Business briefs: Snowsports sales still strong |

Business briefs: Snowsports sales still strong

Daily Staff ReportsVail, CO, Colorado

AVON The Vail Valley and other resort communities were put in a bind when word came last September that the federal H2B visa extension program had expired and not been renewed. To address this issue and provide information to local businesses about what can be done now, the Vail Valley Partnership is offering a class from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 4 at the Edwards Ambulance District classroom. The class will include information on how to get visa employees in time for this upcoming summer, a review of the current J-1 and H2B visa programs, deadlines and preparation for recruiting. This program is free to local businesses, but seating is limited. To learn more, call Cameron Lowe, 477-4001.

AVON The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain is now accepting reservations. Scheduled to open in August, introductory rates start at $119 per night and early ski season rates start at $250 per night. The $500 million condo hotel development is the first luxury resort in Colorado to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) certification. Green programs include the use of roof tiles made from recycled tires, guest recycling stations on every floor and preferred parking for hybrids.The hotel has 210 residences ranging in size from studios to three-bedrooms, and amenities include the 23,000 square foot Spa Anjali and the Center for Wellness, the Watermark restaurant by chef Thomas Salamunovich and 4,000 square feet of meeting space.Reservations can be made by calling 866-949-1616 or online at

AVON The Vail Valley Partnership recently rolled out a new VailOnSale Web site, The new site debuted after a nearly year-long process that began when the Partnership selected Cubic, a creative agency based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as its new technology services vendor to build, host, and maintain an improved Web was created in 2000 as a source for last-minute lodging reservations in the Vail Valley. Ownership of the domain name was the source of a dispute between the Patnership and its original Web host. The dispute ultimately led to the shutdown of the VailOnSale website on Thursday, March 6.The Partnership took immediate steps to inform its lodging partners of the situation and the site transfer to The site is no longer controlled by or affiliated with the Partnership, and any lodging bookings after March 6 through the site are not linked to the data and inventory lists assembled and contributed by the Partnerships lodging vendors. The Partnership will continue to monitor the site. For more information, e-mail Chris Romer at or call 477-4016.

MCLEAN, Va. The Snowsports Industry America recently reported that this seasons sales have hit $2.35 billion in sales so far this season. That represents growth of approximately 13 percent over the same period last season. The subprime mortgage crisis, the falling value of the dollar, increasing prices for consumer goods, and the high price of petroleum have hit the economy very hard but when the snow is good nothing will keep people off the slopes, said Kelly Davis, Director of Research for SnowSports Industries America, a not-for-profit industry trade group that represents manufacturers and distributors of snow sports products. So far this season, all snow sports sales channels are reporting growth in both unit and dollar sales. Specialty shops already have sold $460 million in equipment, $10 million more than sales at the same time last season. Internet sales are growing dramatically, with increases of more than 43 percent in units and 48 percent in dollars over last season. Highlights of the most recent report include: Sales of womens equipment, apparel and accessories reached $675 million at the end of January, surpassing last seasons total by $85 million. Adult twin tip skis are the hottest selling type of ski on the market. Sales of twin tip skis are up 60 percent in units and 62 percent in dollars compared to last season. About 500,000 new helmets have been sold so far this season. By seasons end, sales growth in helmets could be as high as 20 percent in units and in dollars; Sales growth exceeded 15 percent for softshell parkas with sales exceeding 450,000 units. Snowshoes sales are up nearly 20 percent over last season, and Nordic equipment sales have grown more than 30 percent.For more information, e-mail Alicia Allen at

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