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WinterSports Hot Sheet: Licata at Tecnica, Slopestyle at Worlds, Banzai race & more

WinterSports veteran Chris Licata returns to the industry with Tecnica/Blizzard in an advisory role, Slopestyle to debut at the 2011 World Championships, plus the latest business news.

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Former Dynastar/Lange President Chris Licata is back in the ski industry, joining Tecnica Group USA in a role described as “an advisor for the Tecnica and Blizzard brands.”

Although still acting as president of Blake’s All Natural Foods, an organic food manufacturer in Concord, N.H., Licata will help Tecnica offset a management void left by the recent departure of former Tecnica/Blizzard President Sam Cook, who moved to Prince Sports in September.

“I knew I had to find a way to work with this awesome team,” Licata said in a phone call Monday with SNEWS. “They were looking for someone to help continue the great work Sam (Cook) and Peter Weaver have done, and when they saw my background and past experience with Dynastar and also Salomon, they thought I might fit the bill.”

Weaver, CEO of the Tecnica Group, said Licata “will work with me to guide the sales activities and key account relationships, as well as to provide executive oversight to the programs and long-term strategy for the brands.”

Licata, who took the position at Blake’s in 2006, said he’s been most impressed on his return to the industry with the quality of the equipment at lower price points, and also the clean up of inventory.

“When I left, over-production was a huge issue,” said Licata. “To see how that’s been eliminated really pleases me. I’m also amazed at how great a ski and binding system you can buy at $599 right now. You can get a lot better product now for a lot less money.”

Licata will immediately focus on the development and implementation of sales and marketing strategies for the coming 2011-2012 season.

Slopestyle added to 2011 World Championships at Deer Valley

Ski Slopestyle hasn’t been added to the 2014 Winter Olympic program — yet — but the International Ski Federation announced this weekend that the event will be included in the 2011 Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships at Deer Valley, Utah.

It will mark the first time that Slopestyle has been included in the World Championships, alongside other freestyle events such as Moguls, Aerials and Ski Cross.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is presently considering adding Slopestyle and Halfpipe Skiing to the 2014 Winter Olympic Program. In October, the IOC executive board postponed its decision until after the World Championships, scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 5 at Deer Valley.

Hot News: Learn to Ski Site, Banzai Race, Teen Extreme & Powderhorn

A new website for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month launched to support the January 2011 initiative. The site is filled with useful information aimed at consumers new to skiing and snowboarding, and links to individual resorts and state ski associations hosting special Learn to Ski and Snowboard learning programs in January.… Daron Rahlves, four-time Olympian and current Sugar Bowl ski ambassador, announced plans for a new multi-resort race series with stops at Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl. The “Banzai” format mixes big mountain freeriding, downhill racing, and ski and boarder cross strategy (… The North Face Junior Freeskiing Tour (JFT) will begin with the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Junior Championships in Crested Butte, Colo., Feb. 15-17, 2011; hit the U.S. Junior Freeskiing Nationals in Crystal Mountain, Wash., March 4-6; the Grand Targhee Freeskiing Open, in Wyoming on March 18-20; the North American Junior Freeskiing Championships in Kirkwood, Calif., March 25-27; and the Junior Freeskiing Championships in Snowbird, Utah, April 8-10.… Specialty ski apparel brand Powderhorn announced the addition of Dahl Sales to its sales force. Dahl Sales will be responsible for the New England territory including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

–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 start of 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!