Mountain Rider’s Alliance partners with sustainable engineering group to refine vision
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance vision for a sustainable ski industry is about to grow some flesh and bones, as the grassroots group partners with a well-known engineering firm to develop specific plans for carbon-neutral, net-zero-energy ski areas.
The partnership between MRA and the Brendle Group with forge toward a new model for sustainability in the ski industry, focused on alternative business models for small and medium-sized resorts.
SUMMIT COUNTY — The prevailing corporate model of ski area ownership and management may not have run out of gas completely, but it’s sputtering along, sustained mainly by cannibalizing itself through more mergers and vertical integration (by which large corporations buy up retail and rental outlets, lodging and transportation facilities, as well as trying to dominate media, marketing and social media).
Like the dinosaurs, it’s too big for its own circulatory system, and like the dinosaurs, it’s going to go extinct in its present form, perhaps when the next bubble breaks on the handful of giant real estate investment trusts that now control most of the base area real estate at resorts around the country. Continue reading “Crowdfunding helps new ski industry vision emerge”→
Sustainability, and people before profit, will be the guiding principles for a partnership between the Mountain Rider’s Alliance and Mt. Abram
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance is one step closer to manifesting its long-term vision for an alternate model for ski resort ownership and operation.
This week, the organization announced an agreement to partner with the Mt. Abram ski area in Maine to try out a new ownership and management model aimed at boosting regional visitation, increasing awareness of sustainability issues, and focusing on the core values of skiing.
When the details are finalized, potentially next spring, the ski area will sell membership shares to the public, loosely based on a co-op business model. The membership shares will offer a variety of benefits and privileges. Members will hold elections and be represented in a dialog with ski area management. Continue reading “Alternate vision for ski industry manifests in Maine”→
Raging rivers, roaring wildfires, spewing volcanoes and a South Pole adventure
Compiled by Jenney Coberly
Elk River breaks stream flow record
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Elk River broke its all-time record early Tuesday morning, according to provisional data recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey. A measuring station at the Routt County Road 42 bridge measured the peak at 7,520 cubic feet per second at 4:45 am on Tuesday.
Vision for sustainable ski resort development taking shape on the Kenai Peninsula; new website launched for Manitoba Mountain project
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance is generating some buzz about its planned low-impact Alaska ski area restoration project with the launch of a new website.
SkiManitoba.com is giving some shape to the dream of a sustainable ski area development model for the 21st century, and the alliance intends to file a formal application this coming October.
As outlined on the website, Manitoba Mountain involves restarting a ski area in the Kenai Mountains on the Chugach National Forest that last operated in the 1960s. Three surface lifts would access about 10,000 acres of terrain and a focus on renewable energy production as part of the project includes exploring micro-hydropower and wind-generated electricity. The long-term goal is to make the area energy self-sufficient and perhaps even a net producer of renewable energy. Continue reading “Skiing: Mountain Rider’s Alliance moving on AK project”→
Lift-served skiing in the Chugach could help provide economic stability for small towns in the area
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance, a collective of progressive-minded skiers and riders, says its ready to begin the preliminary permitting process for a sustainable, low impact ski center in Alaska, with an emphasis on the community, environment and skiing.
The alliance plans to sell reasonably priced investment shares to both the local and global ski communities to help fund the revival of Manitoba Mountain. Fascinating history of Manitoba Mountain online here.
Mountain Rider’s Alliance project manager Dave Scanlan will outline a proposal for the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project at the Girdwood Library on Thursday, February 24th at 6 p.m. Following the presentation, a question and answer session will be held and community feedback will be encouraged.
A global collaborative explores ski industry sustainability
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — When Hal Clifford penned Downhill Slide back in 2002, it was the peak of the go-go years for the ski resort industry. Many ski resort operators were morphing into development companies for whom the skiing and riding were amenities to be used as a marketing tool for real estate sales.
Clifford’s warnings were laughed off or ignored by the short-sighted speculators who were driving the boom. In hindsight, they would have been better off paying attention to his conclusion that the industry’s path was unsustainable.
Nobody thought the end of the boom would come so quickly, though. But now, after a couple of years of moribund sales and almost no new real estate development at major resorts, even the big boys are looking for an alternate vision.
That vision may come from a core group of skiers and riders who want to take the ski industry in a completely new direction, operating areas that are rider-centric, environmentally sustainable and sensitive to local cultural, social and economic concerns.