Mad Riven Glen this month is publicly launching a major capital campaign aimed to preserve and sustain the area for future generations.
The campaign, “Preserve Our Paradise,” will focus on funding four essential initiatives: mountain preservation, skier safety and service, youth and family development, and community preservation.
Some of those maintenance projects will include renovations to rundown buildings, addressing space concerns for kids’ programs, necessary lift maintenance and snowmaking systems maintenance and upgrades. Completing these projects will help preserve the unique Mad River Glen way of life for future generations.
“Mad River is home to me because everything that is important to me in my life is here,” said Ry Young, Freeski Team head coach, who also shot aerial footage for MRG’s campaign video. “I can’t recall exactly how it came to be, but it’s just something that has always been.”
Meg Hourihan, a co-op trustee, credits the MRG experience with preparing kids to thrive in life. “It’s not groomed, you’re going to get rocks, you’re going to get ice,” Hourihan said. “How are you going to persevere? How are you going to develop as a skier? And more importantly, how are you going to develop as a person to handle all of those challenges? When you get out in the world, that’s what you find. Everything isn’t groomed and smooth and perfect, and being here in this environment, you’re with people who are like. ‘Hey, you can do it.’”
Pro Tour back in the East
Many of the world’s top professional ski racers, including former Olympians and NCAA champions, will compete when the World Pro Ski Tour returns to New England this season with three events scheduled in 2018. Host sites include Waterville Valley (Feb. 8-10), Sunday River (March 29-31) and a yet-to-be-announced resort.
The pros will compete side by side in dual slalom races, each of which will air on the CBS Sports network. Last March, the tour’s stop at Sunday River represented the first time professional racing was featured in New England in almost 20 years.
“Sunday River is thrilled to welcome back the World Pro Ski Tour,” said Dana Bullen, resort president and general manager for Sunday River. “Last year’s event brought back to life exciting, world-class competition in one of the most spectator-friendly formats imaginable, and Sunday River is excited to be able to offer this great event to our guests once again.”
Waterville Valley has been host to dozens of alpine World Cups throughout the past 50 years, most recently in 1991. “The excitement of ski racing has always been a part of Waterville Valley Resort’s heritage and now to be in a period of significant growth and to be bringing back an event like the World Pro Ski Tour is really exciting,” said Tim Smith, president and general manager.
Mass. Tourism boosts ski industry
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has initiated a co-op promotional campaign on TripAdvisor with the Massachusetts Ski Area Association to promote the state’s 12 ski areas. Beginning in January, #skiMA will emphasize accessibility, ski lessons and the wide range of slopes in the state for skiers of all levels. Francois-Laurent Nivaud, executive director of MOTT, said the state’s ski industry drew 240,000 visitors last year and generated nearly $100 million in spending.
North Conway gets USA Today nod
North Conway, N.H., rose above such ski towns as Nelson, Breckenridge, Truckee, Telluride and Revelstoke to be named the No. 1 “Best Ski Town” on the continent, according to a poll of USA Today readers.
In presenting the top choice, editors wrote: “Nestled within the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire, North Conway sits within a half-hour drive of more than a dozen alpine and Nordic ski resorts. Visitors off the slopes can explore the town’s pastel-hued Victorian architecture oozing New England charm. The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center makes for an excellent rest-day diversion.”
Museum reopens after renovation
The Ski Museum of Maine is reopening this month after a $25,000 renovation to its gallery space, including new lighting, flooring and displays. Funding for the work was provided by a grant from the H. King & Jean Cummings Charitable Trust of the Maine Community Foundation.
The Ski Museum of Maine was founded in 1995 by a small circle of friends who were members of the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club. In 2006 the museum opened a physical exhibit in Farmington and hired an executive director to oversee the facility and direct the museum’s operations. In 2009 the museum moved to its current location in downtown Kingfield, above the Sugarloaf Outlet store.
Pico grant supports kids
Pico Mountain has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Winter Sports Education Foundation to support its Pico School Program, an initiative that brings affordable skiing and riding to local children.
The six-week lesson program is offered to students in grades 1-12 at local Vermont schools. Last season, more than 400 students from 12 schools participated, receiving 90-minute lessons once a week.
“Pico Mountain is committed to sharing our passion for an adventurous lifestyle through skiing and riding with our local students,” said Katherine MacLauchlan, manager of Pico Snowsports, Competitions and Child Care. “This is an opportunity many students may not get otherwise, and through this program we are developing a passion for winter sports and love of the outdoors.”
Students graduating from the program receive a learner’s permit that includes 50 percent off lift tickets, rentals and lessons for the current and following seasons.