Resort Report: La Niña return, jail time, same for Shames and more - SNEWS

Resort Report: La Niña return, jail time, same for Shames and more

After helping to spur a record year in skier visits and retail sales, La Niña could be back for an encore. That, a former ski area exec who is headed for jail and Shames Mountain's losing streak in this week's resort report.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The same weather patterns that helped push industry records in terms of skier visits (60.54 million) and retail sales ($3.3 billion) could be set for a return visit. The National Weather Service has officially stated that, “while tropical Pacific oceanic anomalies indicate ENSO-neutral, the atmospheric patterns continue to reflect La Niña-like conditions.”

ENSO-neutral, which was reflected in the overall pattern of small sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, would essentially result in a normal winter forecast, with all of the season’s typical vagaries of fluctuating jet stream patterns, temperatures and precipitation. But the NWS said that while atmospheric circulation anomalies were more variable during the past month of comprising late July and early August, “the monthly means still reflect aspects of La Niña.” 

Beyond the early fall, the forecasts are less certain, the NWS report stated, with half of the models persisting ENSO-neutral conditions continuously through early 2012. But other models predict La Niña to re-develop during the fall. “Therefore, ENSO-neutral is expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011,” the report stated, “with ENSO-neutral or La Niña equally likely thereafter.”

The marketing team at Whistler Blackcomb is certainly betting on it. In a release touting upgrades for the upcoming season, they couldn’t help but mention the forecast, as well as some startling snow totals from last year. “For Western Canada, the La Niña weather pattern typically means cooler than normal temperatures and consistent heavy precipitation during the winter months,” the release states, adding that with 51.8 feet of snow, “the 2010.2011 winter was the second snowiest season on record.”

Former Elk Meadows developer going to jail

Mike Gorrell reported in the Salt Lake Tribune that Marc Sessions Jenson, who was a key figure in a failed attempt to transform little Elk Meadows ski resort into a $3.5 billion resort community is going to prison. Gorrell said Jenson had been given three years to pay $4.1 million in restitution to two victims of a shady “business deal that resulted in the Utah Attorney General’s Office charging Jenson in 2005 with five second-degree felony counts of securities fraud and racketeering.” Since Jenson has failed to pay restitution, he has been ordered to jail.

Shames strikes out at town council

The Terrace, British Columbia town council has again turned down a request to give a local group money to help it buy the Shames Mountain ski facility from its current owners, the Shames Mountain Ski Corporation. As reported earlier on SNEWS, proponents of the ski area have been reaching out to local communities to help fund the purchase of the area--to no avail. This time the request was for $90,600 with the city being able to secure the money against equipment and buildings on the mountain.

Stratton snowsports school looks to add indoor space

The Stratton Mountain School has submitted applications to build an athletic training facility and student center to enhance snowboarding lessons and provide the campus with a new auditorium and more recreational space. The proposed structures are subject to a major site review. Aparently, part of the campus master plan is to move forward with a facility that features a skate park with a Zero Gravity-style foam pit, ramps and trampoline.

--Peter Kray

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

Related

La_Nina_091311.jpg

It’s Official: La Niña is back

The National Weather Service made it official; it looks like La Niña is back for another year. That’s right, the same weather phenomenon that helped spur record snowsports retail sales of $3.3 billion, record skier visits of 60.54 million and contributed to extreme weather around ...read more

Loveland_resort_thumb_050411.jpg

Resort Report: Convention time, Sun Valley, royals, Cannon & more

The National Ski Areas Association Convention & Tradeshow kicks off in Carlsbad, Calif., on May 4. Expected highlights include possible news of a record-breaking ski season, seminars on youth marketing, industry economics and mid-sized resort acquisitions, as well as an NSAA ...read more

Bode_thumb_072511.jpg

Hot Sheet: Bad boy racers, La Niña two, ski team summit & more

Canadian alpine team member and World Cup downhill star Manuel Osborne-Paradis is in the hospital with “severe road rash to his buttocks,” after becoming intoxicated and falling off “a party bus,” in Calgary according to the Calgary Herald. The Herald reports that the 27-year-old ...read more

SNEWS_LaNina.jpg

NW ski areas see La Niña as promise of powder

The forecast for a strong La Niña weather phenomenon this winter has ski area operators in the Pacific Northwest acting as if they had received a guarantee of deep soft snow all season long. “The forecasters are calling for a La Niña with predictions of a colder, wetter winter,” ...read more

Whistler_thumb_051611.jpg

Resort Report: Whistler, Bud Klein RIP, late returns and more

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc., reported financial results for the fiscal 2011 second quarter and six months ended March 31, 2011. Post 2010 Winter Olympic skier traffic and ticket prices were up considerably, according President and CEO Dave Brownlie. “We are pleased with the ...read more

Shames_BC_thumb_080911.jpg

Resort Report: Surprise Powderhorn purchase, Stone out at CB and more

There was some serious ski industry muscle behind the purchase of Southwest Colorado’s little Powderhorn Ski Area on Aug. 4, 2011. The area, which had been put up for auction, was sold to former Vail Resorts executive Andy Daly and his new partners Ken and Tom Gart for $1.4 ...read more

Snowbird_thumb_032311.jpg

Resort Report: Helmet legislation, upstate expansion, McConkey & more

Illinois, a state with only four ski areas, defeated a measure to make helmet use mandatory on the slopes on March 15, 2011. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Ira Silverstein, who admitted that he has never skied before, said he thought making Illinois the first state in the country ...read more

Steamboat_Thumb.jpg

As La Niña unloads, is this ski season off to the best start ever?

Outrageously wet winter storms are pounding the country from Squaw Valley, Calif., to Seattle to Minnesota this week, where the weight of new snow tore open the Teflon-coated fiberglass roof of the Metrodome on Dec. 12, 2010. In the northern Rockies, ski areas such as Jackson ...read more

mt-hood_031611.jpg

Resort Report: Vermont aims for 4 million, in-bounds avys & more

Already deep into the third snowiest winter on record, Vermont ski areas are cautiously optimistic that skier visits will soon crest the 4 million mark. Vermont Ski Areas Association's Parker Riehle told the Associated Press that ski areas are trending in that direction, but he's ...read more