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Hot Sheet: Hall of famers, new skis and a drunk Australian

The newest U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame class was inducted in Sun Valley. Vail is keeping more terrain open later, and getting ready for a new John Elway steakhouse. While in Whistler, an Australian managed to run up an $850 tab on just one beer.

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World Champion ski racer Daron Rahlves, extreme ski legend Glen Plake and the late great Shane McConkey were among the newest inductees into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame on April 2, 2011, in Sun Valley. They were joined by Paralympic medalist and World Champion, Muffy Davis, 1972 Olympian Bobby Cochran and Sun Valley owner Earl Holding.

McConkey, who died in a BASE jumping accident in Italy two years ago, was the driving force in getting skiers to embrace rocker technology, Plake introduced the era of extreme skiing in the ‘80s, Rahlves won the super G World Championship in 2001, and the fabled Hahnenkamm in 2004. “I want people to know me as a skier who loves skiing,” Rahlves said. “Staying active and influential in the ski world is really important to me.”

Snowbowl clear to start construction on new trails

Already extending a dream season of 300+ inches of snowfall, the Arizona Snowbowl is cleared to start construction for new trails and snowmaking as soon as the season comes to a close.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, on March 31, 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to suspend construction pending the outcome of litigation to prevent snowmaking with reclaimed wastewater. The Save the Peaks Coalition, which has opposed the construction on the claim that the safety of using reclaimed water for skiers has not been sufficiently studied, has already appealed the decision.

The ski area has not announced when construction might begin. A new chairlift, more ski trails and an expanded lodge are also part of the plan.

Vail keeps Blue Sky Basin open until season’s close

Vail Mountain plans to continue operating more than 4,500 acres of skiable terrain–including Blue Sky Basin and China Bowl–through Sunday, April 24, 2011. “With one of the latest closings Vail has seen in recent years falling on Easter Sunday, we want to give guests who plan to travel during this time every reason to visit Vail and provide them with the best late-season terrain possible,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “The phenomenal snow conditions we’ve seen throughout the season will allow us to keep the vast majority of the mountain and restaurants open through closing weekend.”

In other news…

Tommy Ford captured his fourth straight U.S. title with a giant slalom victory to open the Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships Thursday in Winter Park. Ford swept the giant slalom, slalom and super combined titles at the 2010 U.S. Championships. Top junior honors went to Ryan Cochran-Siegle, whose uncle Bobby Cochran was among the new Ski Hall inductees…Armada Skis announced the release of the limited edition Alpine Initiatives (AI) JJ, which features a hand-drawn, black-and-white graphic designed by Armada co-founder and AI founder, JP Auclair. All profits from their sale will go to the Alpine Initiatives charity…The University of Colorado ski team building has been renamed in honor of late Aspenite Bryan Sax, a popular pilot, skier and bartender who died in a plane crash over the Florida Everglades in 2008…An Australian national who refused to pour out a beer in Whistler ran up a $850 police tab. According to the Whistler Pique, the Aussie was fined $100 for open possession of liquor, $230 when he wouldn’t stop drinking, $500 when he refused to provide identification, then $115 for being drunk in public. Of course, all of this went down at 2 a.m…Ski Utah has reappointed Brandon Ott from his former position of Marketing Manager to the role of Content Editor…and legendary Broncos quarterback John Elway and a business partner are reportedly looking at opening an Elway’s steakhouse in Vail sometime this fall.

–Peter Kray

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