The small ski area gives Vail more access to skiers and riders in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas.
Vail Resorts announced that it swallowed up another Midwestern ski area, acquiring Wilmot Mountain, 65 miles north of Chicago.
”We plan to offer our Chicago and Milwaukee guests new season pass offerings that will provide the chance to experience the best skiing and snowboarding locally and in the West and will use our best-in-class technology to create more sophisticated channels of communication with everyone who skis at Wilmot,” Rob Katz, Vail Resorts’ chairman, says in a statement.
Whistler Village, as recently as the mid-1980s, was a black-bear-infested dump. But that didn’t prevent it from being one of North America’s first replicas of a European ski village.
No fear. Sure, it was a cheesy clothing brand in the ’90s, but it sums up Whistler in two simple words. It began with its founders, who hacked for days through coastal rainforest and swamp just to get to the bottom of a 6,000-foot behemoth, and endured unto Intrawest, which brilliantly predicted that high-speed lifts to the top of snow-pummeled peaks would, in the end, let them sell opulent timber-frame weekend chalets for millions a pop.
CB is everything that makes a ski town rad, from locally owned restaurants and shops to coffeehouses filled with people who live for adventure.
I was at an eighth-birthday party this spring for the son of a friend I moved to Crested Butte with 15 years ago. The kids all played soccer while the “adults” drank PBR in the shadow of Crested Butte Mountain. Rowan, the birthday boy, approached the picnic table and asked his mom, “Can I open my presents?” One of the gifts was a Magic 8 Ball, a classic toy that’s been around since 1950. He unpackaged the 8 Ball with a throng of kids surrounding him. Then Rowan asked with heartfelt sincerity, “Will I be a pro skier?” He shook the ball.
Once the first chairlift started spinning in 1972, Telluride became the ultimate ski town. And that’s one reason we love it.
Back in the day, Telluride produced over $60 million of gold, silver, zinc, copper, and lead. Though the last gold was extracted decades ago, it seems wherever you go in Telluride, mining still gets in your face. Riding the gondola, one can scan east to west from the ginormous, treacherously toxic tailings pile to the pickax-stuffed museum in town. Me, I’m over the mining heritage. In the end, it’s just a bunch of rusted metal.
There may not be another community in the mountains that so deftly does the destination jujitsu of combining the thrill of outdoor athletics with the buzz of a booming urban environment.
(Photo: Jeff Cricco)
Pete Seibert, a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, needed $1 million or so in 1961 to build his life’s vision of the ultimate ski resort. He put together a package for investors: $10,000 got you shares in the unbuilt resort and four lifetime season passes for the family.