Hot Sheet: Epic Vail, help for Japan, Ski Dazzle & biz hires

In this week's Hot Sheet, Vail announces its Epic Mix numbers, Julia Mancuso, Ski Utah and Rossignol are helping send aid to Japan, Snow Bomb and Ski Dazzle are teaming up for a new show in Sacramento, and one Olympic gold medalist will be rebuilding the fire escape at his bar.

Nearly 100,000 Vail Resorts guests activated EpicMix accounts this season, generating over 35 million social impressions and racking up over 55 billion vertical feet of skiing and snowboarding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly, in California. Vail said in a press release that the number of users for its online and mobile application accounts for an almost 15-percent adoption rate by eligible guests. Also, almost 40,000 guests downloaded the EpicMix application to their mobile phone.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the success and positive feedback of EpicMix from our guests. The 15 percent adoption rate of EpicMix compares very favorably with the typical first-year experience for new mobile applications,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.”We are hard at work on EpicMix 2.0 for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season that will offer some new groundbreaking functionality and user engagement, and will be fully operational at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort.”

Skiers, ski areas unite to help send aid to Japan

The U.S. Ski Team's Julia Mancuso and Kikkan Randall joined, by donating part of their World Cup Finals prize money to help the many affected areas of the March earthquake and tsunami.

Mancuso set the stage, rallying momentum from the ski world to help support and aid in relief to Japan. With a goal of donating 100,000 Swiss Francs, Mancuso and fellow ski racers joined together to try to achieve this goal.

“I'm trying to pitch in and start giving something back from the ski world so I'm giving part of my prize money to help [Japan],” said Mancuso. “I think people are really interested and our goal is to donate 100,000 Swiss francs, that's an eighth of the prize money. There have been a lot of people reaching out so hopefully we can reach our goal.”

Ski Utah sponsors Eider and Rossignol have volunteered to match Ski Utah's donation to the Japan Relief Fund. Ski Utah is hosting a "snow total guess campaign" on the Ski Utah Yeti Facebook page ( The Ski Utah Yeti has asked its fans to guess the Utah 2010-11 season ending snow total as of May 1, 2011. Ski Utah will then make a donation in the amount of the total snowfall (i.e. 700" = $2,100) to the Japan Relief Fund in the winner's name. The deadline to place a guess on the Facebook page is April 29, 2011 at 5 p.m.

Ski Dazzle and SnowBomb create new company, new ski show

Ski Dazzle and SnowBomb have teamed up to create a new company, Sacramento Ski & Snowboard Show LLC, as well as a brand new ski and snowboard show in California’s state capital.

“Joining the talents of Ski Dazzle and SnowBomb is a great step forward for both owners of the new company and the entire ski and snowboard industry as a whole,” said Jim McAlpine of SnowBomb. Judy Gray of Ski Dazzle added, “It just made sense to get both companies on the same page and work together to bring the industry the best event possible in this important market.”

The new company has yet to announce a formal name for the event, but it will take place November 18 and 19, 2011 at Cal Expo Center in Sacramento. Both entities will continue to run their independent events, Ski Dazzle in Los Angeles and Chicago, and SnowBomb in San Francisco and San Jose.

Avy beacon inventor pays visit to Snowbird ski patrol

Snowbird’s Ski Patrol was recently visited by Dr. John Lawton, who in 1968 led a Cornell research team that created the first analog avalanche transceiver, the Skadi aka the ‘hot dog’ Skadi. Improving upon the radio transceiver/receiver system avalanche pioneer Ed LaChapelle had experimented with, Lawton assembled a less complex and less expensive transceiver that worked off of a magnetic field and produced an audible tone. The Skadi hit shelves in 1971 and quickly became the international standard for locating avalanche victims.

In other news

Mountain News Corporation
announced the appointment of Patrick Crawford as director of content for the company’s global multi-media channels, including,, online and radio snow reports and mobile and iPad applications. Crawford will start in the newly created content position at Mountain News on April 29, 2011, based in the company’s Colorado office…Orange 21 Inc., announced the appointment of Carol Montgomery as CEO, the promotion of current Orange 21 Vice President of Marketing Michael Marckx to president, and the appointment of Michael Angel as interim CFO. Montgomery replaces exiting CEO Stone Douglass…Rossignol announced the DVD release of Tribeca Film Festival favorite, Into the Cold: A Journey Of The Soul which follows environmental advocate and adventurer, Sebastian Copeland, as he prepares and ultimately embarks on a journey across more than 400 miles of frozen Arctic, in order to reach the quickly vanishing North Pole…And in Maine, police report that a fire escape collapsed at the Rack bar and grill near Sugarloaf ski resort, sending at least 10 people tumbling 15 feet to the ground. Jeff Strunk, co-owner of the Rack, said he would not comment on the incident until the investigation is complete. He said he owns the bar and grill with snowboader Seth Wescott, the 2006 Olympic gold medal-winner, and Chase McKendry.--Peter Kray

Send your WinterSports news to Peter Kray at Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at to learn about posting your own news releases, getting your WinterSports headlines, or with any other questions or comments.



Hot Sheet: Vonn hits 40, free helmets, ski tunes by mail & much more

Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn extended her American record for Audi FIS Alpine World Cup wins to 40 over the weekend, with a downhill victory in Are on February 26th, 2011. Vonn, the three-time World Cup downhill champion, leads the discipline standings by 103 points over Maria more


Hot Sheet: Kneissl’s bankruptcy, Vail Caddies, Lindsey’s silver, lobsters & more

European news agencies are reporting that Austrian ski producer Kneissl declared bankruptcy on Feb. 8, 2011. The Austrian press agency APA reports that the Kneissl group had amassed EUR 23.3 million (USD $31.8 million) of debts, according to Austrian press agency APA. The company more


Hot Sheet: Olympic victor, Vail retail play, ski train trial & more

Pyeongchang South Korea will host the 2018 Winter Olympics, marking the first time an Asian country outside of Japan (which hosted the Winter Games in Sapporo in 1972, and in Nagano in 1998) has ever hosted the Winter Olympics. The decision was announced at an executive meeting more


Hot Sheet: More Vermont, Ski Team, LSSM and more industry news

New information continues to emerge from the disaster zones in Vermont. Bonnie MacPherson of Okemo Mountain Resort sent over a note on Sept. 9, 2011, updating the statues of the Vermont ski area and saying that, “Communities have rallied in support of those in need and the newly more


Hot Sheet: Ski company protest, new lifts & mattress sale

A group of ski manufacturers have filed a protest letter with FIS (International Ski Federation) President Gian-Franco Kasper over new specifications for World Cup ski equipment. In particular, the manufacturers state they “wish to express their reservations as to the process more


Hot Sheet: Ski Rex, Powderhorn plans, & more

It looks like at least one retailer managed to find overstock for their Labor day sale, despite last season’s record $3.3 billion in snowsports sales reportedly clearing inventory down to the walls. Colorado Ski & Golf stores and Boulder Ski Deals’ annual SKI REX Labor Day sale, more


Hot Sheet: Acquisitions, partnerships, closures and snow

OnTheSnow is acquiring, North America’s second largest (behind OnTheSnow) snow reporting website, and the number one mobile snow app. OnTheSnow is operated by Mountain News Corp., which is owned by Vail Resorts. According to the company's press release, some 860,000 more


Hot Sheet: Hall of famers, new skis and a drunk Australian

World Champion ski racer Daron Rahlves, extreme ski legend Glen Plake and the late great Shane McConkey were among the newest inductees into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame on April 2, 2011, in Sun Valley. They were joined by Paralympic medalist and World Champion, Muffy more


Hot Sheet: Tornado hits ski area, avy accident and Tony Danza

The tornadoes that left such a wide swath of devastation across Alabama and Mississippi the week of April 25, 2011, didn’t leave the ski industry unscathed. As far to the Northeast as Pennsylvania, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that a tornado touched down at the more