Resort Report: Tiffany Gold, Irene auction, resort sale, and more

USSA gold passes hit the market, with a little help from Tiffany's. Killington is running an auction to help Irene victims. Snow King is for sale, Telluride is literally pushing the boundaries and Vermont gets a new chairlift in this week's Resort Report.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s annual Gold Pass sale, which offers unlimited skiing in the U.S., was announced Sept. 13, along with a new partnership with luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. The announcement was made at the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, where a new Tiffany-produced USSA Gold Pass was unveiled. Only 400 of the passes are produced each year, and require a minimum annual contribution to the USSA of $10,000. As for the new partnership, in a statement the USSA said it “will yield a diverse lineup of projects, beginning with producing the USSA's 2011-12 Gold Pass.”

Killington to aid Irene victims with online auction

Killington Resort has created an online auction, “From the Ground Up,” to assist Vermont farms that sustained damage from hurricane/tropical storm Irene. All proceeds from the auction will go directly to the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund to help local farmers begin to rebuild. “Following Tropical Storm Irene, the Agency of Agriculture received calls from many farmers seeking guidance about lost land, lost crops, and lost livestock, as well as calls from Vermonters interested in supporting farmers,” said Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. “Until now, there was no designated fund to which we could direct callers. The Farm Disaster Relief Fund creates a vehicle where we can connect the resources of concerned donors to the needs of affected farmers who have suffered damages from tropical storm Irene.”

Beginning on Sept. 12, 2011, From the Ground Up was open for bidding on items such as an Unlimited 2011-12 Killington Season Pass, first Gondola Ride of the 2011-12 season, two VIP Passes to any one of the 2011-12 Dew Tour stops in, including 2 one-day lift tickets to the host resort, one week of Woodward Camp at Copper Mountain, Red Sox tickets for four at the Budweiser Roof Deck Table, a Burton Nug snowboard signed by Jake Burton and more. Bidding will conclude on Sept. 25, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Click here for more information.

Jackson’s Snow King hits the sales block

The Wyoming Business Report has published a story saying that Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyo., is up for sale. The story quotes Manuel Lopez, president of Snow King Holdings LLC, as affirming the news. The 465-acre resort, which opened in 1939, includes a 204-room hotel, conference center and condominium operation along with land and recreational assets that include residential development opportunities. According to Lopez, “In addition to being the largest private employer in town, we have a large percentage of the development rights in the county and are the largest privately owned lodging enterprise in the state. Whoever buys this asset will have a huge influence in the future of Jackson Hole, and by extension, of Wyoming.”

Burke Mountain to add new chair

Burke Mountain in Vermont is adding a high-speed detachable quad and five new trails and glades for intermediates and experts, including a terrain park trail for the new season. In addition, a wind tower, which started producing power at the end of August, will help offset approximately 15 to 20 percent of the resort?s power needs with renewable energy. The new “Mid Burke Express” lift, from Leitner-Poma North America, reaches the summit seven minutes faster than the existing Willoughby Quad. It gives skiers and riders faster access to the upper mountain’s terrain, making the entire mountain’s 2,011 feet of vertical accessible by high-speed quads.

Hunter Mountain to dedicate 9/11 Memorial

Hunter Mountain and the Village of Hunter, N.Y., will be honoring those who were lost on 9/11 with the dedication of the 9/11 10th Anniversary Memorial, made of steel from the World Trade Center. Constructed by David Slutzky, the memorial will be erected in Dolan’s Lake, which is located at the base of Hunter Mountain on Ski Bowl Rd. Members of the FDNY & State Police will be in attendance. The memorial is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.

In other news

Telluride will be shifting the boundary rope on the north side of Bald Mountain to open up a new run on what is now called Bald 6, but is yet to be officially named…Aspen Skiing Co. vice president John Rigney says the weak dollar is enticing foreign skiers to book early. According to the Summit Daily News, Australia and Brazil are now two of the company's biggest markets. Skico president and CEO Mike Kaplan told the Aspen Times that Aspen and Snowmass must hustle especially hard for their business this year because of all the competition. There are 3,000 additional pillows at western ski resorts this season, he said, as well as several airline partnerships across the Rockies.

--Peter Kray

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