Hot Sheet: Ski Rex, Powderhorn plans, & more

Maybe all of the overstock from the previous season's under-ordering and over-selling isn't gone after all. Colorado's upcoming SKI REX Labor Day sale is offering all sorts of off-price gear. That and the upcoming plans for Powderhorn, OnTheSnow and more in this week's Hot Sheet.

It looks like at least one retailer managed to find overstock for their Labor day sale, despite last season’s record $3.3 billion in snowsports sales reportedly clearing inventory down to the walls.

Colorado Ski & Golf stores and Boulder Ski Deals’ annual SKI REX Labor Day sale, which takes place at six separate stores, is advertising “must have” bargains at 30-75 percent off new gear from last year’s models and styles. According to a release, “The hottest items at the best prices this year include: The Volkl Mantra and Rossignol Phantom SC87 all-mountain skis for men with savings up to 50 percent. For women, the K2 Lotta Luv will also be reduced 50 percent. Snowboard decks, boots and bindings from Burton and Ride will be discounted up to 75 percent. Apparel shoppers can snap up items from Burton, Descente, Spyder, Roxy, The North Face, Marmot and Patagonia at discounts of 30-75 percent.”

New Powderhorn owners talk up future of ski area

Andy Daly, the former Vail Associates president and CEO who recently partnered with retail impresarios Ken and Tom Gart to buy Colorado’s Powderhorn ski area for $1.4 million, outlined plans for the ski area in an article for the Grand Juntion Daily Sentinel. Daly said new terrain parks, snowmaking, lower season pass prices and grooming improvements are in store this year, but any other major improvements, especially to chairlifts, will have to wait until the following season.

The area has “a good mix of what I call great commercial terrain, in terms of lots of good intermediate terrain, some challenging terrain and some good beginner terrain,” Daly told the paper in explaining why he was attracted to the area. He also said he thinks the area, which currently draws around 80,000 annual skier visits, could be averaging around 100,000 skier visits in the next five years.

OnTheSnow expands its partnership with the Weather Channel

OnTheSnow will become the official provider of snow reporting and resort information for The Weather Channel,, The Weather Channel Mobile, and Desktop Weather. Beginning in the 2011/12 winter season, The Weather Channel television audience, website visitors and mobile application users will have access to daily snow reporting as well as resort profiles and on-mountain cameras for more than 1,500 ski resorts around the world.

“Mountain News has been a partner of The Weather Channel for the last five years and has a solid track record of delivering high quality ski conditions information and content,” said Jim Anderson, director of weather asset management at The Weather Channel.

Ranch sale looks to spell end for proposed Lolo Peak area

Montana’s Missoulian newspaper is reporting that the historic Maclay Ranch in Lolo, which was once supposed to be the site for a high-end ski resort, will meet its end at a sheriff’s sale to settle a debt of more than $23 million. Missoula County District Court Judge Ed McLean ordered the foreclosure in June on behalf of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Asset Holdings, which holds the mortgages on the 3,000-acre ranch.

U.S. starts out hot in New Zealand race series

Tommy Biesemeyer kept a U.S. Ski Team podium streak rolling on Aug. 19, 2011, with a giant slalom second during the third day of FIS Southern Cup alpine racing at Coronet Peak. Swedish freeskier Jon Olsson, who has refocused on alpine in hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, won the race with Canadian David Donaldson in third. American David Chodounsky was .03 of a second off the podium in fourth, and teammates Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Jared Goldbergalso placed in the top 10. The previous day, Will Brandenburg produced his second FIS Southern Cup podium in 24 hours with a slalom podium at Coronet Peak.

New Idaho ski academy event raises $150,000

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that fundraising for the new Sun Valley Ski Academy got under way in grand fashion on the evening of Aug. 14, 2011, with a free performance by Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Adams Gulch home of entrepreneur Kipp Nelson. Some 500 people attended the event to help raise $150,000 for the fledging academy, formed earlier this year between the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and the Community School to draw young Olympic hopefuls to the area for training in their sports and to get a quality education.

In other news…

Former Austrian nordic skiing and biathlon coach Walter Mayer was Wednesday handed a 15-month jail term after he was found guilty of providing several top athletes with banned substances between 2005 and 2009…Veteran Austrian ski racer Benjamin Raich is to start training on snow following a knee operation following a high-speed crash last season in the World Championships in Germany. The 33-year old has been undergoing extensive rehab and will soon be out on skis on the glacier in Solden…And Australia’s ski resorts have joined together to fight growing competition from New Zealand, offering 1000 beginner ski passes and lessons for just $1 each. All nine Australian resorts – which have previously been highly competitive – signed up to offer the deal.

 —Peter Kray

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