, Dec. 21-Jan. 5, and over Presidents Day weekend, Feb. 15-17.
Andy Miller, a spokesperson for PCMR, said the deal with the other resorts is “the next evolution of us trying to maximize the value of our guests’ passes.” A Deer Valley spokesperson, Emily Summers, said the privileges at the other resorts are a “thank you to our season-pass holders.”
The announcement was made a little more than two months after Vail Resorts reached an agreement to operate Canyons Resort. The Colorado ski company added Canyons Resort to its Epic Pass, which allows holders to ski at Vail Resorts properties in Colorado and the Lake Tahoe region, and now Utah. The Epic Pass also offers privileges at resorts in Switzerland and Austria.
— The Park Record
Telluride — In light of the recent rainy spell, the town of Telluride has lifted its fire and water restrictions.
The restrictions were enacted in June. This was the second consecutive summer that drought conditions have prompted the town to limit how and when water is used. The dry conditions also propelled the town to implement strict fire restrictions; its fire ban prohibited open fires and all fireworks in town and smoking at campgrounds.
But in light of heavy rainfall and increased humidity in recent weeks, the town lifted both the fire bans and fire restrictions within town limits. The town council made the decision to lift the restrictions Tuesday during its regular meeting, joining several other entities, including the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and San Miguel County in lifting restrictions.
The discussion also led to the broader topic of the town’s water policy, and the council asked town staff to start working on new conservation ideas that could be considered for implementation by January.
— Telluride Daily Planet
Crankworx opens for 10th season in Whistler
Whistler, British Columbia — After nine years as the undisputed epicentre of progression in mountain biking, one may wonder what’s left for Crankworx Whistler to bring to the table year after year.
The annual mountain biking festival, which opens in the resort Friday, Aug. 9 for the 10th time, will once again be pushing the boundaries of the sport while making enhancements to Crankworx staples and welcoming new or improved events to the jam-packed, nine-day schedule.
“It has in many ways taken on a life of its own and Crankworx is very much a globally-recognized brand now,” said general manager Darren Kinnaird. “Crankworx has sort of defined the sport, especially on the slopestyle side of things. This is where it was born, this is where that started and it was sort of the initial spark for Crankworx, along with some of the racing we were doing in other events.”
While the slopestyle course that will be featured during Red Bull Joyride on Aug. 17 will once again set the gold standard for freestyle riding before a crowd of thousands in Skiers Plaza, Crankworx will be capitalizing on the growing trend of enduro racing on the festival’s first weekend in a way never before seen in Whistler.
The SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized will be the fifth of seven stops on the Enduro World Series, which is in the middle of its inaugural season and has already held races in France, Italy and the United States. Kinnaird, who sits on the board of the newly-created Enduro Mountain Bike Association administering the series, said athlete demand inspired the creation of the tour and the response has been phenomenal.
“People were begging for a world tour of this, where they can go and compete, get global exposure and points. The reception and the coverage so far this year has been amazing,” he said. “It’s made (Crankworx organizers) step up our game on the enduro side of things.”
Mixing elements of downhill and cross-country racing, enduro races are held over short stages in a single day and have exploded in popularity. The Canadian Open Enduro will take place Sunday (Aug. 11), using the Top of the World trail from the peak of Whistler Mountain for the final stage.
— The Whistler Question
Athlete safety concerns rise in Sochi
DENVER — Concerned with Russia’s new anti-gay laws, leaders at the U.S. Olympic Committee are in discussions with the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. State Department to ensure the safety of athletes at the Sochi Olympics.
In a letter to Olympic constituents, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun wrote that because the Russian law is new “we do not know how and to what extent (it) will be enforced” during the Olympics.
But he said the safety and security of American athletes is always a primary concern.
He referenced the Olympic Charter, which prohibits any form of discrimination, and said the USOC will gather as much information as it can to pass on to its athletes, and other Americans traveling to Russia, in the coming months.
In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and imposing fines on those holding gay pride rallies.
On Thursday, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that all athletes’ rights would be respected during the Olympics but also said athletes would “have to respect the laws of the country.”
In the letter addressed to several U.S. Olympic organizations and dated July 25, Blackmun wrote, “Like us, the IOC recognizes the seriousness of the issue, and they are in discussions with the Russian authorities on behalf of all nations to ascertain what the laws do and do not proscribe and how they could impact visitors to the Games.”
The USOC is opposed to a boycott of the Games — a topic that has come up frequently in recent weeks, with the anti-gay law and tensions over Russia’s decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum making headlines.
— The Associated Press
Austrian resorts become fans of artificial ski hill in wales
South Wales — While the Austrian Alps have a reputation for being one of the world’s top ski resorts, it seems that an urban attraction is gaining a good name there.
Pembrey Ski — the dry slopes in Pembrey Country Park in South Wales — are visited each year by thousands of children from schools across South Wales preparing for their annual trip to the snowy hills of Europe.
More than 40 schools have been packing Pembrey’s slopes during the recent hot weather getting ready for planned winter snow trips.
But now is seems the artificial slopes are winning a reputation among the Austrian resorts — because of the advanced condition the students arrive in.
School teacher Kathleen Lawlor said they had 34 pupils returning to Alpendorf, near Salzberg, this winter.
“They always welcome us with open arms because even those among our troop who have not seen experienced ski snowing before have the Pembrey Ski experience,” she said.”
— South Wales Evening Post
“Crankworx has sort of defined ... slopestyle. This is where it was born.”
Whistler general manager