Val d’Isère and other ski resorts in the Savoie region of France are launching a show of solidarity with UK Remain supporters.
They are staging a special event as the last Eurostar train, before the rescheduled Brexit departure date, leaves Bourg-Saint-Maurice for London early next month.
Some 48% of skiers who visit Val d’Isère each winter come from the UK and locals fear that, at least in the short term, the Brexit chaos may have a significant effect on future bookings.
French hoteliers, ski instructors, shopkeepers, and seasonaires who make their living from the ski industry are planning a raucous send-off for holidaymakers boarding the final direct train of the season as it leaves the station for St Pancras at 9.30am on April 6 2019.
Bourg-Saint-Maurice is the station for nearby resorts that include Val d’Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs and La Plagne.
Eldora Mountain’s Expansion is approved by Gilpin County
From the Mountain Ear
Gilpin County. Eldora Mountain Resort requested approval of a Special Use Permit for the expansion of Eldora Ski Resort into northern Gilpin County on March 5, 2019, at the Gilpin County Courthouse. The proposal included construction of a lift return and a lift operator building, on property owned by Tolland Ranch, LLC. The owner has given written consent and approval to this application.
During the hearing, the Community Development Director, Stephen Strohminger, said that there would be no new roads that this development would incur, and no vehicular traffic of any kind will be present except for heavy equipment when needed for maintenance. No impacts to water quality or quantity are expected.
The USFS Rocky Mountain Region has conducted an environmental impact report and has approved this project. The proposed Jolly Jug Lift is expected to be approximately 3,250 feet in length with half of the line in Gilpin County, and a structure to house a composting toilet system.
The bottom of the proposed lift is approximately 4.5 miles from Highway 119 and 1.6 miles to the south to Tolland Road, as the crow flies. No negative visual impacts to views and vistas are expected based on the information given.
The new lift would provide access to existing runs on the front and back side of Eldora and additional intermediate and expert level terrain on the south side of the mountain. Eldora General Manager Brent Tregaskis said, “This lift really fills that void at a very high level.” Skiers would be able to ride the Sundance Chair, ski down to the Jolly Jug Lift, and ride to the top of the ridge.”
Saddleback ski area might get back in business with another new prospective buyer
The purchase price was not disclosed. The ski area has been closed since 2015.
From the Portland Press Herald
An investment firm from Boston has made an offer to buy Saddleback Mountain, stating that they’ll invest between $25 million to $30 million after the sale to help restart the Rageley ski resort, now closed for four years.
The property is owned by the Berry family. The details of what Arctaris Impact Fund is offering to the Berry family has been disclosed in an email to the owners of Saddleback condos. The email was sent by Andy Shepard, CEO of the Outdoors Sports Institute and Tom Federle, a Portland attorney who have been working with Arctaris trying to purchase the ski area.
Saddleback was Maine’s third largest ski resort offering lots of local jobs and drawing thousands of tourists each winter while it was opened.
Shepard would not confirm the terms and conditions of the purchase – only that the $500 million investment group wants to buy the ski mountain and can afford it. The purchase price was not disclosed.
“Tom Federle and I have been quietly trying to find a buyer for the mountain for the last four years and connected with Arctaris last fall. We have been very impressed with their commitment and capacity to not only buy the mountain but doing so with a long-term view to make the mountain successful,” said Shepard, the former CEO of the Maine Winter Sports Center, in an email Friday. “Arctaris is the real deal and I’m hopeful for the Berry family and for the people of western Maine that we can get a deal done.”
Federle owns a condo in Saddleback. Shepard said his interest in the deal is in “preserving one of Maine’s most remarkable ski mountains and the role it plays in the economy of the region, an interest shared by Tom.”
Saddleback, owned by Irene and Bill Berry of Farmington, has been on the market since July 2015. The ski mountain – one of the largest in Maine with an elevation of 4,120 feet – has not been open since the 2014-2015 season.
The Half Term Family Ski Holiday that did not result as planned
Our Family Half Term ski holiday is always decided one year in advance. Pretty much we always go to the Aosta Valley, as my youngest boy does not want to change location. I see it with my family, and I’ve seen it with many people over the years (even with myself when I’ve started skiing while much younger!)
You go to one resort, you get familiarised with it, and you don’t want to change! All is easy, and just changing to another resort, makes it too challenging. I see it as using an old pair of jeans, that you don’t want to change for something else!
So, we were set to leave the Friday before the half term- as my husband is the sole driver (for me it was too difficult changing sides of the road when I’ve moved from Argentina to the UK, that I daren’t do it again!)
Our car has been acting funny since September, when the Turbo went off. Then it started revving between 2nd and 3rd gears and we’ve took it twice to the mechanics. The first time we were said it was solved, but it was not, and I’ve took the car back in the garage two weeks before leaving. I did not have the car until the Wednesday of the week we were leaving – we were leaving at 4 AM on the Friday of that week and I was already very nervous about it and seeing if we could rent a car in the UK to cross to the continent.
Apparently, you can do so with Hertz and Avis, but obviously these cars do not bring roof rack, nor winter tyres or chains. So, I was budgeting all that just in case. My husband was saying that if we did not have our car back, we were staying and cancelling the trip, and my kids and me were completely distraught at the thought of it.
The car came out off the garage so then we were going to be ready to go. The night after taking our dog to some friends to look after him, my husband told me that the revving was still there, but that I should not worry. He was sure that this was not going to be anything.
Off we went with our skis, helmets, ski boots, all the paraphernalia you take when you go skiing. We set out in good time and at the Eurotunnel we were given a crossing one hour earlier, so we had time only to go to the bathroom and pick up some coffee and croissants to eat in the car.
We had a very good driving. Last year there was snow from home all the way to Folkestone and from Calais all the way to Italy. This time all the roads were clean, and the weather was beautiful, pretty warm too. This was not the best snow year for the Alps – (Austria and Eastern Switzerland got lots of snow, as well as other Eastern European countries like Romania), but for France, Italy and Western Switzerland the snow was ok, but just.
Three climbers have been killed and a fourth injured after being caught in an avalanche on Ben Nevis.
The incident happened in an area of the UK’s highest mountain called No 5 Gully shortly before midday on Tuesday. Members of the Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams were at the scene.
A coastguard helicopter sent from Inverness to assist was initially grounded in Fort William because the weather was too poor, but by late afternoon, it was able to reach the site as conditions improved, and began airlifting the injured and dead off the mountain.
Two of the climbers died at the scene and their bodies were taken to Fort William. Two other injured climbers were airlifted away; one died on Tuesday evening and the other was taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow.
Two climbers have died and two have been injured in an avalanche that caught several climbers on Ben Nevis, UK highest peak.
The police said that several climbers were on the hill at the moment of the avalanche.
The alarm was raised after the incident, at 11:50. It took place in an area known as Number 5 Gully.
An air ambulance, the Inverness Coastguard helicopter, three road ambulances and a trauma team were sent to the scene.
Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team was supported by members of Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team in the rescue effort on Britain’s highest mountain.
A group of military personnel training in the area also offered assistance to the rescuers.
On Monday, the Scottish Avalanche Information Service assessed the potential avalanche risk in Lochaber, where Ben Nevis is located, as “high”.
Police Scotland said it was co-ordinating the mountain rescue response and supporting those at the scene.
The Mountain Collective goes on Sale for the 2019-2020 Season.
Valle Nevado, Chile added as first South American partner.
Purchase This Spring for Lowest Guaranteed Price of $449 USD,
Bonus Day at Destination of Choice and Kids’ Pass for Just $99
Starting March 7th, a limited number of Mountain Collective passes are on sale for only $449 USD. In addition, spring pass purchasers receive one bonus day at the destination of their choice for a limited time and two additional days at Chamonix Mont Blanc, France. Pricing for the kids pass (ages 12 and under) is just $99 for the 2019-2020 season when purchased with an Adult Pass, offering an incredible value for families.
Valle Nevado, Chile will be a full partner resort this season, joining Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sunshine, Big Sky, Coronet Peak – The Remarkables, Jackson Hole, Lake Louise, Mammoth, Niseko United, Revelstoke, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush, Taos, and Thredbo in this alliance of 16 iconic destinations.
“We are excited for the eighth season of The Mountain Collective,” says Christian Knapp, Chief Marketing Officer, Aspen Skiing Company. “With the ever-changing pass offerings it is clear there is still strong demand for this product. Consumers have a wide range of needs and the Mountain Collective Pass fits a niche. ”
If your clients are planning to drive to the Alps or the Pyrenees after Britain leaves the EU on March 29, they might need some extra documentation.
For a start, they might need an international driving permit to be able to drive on European roads if the UK exits without a deal. If their journey will take them to several EU countries, they might need more than one permit. Each one costs £5.50 and can be bought at selected large Post Offices.
Assuming we leave the EU without a deal, drivers might also need a Green Card to drive their own vehicles in countries within the EU and the EEA as well as Switzerland and Andorra. Drivers must apply to their car insurance provider for a Green Card, which could take up to four weeks to arrive.
Drivers are also being advised by the Government to place a GB sticker on their cars, especially if they have a number plate that displays the Euroepan flag, to make it clear that they are from outside the EU.
Alterra Mountain Company Announces $181 Million in Capital Improvements for the 2019/2020 Winter Season
The Investment is Part of $555 Million Improvement Plan through 2022/2023
Alterra Mountain Company announces its plans to invest $181 million in capital improvements across its 14 North American mountain destinations for the upcoming year. Marquee 2019/2020 projects aimed at enhancing the guest experience include new high-speed lifts at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Winter Park, direct to lift access at Deer Valley Resort, an expansive renovation of the Bobbie Burns lodge at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, and an upgrade of Steamboat’s gondola.
This year’s $181 million plan includes $32.3 million towards improved gondolas and lifts, a $27.1 million investment in innovation to offer customer-friendly technology, $8.3 million towards state-of-the-art snowmaking, $6.2 million dedicated to expanded dining experiences, $6.3 million in summer activity investments, and nearly $10 million in planning efforts to unlock future potential terrain and lift expansions, base area developments, new dining facilities, and four-season activity offerings.
These capital projects are part of an ambitious improvement plan totaling more than half a billion dollars through the 2022/2023 season, focused on elevating the guest experience at all destinations, after an initial $170 million investment for the 2018/2019 season.
“Alterra Mountain Company’s unique year-round mountain destinations offer skiers, riders and summer visitors of all ages from all over the world special, memorable experiences, and each aspect of our business plays a part in bringing the guest back year after year and inspiring a lifelong love of the mountains,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “We are committed to investing in everything from lifts to snowmaking to creative dining experiences, and technology that weaves it all together for a seamless visit.”
Significant improvements for the 2019/2020 season include:
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will replace the Hot Wheels lift at Alpine Meadows with a new high-speed quad with an extended second leg to the ridge, granting skiers and riders quicker access to the Alpine and Sherwood areas. New surface lifts at High Camp at Squaw Valley will improve connectivity with High Camp facilities and enhance the beginner experience.
Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Deer Valley Resort will have direct-to-lift access for winter 19/20 after an investment in RFID technology. This will streamline and speed up the on-mountain experience, and Ikon Pass holders will no longer have to visit the ticket window, giving skiers more time on the mountain.
How would a no-deal Brexit affect the travel industry? MPI Brokers gives its interpretation of information from various sources
Insurance and the European Health Insurance Card
The future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has not been agreed and it is likely that from the withdrawal date UK residents will not be able to use the EHIC and UK prescriptions will no longer be valid in the EU.
Insurance polices (e.g. travel and tour operator liability) however, will remain in force after we exit the EU, but premiums are likely to rise over time.
It is expected that agreements for medical expenses of UK travellers in EU countries will be negotiated piecemeal. Needless to say, this may take some time.
Insurers who are established in the EU and provide insurance in the UK will have temporary permission to continue.
Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood Resorts Announce Extended Ski Season
Heavenly Mountain Resort season extended through April 28, 2019, plus 3-day-weekend May 3-5
Northstar California Resort season extended through April 21, 2019
Kirkwood Mountain Resort season extended through April 14, 2019, plus 3-day-weekend April 19-21
After record-breaking snowfall throughout the Lake Tahoe region in February, the Best of Tahoe Resorts, including Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California Resort, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort announced plans today to extend the 2018-19 ski and snowboard season. Plans may change based on weather, conditions or US Forest Service approval.
During the month of February alone, Heavenly has received 269” of snow, Northstar has received 286” and Kirkwood has received 271”.
“Record-breaking snow conditions paired with the hard work of our mountain operations teams have made for a truly unforgettable season so far,” said Mike Goar, vice president and chief operating officer of the Best of Tahoe Resorts. “With even more snow on the way, we are thrilled to extend the winter operations at all three of our Lake Tahoe resorts and offer skiers and riders additional opportunities to take advantage of these amazing spring conditions across the region.”