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ski industry

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago

Ski Industry review


Elan - factory in Alps - Skimar


Salomon N.A.


The North Face

Sierra Design

K2 Switzerland GMBH - Zurich


Tecnica, Nordica, Rollerblade, shares in Marker


Tecnica - Venice, Italy

distributor in Hanover


Volkl - Annecy Le Lieux, France, and...Baar, Switzerland, and Treviso, Italy, sold to Swiss based Gregor Furrer & Partner Holding AG. Factory in Straubing-Sand, 500000 ski's per year. Distribution = partners / joint ventures, subsidiaries - K2 Inc., Marker Volkl GmbH, Tecnica (closer partnership), Disney Ski System,


Rossignol = Quicksilver - Voiron, France...and, St Jean de Luz, France....and, St Jean de Noirans, France


K2 bought Volkl and Marker to distribute K2 in Europe. Strong European management team

they also bought Marmot, low end production in China












If you have been on a great ski vacation recently, and you would like to tell us about it, please feel free to add your comments here. First, make a link with the name, and then add content. Click here for HELP. But, rembember, this is a shared travel guide that anyone can edit, so please be objective, honest and informative. Most of all, just tell us what you liked, and what you recommend other people should do.


Purchase ski trips and gear

Links to other ski related sites



Ad from Travelocity - discount on car / van rental:




Top ski resorts USA and Canada:






Aspen, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado official Telluride website

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Deer Valley, Utah

Park City, Utah

Vail, Colorado

Sun Valley, Idaho

Tremblant, Quebec

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado

Steamboat, Colorado

Lake Louise, Alberta

Ski Santa Fe

Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Ski Banff at Norquay, Alberta

Crested Butte, Colorado

Stowe, Vermont

Snowmass, Colorado

Purgatory at Durango, Colorado



Ski Resorts in Switzerland


The Ski Resorts of Switzerland

Adelboden Fiesch Nara

Aletsch Fiescheralp Nendaz

Aminona Flims Laax Oberiberg - Ybrig

Andermatt Flumserberg Obersaxen

Anzère Four Valleys Ovronnaz

Arosa Graechen Pontresina

Bad Ragaz Grindelwald Riederalp

Beatenberg Gryon Rougemont

Beckenried Grüsch Saas Almagell

Bellwald Gstaad Saas Grund

Bergün / Bravuogn Kandersteg Saas-Fee

Bettmeralp Klosters Saastal

Bivio La Tzoumaz Samnaun

Braunwald Laax (Flims-Laax-Falera) San Bernardino

Brienz Axalp Lauterbrunnen Sattel-Hochstuckli

Brig Le Chable Savognin

Bruson Lenk Silvaplana

Celerina Lenzerheide - Valbella St-Luc / Chandolin

Champex-Lac Les Crosets St. Moritz

Champéry Les Diablerets Thyon les Collons

Charmey Les Mosses Torgon

Château d'Oex Leukerbad Verbier

Crans-Montana Leysin Veysonnaz

Davos Lötschental Villars - Gryon

Disentis Sedrun Maloja Wengen

Einsiedeln Meiringen - Hasliberg Wildhaus

Elm Minschuns Zermatt

Engelberg Monte Tamaro / Rivera Zinal

Erner Galen Morgins Zuoz/ St. Moritz

Evolène Mürren Zweisimmen









Top rated Ski hotels:

Four Seasons Resort, Jackson Hole

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, Colorado

St. Regis Resort Aspen, Aspen

Sonnenalp Resort of Vail, Vail

Stein Eriksen Lodge, Deer Valley, Utah

Four Seasons Resort, Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Little Nell, Aspen

Fairmont Banff Springs, Ski Banff at Norquay, Alberta

Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Hotel Jerome, Aspen

Mirror Lake Inn, Whiteface Mountain, New York

Plump Jack Squaw Valley Inn, Squaw Valley, California

Charter at Beaver Creek, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Lodge at Vail, Vail

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside, Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Topnotch Resort & Spa, Stowe, Vermont

Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa, Telluride, Colorado

Lake Placid Lodge, Whiteface Mountain, New York

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, Alberta

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail

Sun Valley Lodge, Sun Valley, Idaho

Alyeska Prince Hotel, Alyeska, Alaska

Cliff Lodge & Spa, Snowbird, Utah

Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, Vail

Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge, Breckenridge, Colorado

Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Marriott Grand Residence Club, Heavenly, California, Nevada

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino, Northstar, California

Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, Steamboat, Colorado

Canyons Grand Summitt Hotel, The Canyons, Utah

Village at Squaw Valley, Squaw Valley, California

Inn at Beaver Creek, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Resort at Squaw Creek, Squaw Valley, California

Grand Sierra Lodge at the Village at Mammoth, Mammoth Mountain, California

Summit Lodge & Spa, Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Beaver Creek Lodge, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Marriott's Timber Lodge, Heavenly, California, Nevada

Sunriver Resort, Mount Bachelor, Oregon

Grand Summit Hotel, Sugarloaf, Maine

Lodge at the Mountain Village, Park City, Utah

Embassy Suites Hotel Lake Tahoe Resort, Heavenly, California, Nevada

Silvertree Hotel, Snowmass, Colorado

Harveys Lake Tahoe Casino & Resort, Heavenly, California, Nevada

Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Heavenly, California, Nevada

Village Hotel, Village at Breckenridge, Breckenridge, Colorado

Sheraton Steamboat, Steamboat, Colorado

Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge, Colorado

Timberline Resort, Mount Hood, Oregon






Early Season Snow (before January)




In North America


1. Alta/Snowbird, Utah

These ski areas share a common box canyon in Utah that squeezes more powder snow out of storm clouds than any other spot in the state. These resorts have the best chance of being blanketed in dry fluffy powder snow.


2. Grand Targhee/Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Year after year, Grand Targhee gets plenty of early season snow. The slopes here have been covered with snow in December for more than a quarter-century. Nearby Jackson Hole has almost as much snow plus the charm of the evocative old-western town of Jackson.



3. Steamboat, Colorado

A surprise resort for those who don't realize that these slopes lie in one of the snowiest corners of Colorado. The snow stays protected by Steamboat's legendary glades. Chances are that more trails here will be open here in the early season than at any other Colorado resort.



4. Whistler/Blackcomb, BC, Canada

Staff whined about occasional rain at this massive resorts lower altitudes. When there is drizzle down below, there's often sun and plenty of snow up high. Enjoy the upper mountain normally layered with plenty of snow, then ride the gondola down at the end of the day.



5. Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado

Vail, according to the weather gods, is the better of the two. However, finding the back bowls open can be dicey. Between these two resorts, there is not much in terms of amenities that a skier or rider looking for the best can't find.




6. Winter Park, Colorado


Other resorts such as Winter Park in Colorado, Fernie Mountain Resort, BC, Canada, and the resort collection that rings Lake Tahoe have good early snow statistics as well. At Lake Tahoe it is normally feast or famine. When the snow falls, it comes measured in feet not in inches.


7. Fernie Mountain Resort, BC, Canada

8. Lake Tahoe Resorts, California and Nevada

9. Killington, Vermont

10. Sunday River, Maine

11. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

12. Le Massif, Québec, Canada



On the other side of the country in New England, more than 75 percent of the trails are covered by snowmaking. This means skiers and snowboarders can rest assured that they will have good coverage on trails.


Killington, Vermont; Sunday River, Maine; and Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, are the champions of snowmaking in New England; and Le Massif, outside of Québec City with trails dropping almost into the St. Lawrence Seaway, enjoys its own microclimate that makes finding snow a good bet.





World Wide

These days most ski resorts aren't worth skiing before Christmas (while their season ends a month after the tour operators have sent their charter planes to Magaluf). Here are 10 honourable exceptions.



1. Val Thorens, France


If you are looking for a December ski destination, only one consideration matters. Make a show of debating resort ambience and efficiency of lift systems, but in the end you must go somewhere with reliable snow. So where better than Europe's highest resort, Val Thorens? As well as the Péclet glacier - which is the latest to be issued with a prophylactic covering to protect it from the melting summer sun - there are two other peaks above 3,000m, plus an extra one if the fourth valley is operational. Val Thorens is not the least attractive purpose-built resort in France, and is quietly a gourmet haven (Oxalys has a Michelin star, quite an achievement at this altitude).


· Thomson Ski, offers one week in a studio apartment from £300 per person including flights and transfers



2. Chamonix, France


With unpredictable conditions at the beginning of the season opt for a resort with access to a variety of different ski areas. Chamonix has 11 separate ski areas covered on its lift pass so there's almost always good skiing somewhere in the valley. The glacier of Les Grands Montets is the most reliable, whether for tough piste skiing or, or if enough snow, off-piste. You can also usually count on the more gentle Le Tour. The off-piste Vallée Blanche, accessed by the 3,840m Aiguille du Midi, just below Mont Blanc, may not be at its best yet, but you can usually get down as low as the train. However if the weather socks in, there is the insurance of woody Les Houches for piste and tree skiing. Chamonix's other advantage is that it's a proper town, so low season doesn't mean tumbleweed blowing across the bar floor.


· Ski Weekend offers five nights' B&B, from £449, including transfer (to meet flights booked through easyJet.com), guiding and transport between ski areas



3. Ischgl, Austria


More than any other resort, Ischgl makes a big deal of the start of the season, and it has plenty to shout about. By the time of the annual free concert at the beginning of December (featuring the likes of Lionel Richie or, this year, the ubiquitous Rihanna and her umbrella), there is usually plenty of snow on Ishgl's 210km of pistes (up to 2,870m), and even enough for some off-piste action. The town doesn't rely on international singing stars for après ski entertainment. This is the home of 5pm drunken, half-dressed table dancing. Only the bar of the "hip" Hotel Madlein is a no-ski-boot quiet zone.


· Ski Solutions offers seven nights' half-board at the Madlein, £899 per person, including flights and private transfer, departing December 9



4. Tignes, France


Val d'Isère is the usual Brits' choice as a base for skiing L'Espace Killy - although the Val de Sloane Square image can cause many to give it a swerve. However, at the beginning of the winter, there's no question Tignes is the place to be. Put it this way, the December Premiere Neige Downhill race is frequently cancelled over in Val, while recreational skiers are having a perfectly good time on Tignes' 3,455m Grande Motte glacier. Even if the snow isn't fantastic, Tignes' 2,100m base – about 300m higher than Val d'Isère – makes skiing home less problematic. Although Tignes has pistes to suit all, they are pushing their expert credentials, with Naturides (ungroomed pistes) and the Spot ("Skiing the Powder Of Tignes) zone, a cross between off-piste and a freestyle jumps park.


· Stay at the luxury, rustic but well-kitted out Fermes du Val Claret apartments, in the newest and highest part of the resort. Ski Collection offer seven nights' from £636 per one-bedroom apartment, accommodation only



5. Hintertux, Austria


Hintertux has arguably Europe's best glacier, with a fantastic steep section called the Gefrorene Wand ("frozen wall"). It's a base for summer skiing, as well as a late autumn weekend destination for Germans wanting to sharpen their skills before the season proper. However, wait for the season proper and you get not only the glacier but also a host of north-facing slopes (protected from the sun) and, if the season starts well enough, a link to Mayrhofen and another potential 157km of pistes. Hintertux's nightlife is pretty lively even in low season, and hotels such as the Hintertuxerhof meet the usual high Austrian standards.


· Hotel Hintertuxerhof offers a package including: seven nights' half-board, ski pass, guiding, sledding and a curling evening for €730. Flights with Austrian Air (aua.com) are around £168 return; transfer via train and bus, raileurope.co.uk



6. Breuil-Cervinia, Italy


You will have heard of the Cervino mountain that dominates this Italian resort on the Swiss border, but you probably know it by its German name - the Matterhorn. It has slopes up to 3,480m, plus links to the 3,820m Klein Matterhorn glacier of Zermatt (go and see how the other half lives). Unlike many of the more steroid-pumped ski areas in this list, Cervinia offers good early-season skiing for mellower skiers, with excellent snow on red and blue pistes so autostrada-wide they could have been designed by Mussolini. Well, they sort of were, as the resort was built under Il Duce and traces of grandiose Fascist architecture remain.


· Stay at the Hermitage, a four-star hotel right by the lifts, known for excellent food. Momentum Ski, momentumski.com offers seven nights from £1,595, half-board including flights and hire car



7. Obergurgl, Austria


This traditional Austrian resort was popular with Brits in the 80s but became unfairly overlooked. Now it's gaining popularity since a gondola lift linked its two main ski areas and people remembered it has one of the best snow records in Europe. The runs are on the easy side of difficult, and there's plenty of off-piste if conditions warrant. You can pay a small supplement for a day's skiing at the nearby Sölden glacier. One major reason to come to Obergurgl is to enjoy a proper old-school ski holiday, with hearty dumpling-based food, beer and schnapps, and brilliant cheesy discos.


· Inghams offers seven nights from £481 including B&B accommodation, flights and transfers



8. Saas Fee, Switzerland


Like its neighbour Zermatt, Saas Fee is a traditional traffic-free resort with high glacier skiing, up to 3,500m. However there's a far more homely atmosphere to the place, compared to its glitzy neighbour. The glacier is in use throughout the summer, with a world-class freestyle park and enough steepness to allow race teams to train. But if you wait till December, you'll get more out of the ski area. Stay at the Hotel Europa, which is handy for the village's best bar, the Popcorn.


· Made To Measure offers four nights from £509 per person



9. Keystone, Colorado


Much of Colorado is fully stocked with snow by the beginning of December, with resorts making ridiculous competitive attempts to open earliest. For altitude, it's hard to beat Breckenridge - it has the world's highest lift, the Imperial Express, at 3,915m - plus it's a fantastic town to stay in. However, though lower, nearby Keystone is more reliable because its tree-lined slopes make it less prone to wind-closure. It has some of the US's most extensive expert skiing, as well as groomed cruising slopes. The recently built River Run base gives Keystone an Alpine village feel, with shops, bars and restaurants around a square; and there are some excellent restaurants scattered about (The Ski Tip Lodge is a favourite).


· ski-i.com, £788 per person in a deluxe studio in River Run, including flights (special offer if booked before Oct 10)



10. Big White, Canada


If you're taking advantage of the weak Canadian dollar, bear in mind that Britons' most popular destination in British Columbia, Whistler, can suffer from being close to the sea at either end of the season. It gets snow, but it can be damp snow, even rain at the base. Best head inland, where the air is drier. Big White's name (and slogan - "it's the snow") is a fair indication of its reputation. There is powder and tree skiing for both experts and those making their first fluffy forays, as well as a huge range of groomed trails. Tie in a stay at neighbouring Silver Star for some even steeper stuff in an area known as the Dark Side. Both are underrated, attractive and very family-friendly resorts.


· Frontier Ski, from £914 per person including flights, condo accommodation and lift pass

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