Resorts on the Rebound

first_imgLet It Blow: keeping the slopes covered takes as much science as nature these days.Snowsports hope to bounce back from last year’s warm winterMother Nature can be a fickle broad. One minute, she blesses us with more snow than we can handle, the next she leaves us high and dry. The 2011-2012 ski season had much of North America struggling to keep the slopes covered and the lifts turning: bare slopes in California, endless sunshine in Utah, melting snowpack in Colorado. Only Montana and Wyoming were spared the brunt of Ms. Nature’s (as she will now respectfully be called) changing mood.This is the challenge of being a snowsports junkie, especially in the mid-Atlantic or Southeast. Ski resorts in the Blue Ridge are dependent on nature’s bounty for sure, but cold temperatures are enough to manipulate the landscape into a wintery wonderland. We didn’t even get that last season. What gives?“The last two seasons were a little bit of an anomaly, but they were as forecasted,” said Dave Dekema, marketing director at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Resort. “We worked to try and mitigate it heading into the season, but they were expected to be below average snowfall seasons with slightly warmer temperatures, and that’s exactly what we got.”The statistics are staggering: visits to ski resorts were down 15 percent nationwide, the second lowest totals in 20 years and the highest percentage drop in 30 years. Nationally, 50 percent of resorts opened late and 48 percent closed early; average resort snowfall was at its lowest since the 1991-92 season. In the Southeast, the number of days resorts stayed open was down nearly 14 percent.Now, the good news: ski resorts have a penchant for bouncing back. Ski resort visits rebounded 22 percent following the 1981-82 season when resort visits fell 17 percent from the previous year. Also, the 2010-11 season saw the largest number of skiers on the slopes ever, so the industry as a whole is trending upward. Forecasters are predicting colder temperatures in the Southeast, the strongest indicator for a solid ski season, says Dekema.Farther north, at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in western Pennsylvania, communications manager Anna Weltz says the resort dealt with the dreaded ‘backyard effect’: “If people look out their back windows to their backyards and don’t see snow, they are not thinking about it,” Weltz explained. “So we’re using media outlets, local meteorologists, social media, and e-newsletters to say, ‘Hey, you may not have snow in your backyard, but we have plenty here.’”Snowshoe is doubling down on its Snow Guarantee, a program that gives a free lift ticket to anyone who skis the resort on a day when it does not have the most terrain open in the region. Resorts are also pushing deeply discounted early bird ticket and lodging deals to entice skiers to commit to the season earlier and making general upgrades like lodge renovations or more signage to improve the overall mountain experience.In addition, many Southern resorts are dedicating more resources to a four-season revenue stream to offset the ups and downs of the winter. Mountain bike parks and zip line tours are becoming more common at ski resorts.On the slopes, more beginner terrain parks are aimed at attracting a broader audience, and upgrades to snowmaking infrastructure will improve the overall quality of the snow.Ultimately, it’s not just the amount of snow that determines the success of a season. Timing of snowfall is often the difference between shredding pow and shredding dirt.“We are making sure we are maximizing what we do get, when we get it,” Dekema said.And it is not just the larger resorts that are stepping up their snowmaking game this season. Wintergreen Resort outside Nellysford, Va. is investing $12 million in resort upgrades this year, including $6 million specifically for snowmaking. The resort has built a new storage tank and pumping station it says will double its snowmaking capacity this season.There is no doubt that Southern resorts have the ability to rebound from the dismal 2011-12 season, and with forecasters calling for a cold winter, Ms. Nature could be on board as well.How Snowmaking WorksAll ski resorts in the Blue Ridge rely on snowmaking for the bulk of their on-slope coverage. The first snowgun was invented in 1950, and their use became widespread by 1970 at resorts across the county. Here is a breakdown of the process:•Water is piped through a special nozzle that shoots it into the air as very tiny particles. How small? The process is called “atomizing.” That’s how small.•A second nozzle shoots out compressed air. When the compressed air is released, it becomes super cool – in temperature not social status – and freezes the atomized droplets.•A second round of water is sprayed. These larger droplets latch on and freeze to the tinier droplets, forming flakes, and in turn huge piles of snow and/or an ice coating on your goggles.•It takes about 200,000 gallons of water to cover an acre of slope with one foot of snow.last_img read more

Read More →

LandSecs eyes up Piccadilly casino

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More →

Arsenal urged to get rid of Freddie Ljungberg ahead of West Ham clash

first_imgHartson wants Ljungberg to be moved on (Picture: AMA/Getty)‘Arsenal can’t afford to dally, to pussyfoot around or give Freddie Ljungberg a chance,’ Hartson told The Sun ahead of Monday night’s clash with West Ham.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘He may be a favourite with Arsenal fans as a player but to manage Arsenal you need a bit more about you and a bit more experience.‘There are good managers out there. Go after somebody. Be pro-active. Do what Spurs have done by bringing Jose Mourinho in straight away.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘If you’re going to sack a manager, bosh — go and get another one in.‘Arsenal need direction, they need leadership, they need a freshness and they need somebody to get hold of that dressing room because it’s like a sinking ship at the minute.‘A lot of managers will fancy the job because it’s a huge challenge.‘It’s not taking over a fantastic group of players like Mourinho has at Spurs. It’s about going in and working with what you have.’Should Arsenal stick with Freddie Ljungberg?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Arsenal dealt transfer blow in pursuit of Manchester United defender Chris Smalling Comment Metro Sport ReporterMonday 9 Dec 2019 4:24 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Ljungberg hasn’t got off to the best start (Picture: Visionhaus)Arsenal should stop ‘pussyfooting around’ and find Unai Emery’s real replacement rather than sticking with interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, according to former striker John Hartson.Ljungberg has stepped in as caretaker manager following Unai Emery’s sacking but has got off to a rocky start, drawing with relegation-threatened Norwich before losing to Brighton at home.Given the difficult start to life in the dugout, it’s hard to see Ljungberg being handed the full-time position and Hartson called for Arsenal chiefs to be decisive. Arsenal urged to get rid of Freddie Ljungberg ahead of West Ham clash Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Read More →

Sara folks get vegetables as relief items amid quarantine

first_imgPersonnel of the local government unit of Sara, Iloilo and volunteers prepare food packs to be distributed to the town’s residents on April 1. Beneficiaries will receive vegetables aside from the usual food packs. SARA GUGMA KO The distribution of the said products isalso a way to help the local farmers. Aside from the distribution of foodpacks, the local government unit also encourages its locals to grow vegetablesin their backyards. Once the financial assistance arrives,it would help its local government unit to augment food packs for thequarantine-affected households. ILOILO City – While placed underenhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, atotal of 15,278 households in the town of Sara in Iloilo province will receivefresh vegetables from its local government unit. Municipal officials helped in therepacking of vegetables and other food packs, while the village officials weretasked to distribute the said supplies to their respective villages on ahouse-to-house basis, or to gather their residents, provided that they willobserve social distancing. “We also have the Municipal EcumenicalAdvisory Council and an association of churches here, which help us in therepacking and distribution,” the mayor said. Also, to ensure that all of itsresidents will have access to basic goods, Sara town organized its businesssector and helped boost the capabilities of the convenience stores in thevillages. “We are distributing vegetables becausewe need to increase the endurance, the resistance of our locals. If we maintaingood resistance, we can hardly be infected by the COVID-19, the mayor said. “We divided the 42 villages here intofour, and each cluster will be supplied with their primary needs through theconvenience stores” Aying said. Beneficiaries will receive vegetableslike squash, eggplant, green beans, bitter gourd, along with two kilograms ofrice, four canned goods and four packs of noodles. Mayor Jon Aying said that the localgovernment unit already started the distribution yesterday. He added that the town’s public marketis still accessible for its residents living in nearby villages. “I always reiterate to our villagechiefs to encourage their constituents to plant vegetables. We are onquarantine and in case this lasts long, after two months, we can harvest,” hesaid. The town also anticipates a P1 millionaid from the provincial government, adding that they already completed theneeded requirements. “Our local farmers are also affected. Weare buying from them so that our economic activities here will not behampered,” Aying added. The measures being applied by the localgovernment unit of the town are parts of the bid in containing the spread ofthe COVID-19.(With a report from PNA/PN)last_img read more

Read More →