The New York State Ski Blog

Vail Resorts Buys ORDA for $1.2B

VAIL, CO – April 1, 2104: Vail Resorts Management Corporation (VRMC), the ski management giant, announced today that it has purchased New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) from the state of New York for $1.2 billion dollars in cash.

The sale includes all land and assets for Whiteface Mountain, in Wilmington, N.Y., Gore Mountain, in North Creek, N.Y., and Belleayre Ski Resort, in Highmount, N.Y.

This is a big deal for VRMC.  The three resorts combined deliver 7,000 vertical feet of skiing and riding on eight peaks, 886 acres, 33 glades and 227 trails. The SKI3 pass that allows skiers access to all three New York mountains will still be available next season.

According to an unnamed source at Vail Resorts, in addition to the three New York State mountains, pass holders will also be able to ski at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe. These acquisitions are part of a new strategy for Vail Resorts to drive season pass sales and build broader guest loyalty by purchasing premier east-coast ski areas located near major urban markets.

Robert Luegner, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts explained, “We will add the New York ski areas to our network of world-class resorts in Colorado, California and Nevada with new season pass offerings, providing the chance to experience the best skiing and riding both in the East and in the West.”

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Hunter: Into the Home Stretch

Spring has been taking its time catching up with the calendar and the Catskills are no exception. While driving through Hunter NY last Thursday, it was hard to miss how much snow still covered many people’s yards at the end of March.

Hunter Mountain spring skiing

As we pulled into the ski area, all of the visible trails had full coverage. Racer’s Edge — which by this time of the season is often specked with dirt — was a perfectly groomed carpet of white.

Pretty much all over the mountain, Hunter has stockpiled a lot of snow (north of ten feet in many spots), which obviously bodes well for the next two weeks. While none of this is a surprise given Hunter’s reputation as a snowmaking beast, it’s still impressive to see in person.

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Decisions, Decisions: Skiing Spring Snow

Among the many things skiers like to rhapsodize about from “back in the old days” is that winters were far colder and stuck around longer than they do today.

Windham-Summit-View

Growing up in Central New York in the early/mid-1970s, I still remember traipsing through shoulder-deep snow to deliver the Syracuse Post-Standard at 5 am every morning while walking backwards for most of my route to avoid getting blasted in the face by sub-zero wind gusts.

While 2013-14 hasn’t been a record breaker for snow, it’s been noticeably colder than recent seasons and has delayed the arrival of spring skiing.

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