Ski Expo delivers a hit record
Perfect storm brings big crowd
Last weekend, the Boston Ski Expo celebrated its 30th anniversary with record attendance - up 10 percent to 45,000 visitors in the 3 1/2-day run at the World Trade Center.
According to Christine Donovan, representing BIWI Productions, which produces the Expo, “All the stars were aligned for us this year. We were coming off a great snow year, and we had a great response from exhibitors. People are excited to go skiing.’’
Donovan added that the two retailers that took over when Ski Market dropped out three years ago - East Coast Alpine and Eastern Boarders - also reported brisk sales.
“They both had to bring in more [replacement stock] on Sunday because the business was so strong,’’ she said.
Accident kills Pierre
While he never appeared in the Olympics or World Cup skiing, Jamie Pierre’s image was known to millions of viewers of extreme back country boarding video, footage that included wild free-falls down mountain chutes and cliffs.
Doing what he loved best, Pierre was killed last weekend by an avalanche he and a friend triggered as they snowboarded in the high country of Snowbird Utah.
Like most high-altitude ski country, Snowbird usually does avalanche control, but the area had not yet opened for the season, and following a major storm the conditions were termed hazardous. The avalanche carried Pierre hundreds of feet off a cliff in the South Chute area.
At 38, Pierre had appeared in several films, most depicting extreme action in Utah’s back country. Five years ago, he set a world record cliff jump of 255 feet.
Another indication that helmets for skiers and snowboarders have become the norm: The Aspen Ski Company last week announced that helmets are now mandatory for all its employees - instructors and ski patrollers - while on snow. The company also has made strong recommendations that all skiers and boarders at its resort wear helmets.
ASC becomes the first ski company to make such a hard rule, but it follows a 2002 rule making helmets mandatory for children enrolled in its classes.
“The safety of our employees and guests is our top priority,’’ said Mike Kaplan, CEO of Aspen Ski Company. “The new helmet takes our commitment to safety to the next level.’’