The Battle for Park City Ski Properties Heats Up   

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Greg Limeberry

Park City

Rarely is the adventurous world of Park City skiing associated with hostile corporate strategy, but in reality the resort-peppered mountains make up a businessman’s battlefield in the midst of a full-scale war. According to an article on Outside, owners of a few ski resorts are vying for land and eying a 7,500-acre mega resort along with it.

The Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) operates almost exclusively on private land. PCMR owns the base, but a company named Talisker owns the land that holds the lifts and inclined runs necessary for skiing. Talisker had been operating Canyons Ski Resort, one of a trio of resorts located northwest of PCMR; however, in March 2011, PCMR failed to send in the paperwork to renew the land it leased from Talisker.

Though it may seem a simple mistake could be rectified, it’s important to note that PCMR had a lease dating back to the 1970s that gave them full use of the land, estimated around 3,500 acres for only $150,000 a year. By industry standards, it was the best deal in the sky business, giving PCMR an incredible advantage against its competitors.

Once realizing the mistake, PCMR tried to cover up its misstep by post-dating the paperwork. Still, it was too late. Talisker promptly sold the operating lease of Canyons to Vail Resorts, the largest sky resort company in North America for $25 million plus a percentage of revenue. Vail Resorts’ decision to purchase would put it in control of both the PCMR property and Canyons, leaving them with a combined mega resort of 7,500 acres.

Naturally PCMR attempted to fight it out in court but as of late May, a judge ruled that Talisker was legally within its right to lease the land it owns to Vail Resorts. Now, to add insult to injury, PCMR has threatened to remove its lifts and disallow access to the resorts from the private land it owns at the base. Valid threats or not, it’s clear that the resort owners plan to continue this battle throughout the summer.

via Greg Limeberry: Skiing http://ift.tt/1idMvsZ

Top U.S. Alpine Skier Makes Move To Ski For Mexico

Greg Limeberry

Skier Sarah Schleper de Gaxiola

Sarah Schleper de Gaxiola has been one of the top women’s slalom skier for nearly a decade for the U.S, skiing in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. As NBC Sports reports, she has recently announced that she will come out of retirement in the hopes of competing in the 2015 World Championships as a Citizen of Mexico.

Schleper de Gaxiola began her Olympic career at the age of 18 in 1998. She would compete in each Olympic games until her last appearance in 2010. She placed 10th in the slalom in the 2006 Olympics, her best finish.

In 2007 she married Federico Gaxiola de la Lama and gave birth to a son, Lasse. She would retire from competition in 2007. With one World Cup win in slalom in 2005, she will be the most decorated of any Mexican Alpine skier.

Schleper posted the announcement of her return on her facebook page, saying, “I am proud to announce that I have received Mexican citizenship. I aim to get back into the starting gate and perform in the World Championships Vail 2015. I was presented a letter of citizenship by the president of Mexico, Señor Peña Nieto. I feel proud and excited to be a citizen of this beautiful country.”

To read the original article, head over to NBC Sports.

7 Destinations to Blast Off On Your Next Vacation

Greg Limeberry’s Latest Blog Post

For most of us, vacation is a time to get away from it all and relax. Others among us like to take things further, looking to the great outdoors for a little adventure. Then finally, there are those who like to take the adventure of our vacations and turn it up to eleven. In a recent article, Yahoo Travel gave its list of recommended destinations for the third group, and they are not for the faint of heart.

Greg Limeberry

Adventure Travel Ideas

(Photo credit vehiclepassion.com)

1. Jetpack America – Based in Newport Beach, California, Jetpack America allows travelers to strap into a 200-horsepower, water-fueled jetpack that can reach 25 feet in the air and allow speeds of up to 30mph. For $259 and under the watchful eye of a nearby instructor, vacationers can soar and dive-bomb all over Newport Bay for 25 minutes.

2. Dream Racing – Horsepower is a theme on this list. Dream Racing is a Las Vegas attraction that allows adrenaline junkie travellers get behind the wheel. Starting around $189 for a five-lap session, drivers can get strapped into a six-point seatbelt and helmet and put the pedal to the metal in specialty racing cars such as the Ferrari F430GT.

3. Dig This – Travellers with fond memories of playing with toy dump trucks and cranes as a child will love the adult version. This Las Vegas destination has turned a construction site into a playground, and for starting at $249 travels can use industrial machinery to make large holes, smash objects, or toss objects that weigh a metric ton like they were a toy.

4. Sky Combat Ace  – Vegas does it again. For $599 dollars, the traveller can get the “Top Gun Experience” strapped into an acrobatic stunt plane (along with an instructor with dual controls) and perform loop-de-loops, barrel rolls and simulated dive bomb. The instructor does most of the flying but the guest controls the intensity which can bring 8Gs of pressure and quite a rush.

5. Desert Wolf Tour –  This Scottsdale, Arizona destination will take you into the desert in a military style vehicle and let you hose down targets with bullets from your Glock, AR-15 assault rifle or whatever other boomstick they have on hand. You can squeeze off a long distance rifle shot at an explosive charge and then watch the fireworks. All for $199.

6. Xtreme Hummer Adventures – For only $55, a professional driver will take you on an extreme drive through the sand dunes of Pismo Beach, California. Taking it to extreme speeds and making wild jumps off of hill peaks, a traveler gets a lot of adrenaline for a small price tag.

7. Drive A Tank – The name says it all. For $399, this Kasota, Minnesota will allow travellers to pilot an actual WW2-era British tank with only a periscope to guide you. For an additional $599, travellers can use the tank to crush a car.

To read more check out the original article Yahoo Travel.

via Greg Limeberry: Skiing http://ift.tt/1rlgjHK

Adventure in Tanzania

Greg Limeberry

Route up Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is the highest peak in Africa, reaching 19,340 feet into the sky.  National Geographic hosts a 10-day trip to Tanzania that involves trekking up a lesser-known path up the mountain, on the Western slope.  The hike on the Shira Route takes 8 full days and traverses five temperate zones.  This excursion is truly an experience unlike any other, and that one will not soon forget.  The views are unparalleled, spanning hundreds of miles of gorgeous African terrain.

This trip not only allows one to reach the peak of one of the world’s highest peaks and sleep on the crater floor of said mountain, but one will also have the opportunity to experience the breathtaking rain forests, the heather moors, see indescribable lava formations, and traverse glaciers.

Day one of the trip is arrival day.  Travelers will touch down at the Kilimanjaro International airport, and then travel by car to Arusha National Park, which hosts a luxurious camp site and is seated at the base of Mount Meru,a volcano reaching 14,980 feet. The camp itself is already at an elevation of 6,200 feet, helping to ease travelers into the acclimatization that comes with reaching such high altitudes.  Day 2 is orientation, checking equipment and warming up with shorter hikes.  It is common that travelers see some incredible wildlife at this time, such as black-and-white colobus monkeys, bushbick, giraffe, rare birds and much more.

Greg Limeberry

View of Mount Kilimanjaro

The trek itself begins on the third day in Africa, beginning with a drive up to the edge of the montane forests of the mountain, which is where the hike kicks off.  It will consist of about 3-6 hours of hiking, ultimately reaching a fully set up camp, with refreshments and dinner waiting.

Along the way, there are incredible sights and landmarks, such as the Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower, Arrow Glacier. Ultimately, on the 9th day of the hike, you reach the peak of mount Kilimanjaro. This part, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.  To read more about this trip and all that it consists of, check out this page.

Avalanche in Sochi

http://rt.com/files/news/24/0f/d0/00/sochi-avalanche.jpgA massive avalanche hurdled down a slope at the former Winter Olympics site in Sochi, Russia on Sunday. The avalanche killed two skiers, while four others were able to escape unharmed.

The avalanche was 80 cubic meters and struck at Sochi’s Rosa Khutor ski resort around midday. It buried six skiers on the “Labyrinth” slope, according to the Interfax news agency. The snowslide resulted in fatal injuries for two female skiers, reported the Russian Emergencies Ministry. The resort’s website released a statement saying, “despite all efforts to revive them, they could not be saved.”

The other skiers were unharmed except for one who left the site with a broken arm. Some of the skiers managed to dig themselves out of the snow. There were a total of 105 rescuers, 20 vehicles, and one aircraft that took part in the search and rescue team.

Witness Mikhail Karamyshev said, “We were skiing on the slope of Rosa Khutor, got tired, and sat down to rest. Suddenly we saw an avalanche sliding down. It appeared literally within seconds and practically swept away everything in its path. Those sitting and resting were knocked over and carried away in the direction of the ravine.”

Other witnesses expressed the thought that the incident could not have possibly happened at the given part of the slope and with such good weather conditions. Experts are now trying to determine the cause of the avalanche and it has been noted that a small avalanche occurred on the same slope previously.

The Emergencies Ministry department of the area had also issued an avalanche alert earlier for those skiing at heights above 1,300 meters between March 19 and March 21. Risky period for avalanches can be determined by a sudden change in temperature and melting show. Avalanches still manage to kill several dozen people at ski resorts every year

Make Switzerland Your Next Vacation Destination

http://wottraveltwickenham.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/swiss-travel-system.jpg?w=584&h=364Switzerland Tourism has a lot to celebrate for the past year. The area saw an increase in travel and tourism in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. There was an increase of four percent over 2012 for a total of 1,585,467 overnights by United States Americans. This number is determined by counting only overnights in Swiss hotels. Vacation homes and other sorts of accommodations are not included in the number.

The number of arrivals also increased over 2013 by 4.7 percent. The average stay was about 2.2 days and the results locked in America’s eight percent market share of all foreign overnights in Switzerland. The United States is in fourth place after the Swiss themselves, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Typically Americans spent about 220 Swiss Francs, which equates to $250, each day. This adds up to a total spending of about $400 million, contributing vastly to Switzerland’s annual tourism revenue.

Alex Hermann, Director Americas of Switzerland Tourism, says, “In 2013, once again, an increasing number of American travelers visited Switzerland. Particularly exciting is the fact that the strongest growth was recorded in the mountain regions of Switzerland. We are very excited to see Americans rediscover the Swiss Alps!”

Americans found the best places to visit in Switzerland to be the Zurich Region, the Geneva Region, and the Lake Lucerne Region. The largest increase in tourism from Americans was in Graubunden. This site is widely known for its resorts at St. Mortiz and Davos in addition to the Bernina and Glacier Express scenic train excursions.

Switzerland is mostly respected for its skiing opportunities and for becoming the birthplace of winter tourism 150 years ago but the country also has sites to offer during the summer months. The Alpine peaks are beautiful in the summer and the country is boasting this year’s summer theme as: “Views. Swiss Made.” The theme will highlight hiking, walking, and biking opportunities in the Alps and along the lakes.

 

Best Extreme Skiing Locations

A list of the top 10 extreme skiing spots has been developed by Cheapflights.ca, a travel deal website. The list ranges from moguls to heli-skiing to half pipes to ski hikes and five of the sites are in Canada and the U.S.

1. Mount Bake, Washington.

This location has an enormous amount of snowfall. Reports say the annual snowfall is more that 640 inches with a record of 1,140 inches one winter in 1998-1999. This resort has lots of backcountry skiing, cliffs, and natural halfpipes, so it attracts aggressive skiers and boarders. There is a risk of avalanche though, so be prepared if you wish to visit!

2. Tuckerman’s Ravine, Mount Washington, New Hampshire

This location is great because the deep snow allows the area to be open for business well into May when better weather conditions and lower avalanche risks occur. These factors draw skiers and snowboarders to the site. The site has a three-hour hike into the ravine, another 30-minute hike up the ravine, and then a 40 to 55 degree slope.

3.Revelstoke, British Columbia

Revelstoke has a heritage of heli-skiing. The powdery terrain is accessible by chopper and the way down is untouched snow. The area is renowned for its annual snowfall, which makes for amazing wide-open bowls and treeline skiing. The resort is also known for its mountain, which has a slope of 5,260 feet. This makes this location the biggest vertical drop in North America.

4. Mary Jane, Winter Park, Colorado

This site is full of moguls. In fact, Mary Jane is dedicated to mogul runs and tree skiing. This means the mountain requires intermediate to fairly advanced level skiers and boarders.

5. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

This mountain is known for the ability of skiers and snowboarders to go rushing downhill at top speed. Trails include Zig Zag, Dave Murray Downhill, the Downhill, and Super G course of World Cups and Olympics from the past. The trails progressively get more difficult and are know for “no-guts, no-glory speed.”

The other five destinations are Valluga, St. Anton, Austria; Vallee Blanche, Chamonix, France; Laax, Switzerland; Las Lenas, Argentina; and Yongpyong Resort, PyeongChang, South Korea. Each destination has its own specialty and is known for its unique features.