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

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Wenger returns to Arsenal to add to FIFA specialist team

first_imgFormer Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, has returned to his club to add to his staff as FIFA’s head of global football development. Arteta and Wenger rubbing minds The Frenchman has landed a long time lieutenant from the Emirates. Wenger has poached Jaeson Rosenfeld, the club’s data and analytics chief, to join him at FIFA. According to the Athletic, Rosenfeld was a ‘revolutionary’ figure in north London during the last decade, and was both popular and influential at the club.Advertisement Loading… Rosenfeld oversaw StatDNA, Arsenal’s internal analytics company, which began working with the club in 2011 on a consultancy basis before the Gunners purchased the company in 2012. StatDNA was rebranded to Arsenal Data Analytics last year. Read Also:Wenger questions Man City defensive quality Rosenfeld was a key conduit of Wenger’s during his reign at the club, and was involved in the recruitment process in 2018 which saw Wenger replaced by Unai Emery. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted ContentThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Art7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way7 Reasons It’s Better To Be A VeganNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The World8 Amazing Facts About Ancient EgyptThe Most Exciting Cities In The World To VisitBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parkslast_img read more

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Transfer rumours and paper review – Monday, October 20

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed speculation linking the Spanish giants with a move for Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling. (Daily Mail)Ancelotti has also told Manchester United to forget about re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo. (The Sun)Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal hopes to blow Arsenal and Chelsea out the water with a MEGA contract offer for Germany World Cup winner Sami Khedira. (Daily Star)Manchester United are also planning a £15m bid for Torino full-back Matteo Darmian. (Daily Express)Manchester United target Arturo Vidal insists he is “100% committed” to Juventus despite being left out of the squad for their clash with Sassuolo at the weekend. (Daily Star)Dani Alves is continuing negotiations with Barcelona over a new contract but the club want him to take a wage cut.The Brazilian was reported to have agreed a pre-contract with Manchester United but no deal is in place. (Daily Mail)Liverpool, Everton, Swansea, Hull and West Ham are all keen on Marseille forward Andre Ayew. (Daily Mirror)Neil Lennon is hoping to bring his former Celtic strike star Gary Hooper to Bolton. The new Trotters boss has identified the Norwich City forward as the man to help lift the Championship side away from the relegation danger zone. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…‘We’re not at our best, but we’re getting there’, Liverpool boss Rodgers tells talkSPORTExclusive – Arsenal are only fighting for third or fourth, claims ParlourExclusive – Arsenal MUST be more disciplined in defence, says Gunners legendExclusive – Higginbotham: Sunderland players gave up in 8-0 mauling at SouthamptonMUST WATCH: No wonder Man United reportedly want this Dutch starlast_img read more

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