In 2010 there were more than 5 million skiers in China, up from 10,000 in 1996 and 200,000 in 2000. The China Ski Association predicts this figure will rise to 20 million skiers by 2015, with an industry worth US$629 million ($740 million). Ask how many ski resorts there are and you’ll encounter varied answers. A 2012 China ski study report commissioned by the Canadian Tourism Commission puts the resort figure at 70 with more than 200 ski facilities. “The China market is not an advanced-skier market, they are mainly beginners and so are the ski fields,” Grant says. “While some resorts are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on creating five-star hotels and facilities, most of the mountain resorts close to Beijing are mainly man-made snow, and shorter, beginner-style runs. But while the quality of the lift systems and spa resorts are top notch, the quality of service, including ski instruction and ski patrol, is sub-par. Some resorts say that 80 per cent to 90 per cent of first-timers won’t revisit.”
It’s been 10 years since SAM first took up the best/worst quest. In the old days, this was mostly a matter of reviewing ads in magazines. But media have changed tremendously, and as a smart guy once said, “the medium is the message.” Resorts now have a lot of stories to tell, and many ways to tell them. As do their guests.
Everyone can get caught short – but what do you do at 3,500 metres when there isn’t a pub to nip into? One solution is to use a mountain loo, which, as Swiss journalist Marco Volken discovered, can come in all shapes and sizes. For his series of photographs “Silent Places”, on display at the Swiss Alpine Museum in Bern, Volken photographed various outhouses on Swiss mountains.
Good snow means several resorts in the USA and Canada will be open until early summer. It is not the first time resorts have been open into the summer. This year Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington state has already announced it intends to stay open at weekends from late April until at least June 16. Blackcomb Resort will be open until May 20ththen the Blackcomb glacier will be open daily from noon to 3pm from June 22 to July 28 for summer skiing. Mammoth Mountain in California is yet to announce its summer opening plans but has more than a 4m base at present and has stayed open in to August in the past. Elsewhere, in Oregon, Mount Bachelor has announced it will be open to at least May 26th
Google announced that it has added trail maps for another 100 resorts in the U.S. and Canada to Google Maps. Update includes a number of major resorts, including Oregon’s Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline Lodge resorts, as well as smaller ski areas like New York’s Hunter Maintain Ski Resort. Ski runs on Google Maps are marked by the usual blue, green and black lines to mark the difficulty of the terrain. Ski lifts are shown as red dotted lines. Before last month’s update, Google launched its effort to add ski runs to Google Maps by adding about 90 maps in November 2012. Overall, Google Maps users can now find about 225 different ski resorts on Google Maps. Except for a few European mountains that were part of the first batch, Google hasn’t released any new maps for European ski resorts since.
See on techcrunch.com
An MP is calling on the Foreign Office to take action on what he called a “massive overreaction” by French authorities after they arrested a British ski instructor for teaching without a licence in a move described as protectionist. Mr Casey, 40, originally from Folkestone in Kent, was accused of giving lessons without a licence in the Alpine resort of Megève, where he has been an instructor for more than a decade. He is now officially banned from teaching skiers because he lacks a qualification expected by the French, and faces up to 12 months in prison for the offence of instructing without qualifications.
A new episode of the “war of the pistes”
It is being built as part of the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, one of the largest shopping malls in the Middle East. The Snow Village will be the first of a new generation of winter themed indoor real snow and ice amusement parks. Covering approximately 5,000 square metres there will not be one snow slope but instead some 15 snow and ice fun rides and attractions for children and families.
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In its decade of existence, the GoPro doubled in sales every year to become the number one best-selling camera in the world. (Woodman is now a billionaire, with GoPro valued at $2.25 billion). The cherry on top is the GoPro HD Hero3: Black Edition, a full-HD 1080p video and still camera that can be controlled via a Wi-Fi remote. The company is able to cram all of these features into a body that is 25% lighter and 30% smaller than the Hero2 (clocking in at 2.6 ounces), and still keep the price point under $400. Mashable talked to Shaikh about how the GoPro is revolutionizing the video industry and how the camera continually outdoes itself.
That is what has been spent in Austria in the past 5 years and it raises questions about whether it is cost effective. All resorts seem to need snow cannons but they come at a high price and ultimately the consumer pays. A debate has been raging in Austrian newspapers over spending by the country’s ski areas on snowmaking systems. The issue has been raised in its Parliament. Franz Hörl, Chairman of the Austrian trade association of lift operators (Obmann des Fachverbandes Seilbahnwirtschaft) is quoted as saying Austrian ski resort operators would prefer to have less snowmaking but says that customers “…demand perfect ski pistes from November to April or they will not come.” He says without snowmaking this is not possible.