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OCTOBER NEWS IN BRIEF
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Cairngorm ski slope plans on hold, Pyeongchang ticket sales remain poor + Airbnb expands in the mountains. NEW & UPDATED

 

 

...... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM SEPTEMBER 2017


MONDAY 16TH OCTOBER

CAIRNGORM SKI SLOPE PLANS ON HOLD

Plans to build an artificial ski slope at the foot of Cairngorm mountain have been delayed.

The original idea had been to have the slope ready for this winter as we reported in August but the operators, Natural Retreats, have confirmed that it won't now be possible.

The planning application for the development has been put on hold "as we finalise a few further details with our partners," Adam Gough the head of technical services told PlanetSKI today.

"It has not been withdrawn and we expect it to carry on with the application in the coming weeks.

"This delay has meant it will now not be possible to have the slope in place before winter so we are programming to begin work in spring subject to achieving planning consent," he added.

CairngormCairngorm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The centre, to be built close to the base station, is part of an ambitious plan to turn Cairngorm into a world-class year-round resort and provide guaranteed skiing after some poor winters.

Cairngorm is also hoping to install and trial a snowfactory that can make snow in temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius.

PYEONGCHANG TICKET SALES REMAIN POOR

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea take place next February but only 30% of tickets have been sold.

For the Paralympics it is less than 5%. The figures are reported in the Korean Herald.

Yoo Eun-hae of the ruling Democratic Party admitted his fears at this stage, telling the Korean Herald that "all indicators relating to the Olympic Games are sluggish".

"We all need to take this situation seriously," he added.

We have reported about poor tickets sales earlier on September's News in Brief on Wednesday 27th.

The Games are getting closerThe Games are getting closer


































SUNDAY 15TH OCTOBER

AIRBNB SEES SHARP GROWTH IN SWISS MOUNTAINS

The online room renting service shows sharper growth in ski resorts and their surrounding areas than in the cities in Switzerland.  

The cantons of Valais, Graubünden, and Bern between them account for over half of all rental offers in Switzerland.  

The Valais canton that has many of the major resorts including Verbier, Saas-Fee, Zermatt, Crans-Montana and others, has more than one-quarter of all Swiss Airbnb rentals.  


The growth of AirbnbThe growth of Airbnb














  






SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER

SWISS GOVERNMENT POSTPONES SION OLYMPIC DECISION

The country's Federal Council has put of making a decision on whether to support the city's 2026 Olympic bid.

If it doesn't support the bid then it is dead in the water.

A decision was to have been made this week but it has been delayed.

A spokesman for the Council, André Simonazzi,  indicated that nothing should be read into the postponement.

"Do not draw hasty conclusions," said Simonazzi  he said, according to Swiss newspaper Le Temps. "This is a complex matter with significant sums involved.

 "The Federal Council always takes time to decide on this type of file."

Several venues would be in the city of Sion in the Valais canton, a total of five cantons in Switzerland would be involved in The Games.

Swiss Olympic bid?Swiss Olympic bid?

































FRIDAY 13TH OCTOBER

SON TELLS INQUEST OF FATHER'S DEATH ON SKI SLOPE

An inquest in Stockport has heard how 55-year old David Richardson had a suspected heart attack while skiing in Les Angles.

He then skied into a tree and died.

His 16-year old son, Robbie, was with him at the time and has been giving evidence to the inquest.

"The accident happened on the very last run. The conditions were fine. The weather was perfect.

"In my peripheral vision I could see that he had come out of his boots and come fully out of his skis. He fell on to the floor on his backside and he slid straight into the trees at the side. I found him slumped against a tree. He didn't make a sound when he fell, he would usually shout out but he didn't.

"When I ran back up he was lifeless. He was resting against the tree trunk. I'm assuming he impacted on that tree. I couldn't see any obvious injuries. No head injuries, anything like that. "I called over a couple of other skiers to help him, but nothing could be done.

They tried to do CPR and then some paramedics arrived. I was taken away from the scene and walked down to the bottom of the run. The police arrived and I gave them a statement, only very brief. It's all a bit of a blur. The doctor told us it was a heart attack."

David RichardsonDavid Richardson

























PRESIDENT TRUMP IS BAD FOR SNOWSPORTS  

So says an blog article in Outside Online. 

"Trump is a clear and present danger to skiing as an industry. His bombastic speeches and immigration policies are worse than January rain when it comes to the dollars and cents and powder days that support the sport," claims the article.  

Here on PlanetSKI we have already reported on sections of the US ski industry's opposition to President Trump.  

Firstly the likely shortage of seasonal workers caused by his immigration policies.

We report on it here on October 1st

Many ski resorts are united on opposition to his environmental views  

And Aspen seems to disagree with thin on pretty much everything:

But his family have skied in Aspen - at some cost to the US tax payer for the necessary security measures.

And then there is the small matter that the deteriorating relations between North Korea and the USA might affect next winter's Olympic Games at Pyeongchang in South Korea.

Hard to reach the conclusion he is doing much for snowsports!

Trump on the slopesTrump on the slopes













LLOYD WALLACE BACK ON SKIS AFTER THAT HORROR CRASH

We reported on Wednesday he was heading out to the Alps (see below).

And we are delighted to report he has been on his skis.

"Getting back on skis over the last few days might be the best feeling ever," he said on Twitter.

Lloyd Wallace - back on skisLloyd Wallace - back on skis




















THURSDAY 12TH OCTOBER

DEER VALLEY SALE COMPLETE

It was named SKI Magazine's top resort in North America this month.

And this week saw it sold.

In August it was announced that Deer Valley would join a conglomeration of resorts that include big names such as California's Squaw Valley and Mammoth Mountain, and Colorado's Steamboat and Winter Park.

This 'entity' or resort company comprises of various affiliates:

Under one sits Aspen Skico which, among other things, owns the four Aspen resorts.

The buying and selling resorts in the US and Canada for mega bucks is essentially the battle of Vail Resorts and Aspen, put simply.

PlanetSKI has covered the the various steps, phases and purchases:

The entity, comprising affiliates of KSL Capital Partners, LLC and Henry Crown and Company, first announced the acquisition in August.

"Joining this impressive portfolio of resorts is a big step forward in the future of Deer Valley Resort," said Deer Valley's long-term president, Bob Wheaton.

"It will enable the resort to build upon its time-honored traditions while further enhancing the overall experience.

"We are thrilled to be a part of the new company and are excited to begin welcoming guests to Utah this winter," Wheaton finished.

President and CEO of the entity, David Perry, announces that it is an important addition that adds value to the entire company:

"We are committed to maintaining the first-class experience and level of guest service for which the resort is known, and we look forward to what should be a fantastic 2017-18 ski season across our portfolio."
Deer Valley in OctoberDeer Valley in October





























WEDNESDAY 11TH OCTOBER

MARCEL HIRSCHER BOUNCES BACK

The six-time World Champion is back on skis and looking good less than two months after breaking his left ankle.

He's been training on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier.

Marcel HirscherMarcel Hirscher back in training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The 28-year-old Austrian posted a video on Instagram with the hashtag #weareskiing.

 


LLOYD WALLACE BACK ON SNOW

The GB aerials skier is heading back to the Alps after an accident over the summer resulted in him being placed in an artificial coma.

"Off to Switzerland tomorrow! So excited to get back on snow!" he tweeted on Tuesday.

Lloyd Wallace preparesLloyd Wallace prepares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 22-year old suffered a severe head injury back in August.

He was training with the Swiss team at the time.

He was treated at hospital in Zurich before being flown back to the UK for further treatment.

He has made a good recovery and doctors have pronounced him fit to ski again.

On Wednesday, he gave us an update from Heathrow airport:

"Excited doesn't quite cover how I'm feeling to get back on skis. Huge thanks to everyone who has helped me get back to fitness. #grateful - at Heathrow Airport"

Lloyd WallaceAt Heathrow this morning

 



















COULD BREXIT NO-DEAL GROUND PLANES?

The British pilots' union BALPA has given a warning that flights could be grounded if there's no deal with the European Union over Brexit.

TravelMole, an online newsletter for the industry, reports that BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said it would be devastating for the entire UK aviation sector if Britain left the EU without a deal.

The Prime Minister Theresa May has suggested that might be necessary.

"Unlike most other sectors there are no World Trade Organisation or any other rules to fall back on for aviation if there is no deal," he said.

"UK airlines could find they have to stop flying - it's that serious. And this would impact passengers long before March 2019 because airlines couldn't sell advance tickets and, frankly, would passengers risk buying them?"

Read more

TUESDAY 10TH OCTOBER


NEW FLIGHTS TO GRENOBLE THIS WINTER

There are three new ski routes from the UK to Grenoble Alpes Isere airport this winter:

London Heathrow with BA; London Stansted and Birmingham with Jet2.

The resorts of Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes are less than 90 minutes from Grenoble.

Other areas easily accessible are:

  • Aime
  • Bourg d'Oisans
  • Bourg Saint-Maurice
  • Chamrousse
  • Les Menuires
  • Moûtiers
  • Saint-Martin de Belleville
  • Sainte-Foy
  • Tignes
  • Val d'Isère
  • Val Thorens
How much?

Return flights from Birmingham to Grenoble cost from £53pp.
Return flights from London Stansted to Grenoble cost from £48pp.
Return flights from London Heathrow to Grenoble cost from £84pp.

GrenobleGrenoble

















MONDAY 9th OCTOBER

VARYING SECURITY STANCES ON PYEONGCHANG

The latest nations to make comments are Germany & Austria.

The security situation between the USA & North Korea is causing some concern.

The Germans have said they understand if athletes don't want to head to South Korea next February. 

The Austrians say all will be safe.  

They are the latest views on security on the Korea Peninsular.  

The President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, Alfons Hörmann, has said he would understand if his did not want to attend amid the security concerns.

"Nobody is forced or contractually obliged to start in Pyeongchang," Hörmann said in an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung.

"People think and feel very different. If athletes decide not to arrive because they do not feel safe or comfortable enough, then I would have understood of course.

"We will, with all the joy of the Winter Games, put safety first."

The President of the Austrian Ski Federation, Peter Schröcksnade, said his country is completely relaxed about security.

The question is how the situation will be on the ground," he told Sky Sport Austria.

"This can not be foreseen today. I think, however, that it will be far less critical than is generally publicised today. These are Olympic games and not political games and we are completely relaxed when it comes to the Games."  

The French have already raised their concerns but the USA and GB have said they will be going to the Games in South Korea next February.

See below for earlier PlanetSKI stories on the security concerns:

 

South Korea Winter Olympics & Paralympics 2018South Korea Winter Olympics & Paralympics 2018














THE IRISH ARE COMING

Much of the focus of our coverage in the run up to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next February has been on Team GB (obviously!). 

But lets not forget our Irish friends.  

They have a pretty decent cross-country team and the BBC has been looking at their prospects.  

Irish Cross-country teamIrish Cross-country team    












The Irish are comingThe Irish are coming

















SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER

BODY OF MISSING SWISS HUNTER FOUND

The 56-year old went missing in the mountains near Brienz on Monday October 2nd.

He was found the following day by a search team.

It is believed he slipped and fell into a ravine.

FRIDAY 6TH OCTOBER

VONN BID TO RACE AGAINST MEN PUT ON HOLD

The International Ski Federation, FIS, has said it will look at the proposal next May.

It kicks it into the long grass for a while.  

We have reported in the past on her desire to race against the men and it had been thought it might happen at Lake Louise in Canada at the start of the season. 

Our latest report was on September 29th:

That has now been ruled out but the idea has not been ruled out.

The issue was discussed at the FIS Alpine Executive Board meeting in Zurich Switzerland,  where it was decided to look at  it again their next meeting in Greece in May.

Last year she famously said she wants to "beat some boys and call it a day."

Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY 5TH OCTOBER

LIGHTING OF THE OLYMPIC TORCH

As the Pyeongchang Games approach, it's time for the flame to be lit.

'Let everyone shine' is the message.

Ancient Olympia in Greece on 24th October, 2017 is the place and time.

The torch relay will cover 2,018km by plane, ship, train, sailboat, robot, zip wire, cable car and bike.

It will travel across Korea over 101 days with 7,500 torch bearers, reaching the Olympic stadium on 9th February, 2018.

Olympics FacebookThe Olympics are coming!






















 

Meanwhile the stadium that will host the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the Games has been completed.

It is seven stories high with a total floor area of 58,790 square metres and a capacity of 35,000 spectators.

It is a pentagon in shape  symbolising the five goals of Pyeongchang 2018 - the economy, the environment, IT, the arts and peace.

After the Olympic Games come to an end, the 35,000 seats in the stadium and permanent buildings will  be demolished and it will be used as a venue for performances, exhibition art and sports."  

Olympic stadiumOlympic stadium


















WEDNESDAY 4TH OCTOBER

GB PARA SKIER UP FOR AWARD

The British para skier Millie Knight has made the shortlist for The Sunday Times Young Sportswoman Of The Year.

The visually impaired 18-year-old is a multi medal winner.

She became the first British world para skiing champion when she took gold in the downhill at the 2017 championships in Tarvisio, Italy.

She also picked up three silvers at the championships.

Millie KnightWorld Champion Millie Knight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knight is one of four athletes on the shortlist.

The others are Freya Anderson (swimming), Ellie Downie (artistic gymnastics) and Sammi Kinghorn (para-athletics).

The shortlist for main award - The Sunday Times Sportswoman Of The Year - also includes a winter sports star.

Short track speed skater, Elise Christie faces competition from Elinor Barker (track cycling), Tammy Beaumont (cricket) Johanna Konta (tennis), Jodie Taylor (football) and Bianca Walkde (taekwondo).

The awards ceremony takes place on the evening of Thursday 26th October. It will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action and Sky Sport Mix.

MONDAY 2ND OCTOBER

UNIVERSAL AIRLINE WIFI ON THE WAY

The number of airlines offering WiFi is set to soar.  

Norwegian has been offering it for several years on its ski flights to Oslo and other routes.  

Our editor, James Cove, enjoyed it back in 2013 on his way to the ski fields of Norway.  

Surfing at 39,000 feetSurfing at 39,000 feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


He also questioned by more resorts didn't offer free WiFi in as many locations as possible.
Now they do.

Many airlines offer WiFi on transatlantic routes.

It has been claimed that airlines could 'make billions'.  

An average cost of $4 could generate £30b by 2035 according to one industry forecast. 

"We will see innovative deals struck, partnerships formed and business models fundamentally changed," said the author of the report, Alexander Grous from the London School of Economics.

So the prospect of checking snow conditions, what is going on in the ski resorts and much else besides as we fly to them seems like it is on the way soon.

And while we are on the subject...

INFLIGHT CHIT CHAT NOW AVAILABLE ON DELTA

Love it or hate it, an airline is now offering free wi-fi up in the skies for that essential on-going-social-media-chit-chat we find so mesmerising.

Messaging on Facebook, Twitter and i-Messaging is available on Delta as soon as in-flight wi-fi is enabled, and the best bit it's free - Check it out here.

SUNDAY 1ST OCTOBER

WELSH ARMY RESERVIST SPEAKS OF HORROR SKI CRASH

Paul Harrison was skiing at 50mph when he crashed and suffered a traumatic head injury.

He was given CPR at the scene and had months of treatment.

He says 6-months of his memory have been lost.

Paul HarrisonPaul Harrison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHORTAGE OF SEASONAL SKI WORKERS IN USA

Ski resorts are worried by President Trump's immigration policies that could see 1,000s of unfilled jobs.

Some resorts are concerned that the White House could scale back or even eliminate J-1 visas as part of President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" executive order.

The J-1 visa allows foreign workers to be employed in resorts usually on the lifts, in bars/restaurants and working as ski instructors.

Most come from the southern hemisphere with a smaller number from Europe.

The US winter ski season aligns with the summer break of college students in the Southern Hemisphere.

The ski season does not align with American student breaks, so J-1 visa students from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina account for around 8,000 of the 130,000 seasonal snowsports workers.

"It would be worse than the drought," said Andy Wirth, whose Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadow ski areas in California endured three consecutive seasons of meagre snow in a crippling drought.

"We cannot, as an industry, have Trump sign that two months before we open."

Many ski states have low levels of unemployment according to this graphic from the National Ski Areas Association.

Ski state unemployment levels Ski state unemployment levels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See our story from Tuesday 26th September in last month's News in Brief as the boss of Aspen criticises President Trump following a 30% fall in Mexican visitors to the resort.

TUI UK WINTER BOOKINGS FALL YEAR ON YEAR

TUI's winter bookings in the UK are down 7% year on year following zero growth this summer.

The German giant owns the UK's largest ski tour operator, Crystal Ski.

The figures do not just include ski but all the other winter break holidays.

However its winter revenue has gone up by 2% and it has sold just over a third of its winter programme which is the same level as a year ago.

The details were revealed in a trading up date.

It claimed both booking and selling performance for the winter season were 'in line with expectations'.

"Both load factor and percentage of the UK programme sold are in line with prior year, as we continue to balance capacity in line with demand," it added.

Winter numbers downWinter numbers down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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