2017 Killington World Cup

obienickobienick expert
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 853
This is an update for my trip report in the 2016-2017 Killington thread, where I mentioned overhearing an instructor who had said management was confident in getting the WC back.  I figured this was a little too off topic for that thread.

Little did I know about the big news that broke last weekend in the Aspen Daily News... Aspen has been stripped of hosting the WC in November.  The article beats around the bush about how Aspen is awaiting hotel permits for their base reconstruction so they can build a new quad, and how it the Aspen WC has such great attendance (not) and the course prep for the finals was outstanding (of course with their large snowfall this year).

But the key is this little ditty:

The state of Ruthie’s restaurant, which has been shuttered for years but was reopened to provide racer support services for this event, was also noted by Lewis as a deficiency.


"A deficiency". That sounds like about as good spin as one can do with respect to an abandoned building hastily brought back to life for a 7-day long event. 

With Aspen out (which the ADN even admits is for at least the "short term" which IMHO is more than a year), that leaves a hole in the schedule. Honestly, there really isn't anything that can plug that hole other than Killington unless FIS does a massive calendar shakeup.  Even Beaver Creek has struggled in recent years with respect to snowmaking for their race which is the week after.  
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Comments

  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 252
    This article suggests that Killington is a clear frontrunner to host a womens WC again in November and the town and resort are already reviewing plans. I figured K took a financial loss and called it marketing but the cost quoted in the article is stunning. Bravo that they lost so much money and still want to do it again. I would be glad to go again, it was quite the event. 
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 853
    It was my impression part of the high cost was replacement of air pipe up from the Bear compressors. But even if not, you don't get this kind of international marketing in any other way.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 502
    New 8" ID epoxy jacketed snowmaking pipe is only around $20/ft new. It's about a mile from Bear to Skye Peak. $100,000 right there, steep but only a fraction of their costs.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 666
    The cost of getting the hill ready only scratches the surface...WC races are insanely expensive, mainly b/c you have to house and feed all athletes, coaches and a ton of FIS staff. Pretty expensive way to get a skiers from overseas, but it must pay off.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,717
    riverc0il said:

    This article suggests that Killington is a clear frontrunner to host a womens WC again in November and the town and resort are already reviewing plans. I figured K took a financial loss and called it marketing but the cost quoted in the article is stunning. Bravo that they lost so much money and still want to do it again. I would be glad to go again, it was quite the event. 

    I didn't see anything in the article that Killington lost a bundle.  What figure was cited for their loss?  I know the restaurants, h/motel owners didn't lose.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited March 27 Posts: 853
    Killington must provide hotel space and food to the racers for free. It could be that the books are askew with expensive numbers? Like how you never pay the rate on the back of the door in a hotel... always cheaper.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 666
    obienick said:

    Killington must provide hotel space and food to the racers for free. It could be that the books are askew with expensive numbers? Like how you never pay the rate on the back of the door in a hotel... always cheaper.

    and their coaches, servicemen and media
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,717
    The recent postings appear more as supposition as opposed to hard figures.  I suspect that 30K people over two days provided a lot of cash flow in the Killington owned Cafeterias and bars, as well as Killington's cut of "central bookings".  I was also told that Killington sold a lot more lift tickets that weekend than they did on a typical TGDay weekend.  I'm not claiming to know for sure, but I'd like to see some real numbers on this one before assuming that Killington lost a fortune (or small fortune).
  • Dirk109Dirk109 novice
    edited March 27 Posts: 6




    Killington Mtn. loss between 150k-200k.
    Also the access rd. businesses did not see any real growth in sales due to the
    congestion on the rd.. Killington selling more lift tickets on that weekend was
    a given due to more people, but overall while it was great for the spectators,
    the town of Killington didn’t walk away with any real revenue growth..





  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    edited March 27 Posts: 502
    I find that very hard to believe.
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 252
    The recent postings appear more as supposition as opposed to hard figures.  I suspect that 30K people over two days provided a lot of cash flow in the Killington owned Cafeterias and bars, as well as Killington's cut of "central bookings".  I was also told that Killington sold a lot more lift tickets that weekend than they did on a typical TGDay weekend.  I'm not claiming to know for sure, but I'd like to see some real numbers on this one before assuming that Killington lost a fortune (or small fortune).
    It is right in the article I linked to, which quotes Solimano:

    "Altogether, Solimano told town officials, the cost to the resort for last year’s event was more than $2.5 million, which was offset by $1.3 million in revenue, most of which came from sponsors. The net cost to the resort was $1.2 million, he added."

    I am assuming those numbers are strictly directly related to that weekend. It is probably more challenging to estimate the effect in increased bookings, pass sales, and related increased visitor services sales/profit due to increased visibility after the event or perhaps long term positive vibes about the mountain.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited March 31 Posts: 853
    FWIW, in Killington's 2017-18 season pass promo video published Thursday, a message that flashes by fast reads "More World Cups".

    image
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,717
    riverc0il said:

    The recent postings appear more as supposition as opposed to hard figures.  I suspect that 30K people over two days provided a lot of cash flow in the Killington owned Cafeterias and bars, as well as Killington's cut of "central bookings".  I was also told that Killington sold a lot more lift tickets that weekend than they did on a typical TGDay weekend.  I'm not claiming to know for sure, but I'd like to see some real numbers on this one before assuming that Killington lost a fortune (or small fortune).
    It is right in the article I linked to, which quotes Solimano:

    "Altogether, Solimano told town officials, the cost to the resort for last year’s event was more than $2.5 million, which was offset by $1.3 million in revenue, most of which came from sponsors. The net cost to the resort was $1.2 million, he added."

    I am assuming those numbers are strictly directly related to that weekend. It is probably more challenging to estimate the effect in increased bookings, pass sales, and related increased visitor services sales/profit due to increased visibility after the event or perhaps long term positive vibes about the mountain.
    I suspect that a substantial amount of the cost was snowmaking which has had a long term impact on the Superstar glacier as well as all the things you mention above.  (I wonder how much the Superstar Glacier costs.)
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 252
    They were going to blow Superstar eventually anyways so I really don't see that being a major financial factor. They blew it a bit earlier than normal in more marginal conditions (but they usually blow it not much later and conditions can be just as marginal later). I am sure it was a net increase in snow making budget but I suspect not even in their top ten costs for the event.

    Just for the bussing alone... they ran every bus they had pretty much non-stop for two full days and they had all hands on deck personnel wise for 72 hours. Huge amounts of fuel as they were bussing non-stop to/from Pico, Skyeship base, and many other locations. They needed volunteer staff just to pull it off. And many people that came to watch the race used facilities often without paying a dime (goodness knows I did not contribute a penny financially while I was there). They had an entire trail pod running and not one paying guest using it, which would be considered a catastrophic waste any other day. I am sure they needed to pay for local/state police details and other security. I suspect personnel, transportation, and security were their three biggest expenses. Plus opportunity costs for racers and staff using lodging that might have been rented at a profit. 
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 853
    And they usually open Superstar around Thanksgiving anyways. They just needed more inefficient guns to guarantee enough snow for Thanksgiving weekend.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,717
    Riverc0il said, "And many people that came to watch the race used facilities often without paying a dime (goodness knows I did not contribute a penny financially while I was there)."

    Statistical averages indicate you are the exception on this one.  I recall a few years ago, Cranmore ran a anniversary day and charged what they charged when the area opened, $3.30.  I remember someone on SJ1.0 reporting that Cranmore did the biggest net gross for any non-holiday weekday ever.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 502
    Snowmaking not being in the top ten? I think perhaps you folks underestimate the cost of high output in marginal conditions. I have heard ranges from $400K to way on up for snowmaking alone for this event. They filled the compressor pads at Snowshed and Bear. Every time the wet bulb moved into low marginal they ran. There is no comparison between the cost to turn that much water into snow when they did vs later on.
  • DrJeffDrJeff advanced
    Posts: 273
    newpylong said:

    Snowmaking not being in the top ten? I think perhaps you folks underestimate the cost of high output in marginal conditions. I have heard ranges from $400K to way on up for snowmaking alone for this event. They filled the compressor pads at Snowshed and Bear. Every time the wet bulb moved into low marginal they ran. There is no comparison between the cost to turn that much water into snow when they did vs later on.

    Exactly!! That bottom 10 to maybe 20% of the base on Superstar may very well of cost 50% of what the top 80-90% cost to produce given the marginal temps they generally had while getting ready for the World Cup vs the GOOD temp windows they used to produce snow for the bulk of their base building

  • ChuckstahChuckstah advanced
    Posts: 330
    World Cup is back at K next two seasons.
    http://mountaintimes.info/world-cup-will-return/
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 853
    SWEET!
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,061
    OK, everybody's been waiting for a "correction" on Wall Street.

    If Kmart can beat Aspen, clearly the market has peaked!   time to sell    :D
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited April 5 Posts: 853
    Here's the announcement at their Summer Kickoff event

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 430

    Below are selected
    paragraphs of an article that basically says, “nothing soon”. Isn’t 1A the lift
    the FIS said needed to be updated to get the World Cup back (for early season).
    That being 5 yrs. away plus no snowmaking improvements may give Killington a
    lock on Thanksgiving Weekend World Cup beyond the current two-year contract.

    Ajax facelift:
    SkiCo plans for expansions

    By ELIZABETH STEWART-SEVERY  MAY
    2, 2017

     

     

    An expansion of the ski area boundary is one of four key
    elements Aspen Skiing Company will consider this summer as work progresses on a
    new management plan for Aspen Mountain. SkiCo officials are mapping out the
    mountain’s next two decades, including four major projects: Replace 1A, reopen
    Ruthie’s restaurant, expand lift-served terrain for intermediate skiers and
    priority number one: “As soon as possible, we’d put in snowmaking to the top,”
    said Rich Burkley, SkiCo’s vice president of mountain operations…..

     

    But there’s not much he can do to store
    water higher on the mountain. An expansion would mean using a total of about 70
    or 80 million gallons of water to make snow on Aspen Mountain each season; the
    small storage pond at the base of the Gent’s Ridge Lift holds about 3 million
    gallons.

    “That is our bonus water – 3 million
    gallons, which is very little,” Burkley said. “It can go in four hours, and
    then we pump it back up. So, it’s horrible.”….

    A new lift would start
    about 200 feet below the bottom of Walsh’s or Lud’s Lane and end on Richmond
    Ridge, a few hundred feet above the top of the gondola. It’s likely at least
    five years away, Burkley said, but eventually the hope is to add 185 acres in
    the Pandora’s area. It would mean about 30 percent more terrain in the ski
    area, and would push the boundary to the limits of the Forest Service permit.

    http://aspenpublicradio.org/post/ajax-facelift-skico-plans-expansions#stream/0

  • obienickobienick expert
    edited May 29 Posts: 853
    Killington GS and SL confirmed for 25th and 26th.

    image


    If I'm counting right, that's 40 races for ladies (same as last year) and 39 races for the men (down from 44 last year) before adding in the OWG. Talk about a compact shedule!
  • NJSnowmakerNJSnowmaker novice
    Posts: 13
    Killington had to rent an additional 32 compressers for the snowmaking for the world cup. They spent over $35,000 a day (24 hours) in fuel for the air. They were running 125 guns on the trail to get the snow they needed.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 502
    Where did you see 32 additional? If true that's over 51,000 CFM just for Superstar. Even split between the Snowshed and Bear pads that is insane. Though the math works out - the K3000s will take 400 cfm if you have it.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 666
    They hammered trails next to Superstar to provide training for the racers as well.
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 430
    I thought the GS start was on the plateau above the headwall. Will they build a snow mound (they do anyway) or wasn't last year's start on the plateau?

    ropeways.net | Home | 2017-06-21

    Improvements planned for successful Killington World Cup

    On Thursday, 8 June, FIS officials joined members of the Killington World Cup Organizing Committee and representatives from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Killington Resort under blue skies at a site inspection to plan ahead for the next two years of ladies’ tech racing at the Vermont (USA) venue. With patches of snow still covering the Superstar trail, everyone in attendance was enthusiastic for the return to Killington this coming November.  

    Never one to rest on his laurels, Killington World Cup LOC Chair Herwig Demschar is planning several improvements over the inaugural race last year with even more spectacles on tap for the 2017 edition.  

    “What you see compared to last year is I think people are really confident about their roles now. In the team we had a picture of what it was going to be, and even myself – to be honest – I didn’t expect that many spectators either. I thought if we had 10,000 we were going to be good," Demschar said with a chuckle. "But being confident doesn’t mean that we are going to grow complacent. Anything we can do better we want to do better, and it’s great to work with a team like this. It’s humbling for me, and it’s really fun.”  

    Both the giant slalom and slalom race starts will be moved further up the hill, making the run times slightly longer. In GS, the start will begin 10 vertical meters higher than in 2016 on a plateau at the top of the Superstar lift which will add one turning gate prior to Upper Headwall. The slalom start is approximately 70 meters higher up than last season which will add more than a handful of additional turns to the beginning of the course.  

    Killington’s Director of Mountain Operations Jeff Temple noted that his team has made further snowmaking improvements already, swapping out the nozzles on the tower guns lining Superstar to enable production in even more marginal temperatures heading into the fall of 2017. With favorable snowmaking conditions, Killington also hopes to offer extended training opportunities to visiting teams which plan to arrive in advance of the ladies’ GS and slalom races scheduled for 25-26 November.
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 121
    I hope it works out like last year. Went on Sunday -- great event.
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