In The Spotlight
The arrival of ski swaps each fall reminds winter enthusiasts that snow is on the way and that the ski season is right around the corner. Now is the time to get the best deals on ski and snowboard equipment, and ski swaps are a great way to purchase gently used or even new gear for short money. Swaps are not just for buying gear; you can also turn in your used gear that still has life left in it and earn back some of your investment.
There are plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks for people to find great deals on gear for the 2018-19 ski season. Ski New Hampshire has put together a list of the state's upcoming ski and snowboard swap events below.
Oct. 19-20 - 39th Annual Ski/Snowboard/Skate Swap, 4-9p.m. at McIntyre Ski Area. Consignment drop-off: Saturday (Oct.13) 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday (Oct.14) 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Monday (Oct.15) through Thursday (Oct.18) 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Manchester, NH
Oct. 28, - UNH Ski Sale, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. in the UNH Field House. Consignment drop-off: Sunday (Oct. 28) 8-9:30 a.m. Consignment pick-up: Sunday (Oct. 28) 4-5 p.m. Durham, NH
Nov. 3 – Gunstock Ski and Snowboard Sale, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Gunstock Mountain Resort Lodge. Consignment drop-off: Friday (Nov. 2) 4-7:30 p.m. Consignment pick-up: Saturday (Nov. 3) 4-6 p.m.; Sunday (Nov. 4) 9-11 a.m. Gilford, NH
Nov. 4 – Pats Peak Ski Team 48th Annual Ski & Snowboard Sale, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Pats Peak Ski Area. Consignment drop-off: Saturday (Nov. 3) 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Consignment pick-up: Sunday (Nov. 4) 5-6 p.m. Henniker, NH
Nov. 9-10 – Eastern Slope Ski Club Ski Sale, 3 -8 p.m. at the North Conway Community Center. Consignment drop-off: Wednesday (Nov. 7) and Thursday (Nov. 8) 6-8 p.m. Consignment pick-up: Saturday (Nov. 10) 4-6 p.m. North Conway, NH
Nov. 10 – Franconia Ski Club Ski Swap, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Peabody Base Lodge at Cannon Mountain. Consignment drop-off: Friday (Nov. 9) 5-8 p.m. Franconia, NH
Nov. 10 – 45th Annual Ski & Skate Sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Kingswood Regional High School. Consignment drop-off: Friday (Nov. 9) 3-8:30 p.m. Consignment pick-up: Saturday (Nov. 10) 2 p.m. Wolfeboro, NH
Nov. 11 (2018 TBD)– Annual Jackson XC Ski Swap, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Jackson Ski Touring Center. Consignment drop-off: Monday (Nov. 6) through Friday (Nov.10) from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Consignment pick-up: Saturday (Nov. 11) 1 p.m. Jackson, NH
Nov. 16-17 - Annual Ski & Skate Sale, Friday (Nov. 16) 4-7:30 p.m. at Plymouth Elementary School. Consignment drop-off: Thursday (Nov. 15) 4:30-6:30 p.m. and Friday (Nov. 16) 9:30-11 a.m. Consignment pick-up: Saturday (Nov. 17) 3:45-4:45 p.m. Plymouth, NH
Nov. 17 – Ski & Skate Consignment Sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bedford High School. Consignment drop-off: Friday (Nov. 16) 5-8 p.m. Consignment pick-up: Saturday (Nov. 17) 3-3:30 p.m. Bedford, NH
Nov. 17 - Mount Sunapee Area Ski Club Annual Ski Swap, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Sunapee Lodge. Consignment drop-off: Friday (Nov. 16) 12-7 pm Newbury, NH
Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 - Windblown Cross Country Center, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Consignment drop-off: Saturday (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1) at 9 a.m. New Ipswich, NH
The owner of Taos Ski Valley has purchased a 30-seat passenger jet and will begin regular flights to and from Texas to the airport serving the northern New Mexico resort.
What has been dubbed “Taos Air” is a public charter service from Dallas Love Field and Austin that will initially fly December to March to the Taos Regional Airport. Flights will run on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays throughout the ski and snowboard season.
One-way non-stop fares will be $189 from Dallas and $179 from Austin – both about two hours’ in flying time and non-refundable. Flights will take off once a day from each locale -- in the morning from Austin and in the afternoon/evening from Dallas. Return flights from Taos to Austin lift off in the afternoon, while the return to Dallas is in the morning on Thursdays and Saturdays, and in the afternoon on Sundays and Mondays.
Passengers embark and disembark at private terminals. Two pieces of baggage ride for free – a boot bag and ski bag count as one piece of baggage, and the resort provides free shuttle service for those who are staying at the mountain.
The new air flights became possible when the town of Taos finished a $24 million cross-wind runway, and an ownership dedicated to increasing skier-visit numbers -- especially from Texas where the majority of out-of-state skiers and riders come from.
Up on the mountain, owner Lewis Bacon has spent millions on infrastructure, a new hotel, lodge remodeling and the 65-year-old resort’s first high-speed quad chair that will debut this season.
For schedules and other information, click here.
Sugarloaf, Maine, is no stranger to playing host to U.S. Alpine Championships, but in 2019 the resort will look forward to hosting the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships. From March 16-21, 2019, the best alpine skiers in the nation will ski down Narrow Gauge in downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.
Domestic events such as the U.S. Alpine Championships are a vital part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development program and key to the success of “Project 26," the organization’s long-term plan to produce the Best In The World in alpine ski racing. The U.S. Alpine Championships also enable top club athletes from regional programs around the United States to see how they stack up competitively against U.S. Ski Team veterans from the FIS Ski World Cup Tour. As an International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned event, the U.S. Alpine Championships are also open to foreign athletes.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced in August that Waterville Valley will host the U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, including slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom March 23-26, 2019. Sugarloaf is thrilled to bring elite-level ski racing action back to their mountain, home to U.S. Ski Team member and Sugarloaf-sponsored athlete Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, Maine).
Racing will take place on Sugarloaf’s legendary Narrow Gauge trail, which was also the site of a 1971 World Cup event. It will be the seventh time Sugarloaf has played host to the championships following successful events in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017, but this will be the first official “U.S. Alpine Speed Championships” with downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.
“Sugarloaf has always been an excellent resort partner with a challenging, high-caliber track,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “As I’ve said before, the east boasts a high percentage of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard club membership base, and therefore the fans are wildly passionate about the sport. We look forward to heading to Sugarloaf in March 2019 for the first official U.S. Alpine Speed Championships.”
Sugarloaf is equally looking forward to once again host the event. “We couldn’t be prouder to host the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships at Sugarloaf,” said Sugarloaf Director of Marketing Ethan Austin. “As the only homologated downhill course in the east, Sugarloaf has a long history as a proving ground for the world’s fastest skiers. We’re excited to see the nation’s best test themselves on the world famous Narrow Gauge once again.”
Sugarloaf, along with Carrabassett Valley Academy, has long been a hotbed of ski racing and the development home of stars like Olympic champion Bode Miller and World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark. Sugarloaf’s proud racing heritage stems from years of hosting world-class competitions. The mountain has staged many Junior Olympics and Eastern Cup (development level) events. In 1971, Sugarloaf held men’s and women’s World Cup races and also hosted the first official FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in 1984.
Much like the 2015 through 2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States. That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.
March 16 Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 17 Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 18 Downhill (NorAm Cup Finals) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 19 Downhill (National Championships) - Sugarloaf - Maine
March 20 Alpine Combined (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 21 Super-G (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 23 Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 24 Parallel Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 25 Women’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 26 Men’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
While it looks like Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area will win the #RaceToOpen this season, but numerous resorts are also preparing early openings for the 2018-19 season.
Chief among them is Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin. Both resorts sit high atop the Continental Divide with a base elevation well over 10,000 feet and have been making snow since early Sunday, October 7.
“It is snowing nicely up here this morning,” noted Arapahoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth in a blog post Wednesday. “Last night the snowmakers had another very good session. Two big nights in a row.”
On the other side of Loveland Pass, Loveland Ski Area is also making progress toward opening for the season.
“Our snowmaking crew has been going non-stop since we started on Monday,” wrote Loveland Marketing Director John Sellers on the resort’s Terrain Blog. “Conditions have been great for snowmaking and the natural snow continues to fall.”
Both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are targeting Oct. 20 as projected opening dates. However, pending weather and snow conditions, both areas may push up their opening dates.
Meanwhile, in the Northeast, Vermont’s Killington Resort is ready to kick off snowmaking operations as soon as temperatures permit. Killington has targeted November 7 for opening, pending weather and snow conditions.
Below is a list of resorts across the country targeting October and early-to-mid-November (pre-Thanksgiving) openings.
Mount Rose, Oct. 26
Mammoth Mountain, Nov. 8
Alpine Meadows, Nov. 16
Wolf Creek, Saturday, Oct. 13
Loveland Ski Area, Oct. 20
Arapahoe Basin, Oct. 20
Breckenridge, Nov. 9
Keystone, Nov. 9
Copper Mountain, Nov. 16
Vail, Nov. 16
Purgatory Resort, Nov. 17
Gore Mountain, Nov. 17
Lutsen Resort, Nov. 17
Park City Resort, Nov. 21
Killington Resort, Nov. 7
Sugarbush Resort, Nov. 17
Grand Targhee Resort, Nov. 16