Memorably bad ideas in the ski industry

13

Comments

  • edited February 21
    Many products were what I would categorize as evolutionary in the development of skiing.  For example Toni Sailor skis were an innovation tthat failed, but led to evolution in the industry.  I suspect similar can be said of most of the boot brands that have been  mentioned in this thread.
  • NJSki said:

    Ringer Chairlifts

    Not sure what those are, but as far as problem lifts, I suspect Borvig and Yan top any list.
  • sugarloaf said:

    Cog Railroad skiing, that was interesting but soot covered snow makes for poor skiing conditions.

    I wonder if it would have made it if BW and the Mt. Washington Inn hadn't changed ownership in its 2nd year of ops.  A personal regret: I never got to try it.
  • Ski ballet

    It was a fad.  I wouldn't call it a bad idea.
    Haha, maybe you should rewatch some old clips. It was bad!
  • Ski ballet

    It was a fad.  I wouldn't call it a bad idea.
    Haha, maybe you should rewatch some old clips. It was bad!
    I loved the Wayne Wong antics!
  • Not sure what those are, but as far as problem lifts, I suspect Borvig and Yan top any list.

    It's worth googling in Google Images, weird split seat that rotate out.  I think there's still some remnants of one that once connected Mt. Rose and Sky Tavern.
  • NJSki said:

    Ringer Chairlifts

    Not sure what those are, but as far as problem lifts, I suspect Borvig and Yan top any list.



    http://www.skilifts.org/old/chairlift_manufacturers_ringer.htm

    Interesting concept, but only 8 were installed in the US. As Jaytrem said above, there used to be one on Mt Rose that connected Sky Tavern to the Reno Ski Bowl  above it. At that time, the Mt Rose Highway was not passable above Sky Tavern, so when it snowed, you had to use the Ringer chair to access the higher elevation Reno Ski Bowl.   

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  • edited February 21

    Ski ballet

    Gotta disagree here.  Anything that put Suzy Chaffee on TV was a good thing!   :)]

  • rick, +1
  • obienick said:

    Boston Hills also had the matts for summer skiing.


    Grass skiing with actual green grass and roller skis is an actual thing and racing is sanctioned by FIS.
    I think either the Georgia area (now lost) and/or Cloudmont, AL had mats - even for winter.
    Ober Gatlinburg had the Astro Turf for Summer skiing for almost 20 years.  
  • The worst thing I ever tried was a sample of a device to keep your butt dry from a wet chair seat.  Similar to Hot Buns, this thing was made out of clear vinyl with a web belt to go around your hips.  Tried it out on a wet day and it worked great until I fell.  I slid 40 yards down the slope and could't stop due to the sled tied around my waist.  Finally came to a stop, took the thing off and threw it into the woods.
  • MrMagic said:

    Indoor ski area in New Jersey
    How about the crazy stand up open air gondola at mountain creek?( I forget the name)

    The cabriolet gondola...would have been a great idea if the original development had taken place. I used to have the images saved but cannot find them for the life of me. 

    The terrain mountain creek is on is more like a platuea, so the land immediately behind the ski trails is flat. If i remember correctly, there was supposed to be a lot of mountain top development such as golf course, other activities, and the cabriolet was a way to get people there. It was never intended as a ski lift.
  • NELSAP said:

    Ascutney putting in the HSQ instead of investing in better snowmaking/grooming.

    Jeremy

    I agree but would add, installing a high speed chair without the infrastructure to support it is like buying a house and not budgeting enough money to finish the kitchen (i.e. put in the snowmaking) or buying furniture (i.e. adding more ways to get off the landing area).

    They did have the grooming capability, but if they didn't use it at the HSQ summit, it was because there was not enough snow to groom without damaging the tiller.

    As someone who skis Ascutney's HSQ daily (i.e. the Rocket at CM), I am grateful for Ascutney's mismanagement!  When CM installed the lift, the management budgeted not only for acquiring and installing the lift, but 4 new trails and  for Snowmaking and Lights on those trails.
    Honestly I kind of hate what Crotched did with the trails at the top of the Rocket.  3 Black runs and one overcrowded, scraped off blue with trail merges and a wide variety of skier abilities. 
  • If i remember correctly, there was supposed to be a lot of mountain top development such as golf course, other activities, and the cabriolet was a way to get people there. It was never intended as a ski lift.
    Mountain top development yes, but cab came later -- I believe you're thinking of a different lift, never built.  I'm pretty sure the cab was just Intrawest being cheap.

    In the early 1990s I did some PR work for Mr. Mulvihill on a timeshare camping cabin and recreation development, of all things.  It sounded loony to me then and even more so now, but they believed it was going to be a huge success.  They rode people to the top on a chairlift, shut the lift off, and did a sales pitch/beating.  Started building a road, sold shares, it was off and running!  (Wasn't it Preston Smith who said "people will buy what you sell them"?)   Then they got approval for just a dozen units.  Fought that for a bit, but eventually the whole thing was scrapped.  

    The Cab was touted as a multi-purpose summer/winter lift, came a few years after the mountain top development was dead.  You could be correct, although by the time it was built by Intrawest there was no development and they needed something for skiing and biking.  

    The "never intended as a ski lift" you're thinking of was possibly the other gondola that was proposed to link the Americana or Seasons or Legends hotel (former Playboy Club)  to the Vernon base.  This was not the 1970ish aerial tramway Jack Kurlander proposed to link Playboy to Great Gorge North.  This was a 1980s/90s thing, they had a gondy cabin on display at the hotel.  It was going to link guests to all things Great American Recreation Co  across the valley, and as you say, never intended to be a ski lift.    




  • If i remember correctly, there was supposed to be a lot of mountain top development such as golf course, other activities, and the cabriolet was a way to get people there. It was never intended as a ski lift.

    In the early 1990s I did some PR work for Mr. Mulvihill on a timeshare camping cabin and recreation development, of all things.  It sounded loony to me then and even more so now, but they believed it was going to be a huge success.  They rode people to the top on a chairlift, shut the lift off, and did a sales pitch/beating.  Started building a road, sold shares, it was off and running!  (Wasn't it Preston Smith who said "people will buy what you sell them"?)   Then they got approval for just a dozen units.  Fought that for a bit, but eventually the whole thing was scrapped.  



    I was one of those fools who got stranded at the top of Great Gorge South for the "sales presentation".

    Very high pressure sales pitch with lots of waiting around. Worse than negotiating a car sale. Almost came to blows with the salesman that was assigned to me. I was promised 4 lift tickets for sitting thru the "90 minute" sales pitch that went 3 hours before you could get back down the mountain.

  • bobbutts said:

    NELSAP said:

    Ascutney putting in the HSQ instead of investing in better snowmaking/grooming.

    Jeremy

    I agree but would add, installing a high speed chair without the infrastructure to support it is like buying a house and not budgeting enough money to finish the kitchen (i.e. put in the snowmaking) or buying furniture (i.e. adding more ways to get off the landing area).

    They did have the grooming capability, but if they didn't use it at the HSQ summit, it was because there was not enough snow to groom without damaging the tiller.

    As someone who skis Ascutney's HSQ daily (i.e. the Rocket at CM), I am grateful for Ascutney's mismanagement!  When CM installed the lift, the management budgeted not only for acquiring and installing the lift, but 4 new trails and  for Snowmaking and Lights on those trails.
    Honestly I kind of hate what Crotched did with the trails at the top of the Rocket.  3 Black runs and one overcrowded, scraped off blue with trail merges and a wide variety of skier abilities. 
    All they did (east to west) was:
    1. add a new trail: Jupiter Storm
    2. Extend Satellite Summit (similar pitch) to the new top.
    3. Add "Blastoff" from the new top to the old top
    4. Rerouted Moon Walk, but the steep section is the same.place it was before the expansion

    Basically, if you didn't like the configuration before the Rocket, you still won't like the new configuration.  If you liked the old configuration, your complaint makes no sense.
  • bobbutts said:

    NELSAP said:

    Ascutney putting in the HSQ instead of investing in better snowmaking/grooming.

    Jeremy

    I agree but would add, installing a high speed chair without the infrastructure to support it is like buying a house and not budgeting enough money to finish the kitchen (i.e. put in the snowmaking) or buying furniture (i.e. adding more ways to get off the landing area).

    They did have the grooming capability, but if they didn't use it at the HSQ summit, it was because there was not enough snow to groom without damaging the tiller.

    As someone who skis Ascutney's HSQ daily (i.e. the Rocket at CM), I am grateful for Ascutney's mismanagement!  When CM installed the lift, the management budgeted not only for acquiring and installing the lift, but 4 new trails and  for Snowmaking and Lights on those trails.
    Honestly I kind of hate what Crotched did with the trails at the top of the Rocket.  3 Black runs and one overcrowded, scraped off blue with trail merges and a wide variety of skier abilities. 
    All they did (east to west) was:
    1. add a new trail: Jupiter Storm
    2. Extend Satellite Summit (similar pitch) to the new top.
    3. Add "Blastoff" from the new top to the old top
    4. Rerouted Moon Walk, but the steep section is the same.place it was before the expansion

    Basically, if you didn't like the configuration before the Rocket, you still won't like the new configuration.  If you liked the old configuration, your complaint makes no sense.
    The configuration stinks for intermediate and lower skiers.   That section of moonwalk is one of the worst around.  Maybe chill out a bit too, you come off as a total jerk with that response.
  • Are we having a bad day, guys?
  • Maybe it gets skied off, but it's not bad one bit for steepness.
  • edited February 22

    Poles with booze inside of them-- 

    This is still very much a thing https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1911709018/whiski-polestm-the-worlds-most-adventurous-flask  So it doesn't meet the OP's requirements of "bad ideas that were tried/put into action and are no longer around."

    (Edit/note:  This quote is being attributed to me, but I didn't make it. Editing here is rough)
  • bobbutts said:

    bobbutts said:

    NELSAP said:

    Ascutney putting in the HSQ instead of investing in better snowmaking/grooming.

    Jeremy

    I agree but would add, installing a high speed chair without the infrastructure to support it is like buying a house and not budgeting enough money to finish the kitchen (i.e. put in the snowmaking) or buying furniture (i.e. adding more ways to get off the landing area).

    They did have the grooming capability, but if they didn't use it at the HSQ summit, it was because there was not enough snow to groom without damaging the tiller.

    As someone who skis Ascutney's HSQ daily (i.e. the Rocket at CM), I am grateful for Ascutney's mismanagement!  When CM installed the lift, the management budgeted not only for acquiring and installing the lift, but 4 new trails and  for Snowmaking and Lights on those trails.
    Honestly I kind of hate what Crotched did with the trails at the top of the Rocket.  3 Black runs and one overcrowded, scraped off blue with trail merges and a wide variety of skier abilities. 
    All they did (east to west) was:
    1. add a new trail: Jupiter Storm
    2. Extend Satellite Summit (similar pitch) to the new top.
    3. Add "Blastoff" from the new top to the old top
    4. Rerouted Moon Walk, but the steep section is the same.place it was before the expansion

    Basically, if you didn't like the configuration before the Rocket, you still won't like the new configuration.  If you liked the old configuration, your complaint makes no sense.
    The configuration stinks for intermediate and lower skiers.   That section of moonwalk is one of the worst around.  Maybe chill out a bit too, you come off as a total jerk with that response.
    That the configuration is difficult for intermediates and lower skiers is true.  There is a sign on the Rocket that says there is no Green Circle terrain off of the Rocket.  I suspect that if fewer Green Circle skiers went down Moonwalk, it probably wouldn't get scraped off so quickly, but I think it would still be problematic.

    Please tell me what was wrong with my response.  The section of Moonwalk that's problematic didn't change when the Rocket was installed.  By the way: It was problematic in the late 1980s too when it was Crotched West.
  • Poles with booze inside of them-- 

    This is still very much a thing https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1911709018/whiski-polestm-the-worlds-most-adventurous-flask  So it doesn't meet the OP's requirements of "bad ideas that were tried/put into action and are no longer around."

    (Edit/note:  This quote is being attributed to me, but I didn't make it. Editing here is rough)
    Let me know what the problem is.  As an admin, I can fix it for you or you can delete it and try again.
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  • How bout these binders?image
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  • ciscokid said:

    imageimageimage

    You were definitely a risk taker in your Youth, weren't you! lol
  • Plate bindings-- virtually every ski area I knew of used them for rentals. Had the boots already in the plates and just put them in the skis when the kids were fitted. A quick adjustment of the DIN settings and off they went! 

    What should be next-- a threat about good things in ski areas that unfortunately, died an early death? 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • edited February 23
    I don't think I was a big risk taker per se, I just didn't know any better. The guy at Denville ski and sport( boat dealer on Rt 46 Denville NJ) had size 13( biggest I could find at the time1978)and probably wanted to get rid of them and said to himself ," here comes a sucker". I remember going with my girlfriend and I had some kind of coupon ski book of some sort so in my mind the price was right. It think it was around $200 or so for boots, skis and bindings. Kniessel 195 formel mid. Used them all off and on until early '90s

    Gertsch bindings on my old old Kastles that split apart
  • I had Besser plate bindings for some years. Convenient but I had too many releases.
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