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

The wild weather that devastated Alabama and Mississippi didn't leave the ski industry unscathed. A tornado also touched down at Roundtop Ski Area in Pennsylvania. And one e-tailer decided to send an apology e-mail for the weather insensitive headline in one of its sales pitches. That, an avalanche tragedy in Tahoe, a massive foreclosure in Beaver Creek and more in this week's Hot Sheet.

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 Roundtop Ski Area in Pennsylvania on the morning of April 28, 2011.

The NWS classified the tornado as an EFI, with up to 110 mile per hour winds, and reported it snapped several trees and momentarily lifted a ski area employee’s truck. Not that Mike Coy, the lift maintenance supervisor who was in the truck, seemed particularly fazed by the event. He told the AP, “That’s the closest I’ve come (to death or injury) in two or three weeks.” sends apology for ‘Mother Nature hates you' headline

Coy may have come through the dangerous weather experience with a more positive attitude than the e-tailers at Right after the dangerous storms hit, causing more than 300 deaths, the company sent out a marketing e-mail with the headline, “Mother Nature hates you. Deal with it.”

On April 28, 2011, the company was doing some serious backpedaling on the gaffe, and sent this apology note:

Dear Backcountry Customer,

We messed up. Yesterday, as the people of Alabama dealt with the devastating aftermath of an intensely damaging and life-taking tornado, we neglected to put a stop to the distribution of an email with the header: 'Mother Nature hates you. Deal with it.' This was extremely insensitive and offensive, and we are so sorry.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for this mistake. What was intended to be witty marketing copy may have been when we wrote these words two weeks ago, but in light of current events and the suffering of people affected by Mother Nature's wrath, it is not only not witty, it is completely unacceptable.

We at send our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and to everyone now faced with rebuilding their homes and their communities. And again, we extend our sincerest apologies for our lack of foresight and our complete insensitivity in sending yesterday's email.


Jill Layfield


Ski guide Kip Garre dead in California avalanche is reporting the deaths of popular ski guide Kip Garre and his partner Allison Kreutzen. According to the website, the bodies of the two skiers were found April 28, 2011, amidst avalanche debris on Split Mountain near Bishop, Calif. Both skiers lived in the Tahoe area. Because of high winds in the region, helicopters had not been able to recover the bodies by press time.

Bachelor Gulch in multi-million dollar foreclosure?

Beaver Creek’s tony Bachelor Gulch resort is facing a $61 million foreclosure according to a report in the Eagle County Times. The resort, which is operated by Ritz Carlton but owned by Miami-based Gencom Group, has until Aug. 24, 2011, to bring its loan up to date. According to the paper, this is the largest foreclosure in the history of Eagle County.

In other news…

Actor Tony Danza’s Park City mountain home hit the market with a $2.7 million price tag…The Aspen Times reports that telemark ski star Nick DeVore broke his femur in a backcountry avalanche…Ski Vermont has offered newlyweds Prince William of Wales and Miss Kate Middleton an invitation to Honeymoon in Vermont, the Heart of New England…Garmont North America bids farewell to Gord Bailey, as the former president announced his departure from the brand group.

--Peter Kray

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