With all the talk of Waterville's expansion, I thought I would just ask about Attitash. I know nothing about any expansion, but the resort-ranking issue of "Ski" magazine says that they are hoping to expand into the center gully that rises above the resort. Any truth to this? (I don't know if "Ski" is to be trusted after listing Holiday Valley in the top ten and not including Jay... but we've already discussed this...)
Of you actually look at the financials for ASC, the skiing/riding side of the business is actually making money (and has been doing it consistantly for years), its the debt service from all of the real estate (both new development and over paying for area acquistion) that is killing them(and in all likely hood will eventually lead to the break-up of ASC in bankruptcy court some day).
Last year, they actually had a decent year where they decreased their overall debt by something close to 65 million, however, their still in the red by over 350 million! To "help" their debt situation off, they even gave their CEO a bonus last year of over $450,000 to give him a total compensation package last year of over $900,000
Another issue is that in all of these years of debt, there's been little money to go around to keep the areas up to date (everything's aging, just look around at them)...this is what could actually sink them if anything does - wouldn't matter if they climbed close to out of debt if they needed to then dump tens of millions back into the areas.
Way to turn this into another "ASC financials" thread.. Perhaps the terrain and WMNF issues could be discussed..?
That bowl between Attitash and Bear Peak has always been a major "drool factor" looking piece of terrain, no doubt about it. But unfortunately as you so correctly stated, its almost inevitable that if the discussion is about an ASC property, that their financials and the word debt will be brought up
I apologize for turning the tread immediately to financials. However, it is a serious limiting factor for ASC.
If they had the money, would expand into that area. ASC has been able to sweet-talk the USFS in many regards such as the Slide Brook Express Quad at Sugarbush, the entire Bear Peak expansion, and of course the half-built connection between Killington and Pico.
Posted: Dec 07, 2006 - 4:16 PM GMT
Edited: Dec 07, 2006 - 4:30 PM GMT
Any truth to this? (I don't know if "Ski" is to be trusted after listing Holiday Valley in the top ten and not including Jay... but we've already discussed this...)
Then you know that HV made the list cause it was a readers survey not an editorial opinion. Secondly they don't make this stuff up just report what is reported to them, your problem should be with the readers and Attitash not SKI.
FWIW, both SKI and SKIING are up for sale, they are published by the same company.
Regarding Sugarbush and the GMNF I guess "sweet talk" might work but they have heavy restrictions regarding the basin.
Some interesting historical factoids, can't remember his name but the man who donated the land, that Sugarbush(LP) is on, to the GMNF he stipulated that it remain forever wild. After Sugarbush was built in 1958 by the Gadds and Murphy the family of the donor sued the GMNF, if memory serves they lost cause it was a verbal stipulation, not a legal covenant. Plus I bet the GMNF wanted the cashola.
Actually, you CAN blame Ski and not just it's readers... (this off topic I know) but just tabultating popularity, and equating family services with challenge or snow is crap. I know it's a matter of opinion but the way they weight the rankings and popularity is what get's me.
Now back to the topic... maybe it's a good thing the age of crazy expansion has ended, but now all the funds seem to fuel real estate, so maybe that's a bad thing.
Does anyone ever climb above the summit into that bowl? I've never heard of any backcountry skiing up in there.
Posted: Dec 07, 2006 - 5:55 PM GMT
Edited: Dec 07, 2006 - 5:56 PM GMT
I was referring strictly to the readers survey they do each year.
If your talking about the Slide Brook Basin, it can be assessed from both LP and ME and the Bush conducts guided tours when there is enough snow. Info is on their website. If your up at the Bush I would highly reccomend it.
People also skin up from the trailhead on German Flats Rd to access the goods up as well.
If you talking about the Attitash thing....never mind...
That would be awesome! Believe it or not a few people have jumped off the chair, there is one section when your in jumpable height, if your crazy and there is alot of snow, to access the terrain. Pretty stupid tho as your pretty much at the bottom of the basin.
Unfortunately the Bush is resticted to how people are in the basin from the resort. One of the many regs they had to agree to in order to build the lift.
Being public land, a wildlife sensitive bear habitat, easy access, makes this a huge gray area, and has resulted in many a spirited debate around here.
I actually ask that exact question to the reps at Attitash booth during the Boston Ski show this year. They were exploring the idea back in 2003 with USFS, with the possibility of expanding behind the Summit Triple boundary on Attitash, but it fell to a grinding halt. The reps think is was because of the environmental impact the expansion would have caused on that area, though no EIS was ever conducted by Attitash and submitted to the USFS for review.
I definately know the plans do exist, Les Otten had them displayed back in 1992 or 93, just after the Kachina Chair opened on Bear Peak. The plans were to expand into the bowl area and create a trail & lift system that would wrap around that entire. It consisted of 3 or 4 lifts, with an increased vertical from the back peak on the ridgeline.
The unfortunate part was the display was taken down very quickly because year later, the display was gone when I returned there to ski.
I agree the terrain back there looks awesome, but alot of blasting and slope stabilization would be needed to preserve the natural water drainage in that area. It is sounds similar to the reason Mount Snow & Haystack were never connected. The restrictions limited expansion above 2500' in elevation to keep the Coldbrook stream at a class "A" water quality standard. I'm wondering if that might the case here too because of the natural drainage system runs down between Attitash & Bear Peak.