Hot Sheet: Stock reports, silver medals and chalet girls

In this week's Hot Sheet, Black Diamond says it is looking at launching an apparel brand, Julia Mancuso grabs silver at the World Championship Super G in Germany, and the Brits base a romantic comedy on Chalet Girls and snowboarding.

Black Diamond, Inc., announced preliminary sales for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2010. While earnings will not be announced until the audit of the Company’s 2010 results is completed, BD expects to report fourth quarter consolidated sales of approximately $34 million and full-year pro forma sales of approximately $125 million. Pro forma sales include both Black Diamond Equipment and Gregory Mountain Products for periods prior to their May 28, 2010 acquisition.

BD also announced that, in addition to its FY2011 budget, it has also recently completed a Baseline Strategic Plan (the “Baseline Plan”) for FY2011-FY2015. The Baseline Plan envisions 12.5 percent compounded annual sales growth solely from existing categories, and calls for significant operating expense investments in areas such as a new distribution facility, visual merchandising, direct to consumer sales and marketing, product development and infrastructure. For more, including commentary on a planned expansion into apparel and footwear, click here to read the SNEWS financial report on Black Diamond from Feb. 8.

Mancuso grabs silver to open World Championships

Olympic champion Julia Mancuso collected the fourth FIS Alpine Ski World Championship medal of her career Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, with a silver medal performance in Garmisch. Mancuso made up nearly half a second on the bottom of the rugged course to finish just .05 behind Elisabeth Goergl of Austria. Germany’s Maria Riesch earned bronze as defending champion Lindsey Vonn finished seventh.

“I was inspired to have a great run today. After looking at the course, it was simple. There weren’t any big tricks with the set, it was just about having a good run on some really difficult snow conditions,” said Mancuso. “The conditions were definitely different than what we’ve seen on the World Cup, but in ski racing you have to be fast on everything. You have to be fast in the gliding and you have to be fast in when it’s bumpy. It’s always a challenge for me and any challenge is good.”

Colorado gets rocked by successive storms

If you are having trouble reaching folks in CO this week, I have an idea where you might find them. After a weekend of heavy snow, that continues to fall, lots of them are still out riding. All 22 Colorado Ski Country resorts (and Vail Resorts as well) received significant fresh powder, with Steamboat leading the way having reached the 300-inch snow mark. The resort posted an intense 28 inches over the weekend at its summit, and received a further 16 inches on February 7th.

Aspen’s four resorts saw 16 inches from the storm, with it still coming down. Sunlight saw a foot over the weekend, plus another four inches in the past 24 hours. Powderhorn posted a foot yesterday alone, while in the town of Steamboat, Howelsen received nine inches since Sunday morning. 

Resort owner’s son sparks Sunshine meltdown

According to the Calgary Herald, the college-aged son of the owner of Sunshine Village Ski Area in Alberta, Canada, has sparked a firestorm at the resort resulting in several long-term employees getting canned.

The Herald reports that on Dec. 17th, 2010, Thomas Taylor Scurfield, son of Sunshine owner Ralph D. Scurfield, was stopped by ski patrol while skiing a closed run with friends. According to the Herald, “Scurfield said he has the right to ski wherever he liked, that the closures didn’t apply to him because of his family connections, that the area should not have been closed, that patrollers should know who he was and that the patrollers would “pay” for their actions.”

Four employees were fired following the incident, and two more were fired after members of Sunshine’s ski patrol staged a one-day strike to support them. The original four have filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the area, and the blogosphere has blown up with reactions. A quick tour of Sunshine’s own Facebook page provides a quick update of the kind of PR damage that has already been done.

More on snowsports’ record December

Just because it feels so good to read, here is a little more info on the giant December snowsports retailers enjoyed courtesy of the Leisure Trends Group: Snowsports sales increased 9 percent in units and 17 percent in dollars for a total of $1.1B at retail this December, the strongest in at least 10 years. Season-to-date, snow sport sales totaled $2.1B, 15 percent greater than last season at this time, 17 percent greater than 2008 and 12 percent larger than 2007.Specialty store sales reached $642M this December, an 18 percent leap over last December, a 27 percent gain over December 2008 and 4 percent greater than December 2007.

Chalet Girl newest romantic ski comedy

An Edinburgh-based buddy used to tell me that certain middle-aged British men have all sorts of fantasies — and sometimes even real stories — about having flings with the Eastern European girls who clean and cook at the chalets where they take their alpine vacations. With a little Cinderella-style tweaking (i.e., adding a wealthy young ‘prince’ as the male lead, giving the girl skateboard-bred street smarts, and an extended Brook Shields cameo?!), on March 10th, 2011, those fantasies hit the UK silver screen.

It sounds so bad that it must be worth watching. Here is the plot summary from the homepage (see below), which I expect you to be perusing mere moments from now just for the trailer viewing: “19 year-old ex-skateboarder Kim is working in a burger bar but finds herself a chalet girl job in a glam ski resort for the cash. She can’t ski – and she doesn’t understand the posh world she’s in but when she finds an old snowboard, she begins to teach herself to board and finds that her skateboarding skills lead to a raw natural talent on the board! She also starts catching the attention of the handsome Jonny (Ed Westwick), one of her bosses. Can she overcome the odds – and herself – to become a champion snowboarder & claim the man??

In other news…

The rash of young snowboarders dying in accidents in closed areas continued on Sunday, February 6th, when a snowboarder at Eldora Mountain resort in Colorado died after hitting a tree. According to the Denver Post, a 35-year-old-man was snowboarding with four friends in a closed area when the accident occurred at 1:30 p.m…The New York Post reports that Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is taking a break from his banking job to concentrate on being a ski bum in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Post reports that Chelsea plans on visiting him every few weeks…Folsom Custom Skis has partnered with Tesla Motors, maker of the Tesla Roadster, an “electric supercar.” To outfit the Roadster for winter, Folsom is offering signature-edition skis designed to match the car…Okemo in Vermont is offering speed-dating on its Black Ridge Triple Chair to help lonely riders find someone to share more than just a lift with them. If nothing “clicks” during the five-minute ride, just ski down and start again.

–Peter Kray

On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived — just in time for the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!