Monday, September 7, 2009

Ischgl, Austria features singer Katy Perry to start ski season

20,000 expected for concert

Austrian ski resort Ischgl announced last week that a Nov. 28 concert by pop star Katy Perry will highlight the opening weekend of the 2009-10 ski season. The ski lifts are scheduled to open on Friday, Nov. 27. The Saturday concert is expected to draw about 20,000 fans.

Singer Katy Perry
Photo: Ischgl

Known for high-profile concerts to begin and end each ski season, Ischgl has brought in performers such as Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Diana Ross and Sting for past events. While last season's opening concert featured Leona Lewis and Gabriella Cilmi, Kylie Minogue closed out the 2008-09 Ischgl season on May 2 with a daytime show on the mountain.

Born in California, the 24-year-old Perry is known for her hits "I Kissed a Girl" and "Thinking of You." A one-day ski pass for Nov. 28 costs 55 euros ($78). Entry to the concert is free with a ski pass.

Click here for video and slideshow from spring 2009 concert

Renowned for its apres-ski scene, Ischgl (pronounced Ish-gull) offers plenty of on-snow entertainment as well. Skiers at this massive area can even cross the border into the Samnaun area in Switzerland. By European standards, the resort is known for its high altitude and dependable snowfall.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Killington sells $50 lift tickets

Each skier can buy four K50 tickets

Vermont's Killington Resort announced a new advance purchase lift-ticket program Tuesday that allows a visitor to buy up to four tickets for only $50 each. The K50 tickets are for sale solely online on the resort's website.

K50 tickets are valid for any day of the 2009-10 season except for 17 blackout days corresponding to major holiday periods: Nov. 27-28, 2009; Dec. 26-31, 2009; Jan. 16-17, 2010; and Feb. 13-19, 2010.

Only the purchaser with a valid photo ID may pick up K50 tickets on the day they are to be used at any open ticket window.

Killington plans to run the special until the specially priced ticket allotment is sold out or Oct. 15, 2009, at the latest. The usual single-day lift ticket price for the upcoming season is $77 for Sunday through Friday and $82 for Saturdays and holiday periods. The Blackout Pass, a season-pass with the same blackout dates as the K50 tickets, runs $699.

Killington is the largest ski resort in eastern North America with 1,215 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 3,050 feet. In addition to 250 inches of natural snowfall, the resort's extensive snowmaking system allows for one of the longest ski seasons in the East.

(Photo credit: Killington Resort)

12 top colleges for skiers

While recent college graduates have been known to take a "ski-bum year" before entering the real world, the right college choice in the beginning could satisfy the skiing bug enough to feel OK about jumping into a career right out of school. Then again, it might turn skiing into a career path.

Schools close to excellent skiing range from large, state public universities to small, private liberal-arts colleges.

Some of the institutions below even offer courses of study tailored to work in the ski industry.



Dartmouth College

Hanover, N.H.

An Ivy League reputation and its own ski area make Dartmouth a choice for smart skiers. Considering the high admissions standards, make that really smart skiers. A shuttle bus runs between the campus and Dartmouth Skiway, a small ski area with a 968-foot vertical rise. Much larger Killington Resort is just an hour drive across the border in Vermont.

Middlebury College

Middlebury, Vt

Along with Dartmouth, Middlebury College is the other school in the Northeast with its own ski area. The prestigious liberal-arts school owns Middlebury College Snow Bowl, an area with 110 acres of skiable terrain. A pair of classic Vermont resorts, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, are also about an hour away by car.

University of Vermont

Burlington, Vt.

Considered one of the nation’s top state universities, the University of Vermont is located within close proximity of a host of Vermont ski resorts: Smugglers’ Notch, Stowe, Mad River Glen and Sugarbush.

Williams College

Williamstown, Mass.

Williams College, the second oldest college in Massachusetts, has about 2,000 undergraduate students. A historic rivalry with Amherst College and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort about 20 minutes away keep those students entertained.


Fort Lewis College

Durango, Colo.

Fort Lewis College actually offers a multi-disciplinary minor called Mountain Studies. Students can “study” the mountains on skis at nearby Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

Montana State University

Bozeman, Mont.

With an enrollment of about 10,500 undergraduates, Montana State draws one-third of its students from out-of-state. Bridger Bowl, 16 miles from campus, and Big Sky Resort, 45 miles away, could be a couple of reasons for the attraction.

University of Colorado

Boulder, Colo.

Located in the quintessential funky college town, the University of Colorado seems to be slipping in the national party-school rankings, much to the delight of administrators. Perhaps the students are spending less time at keg parties and more time skiing at nearby Eldora Mountain Resort.

University of Nevada, Reno

Reno, Nev.

A fantastic home base for the world-class ski resorts surrounding Lake Tahoe, the University of Nevada, Reno is located a few blocks north of downtown Reno. The comprehensive state university of more than 16,000 students dates back to 1874.

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

The University of Utah traditionally fields strong collegiate ski racing teams. The renowned resorts surrounding Salt Lake City give the racers and recreational skiing students plenty of places to practice. The school’s 28,000 students—including 21,500 undergrads-- make it the state’s largest university. As Utah’s flagship public university, 85 percent of the student body comes from in-state.

Weber State University

Ogden, Utah

While Weber State’s administration does not have to worry about showing up on any party-school rankings, the 20,800 undergraduates do have nearby Snowbasin Resort and Powder Mountain as worthy distractions from studying. Even more than the University of Utah, public Weber State draws from in-state with only 7 percent of the students arriving from outside Utah.

Western State College of Colorado

Gunnison, Colo.

For students looking for a career in the ski industry, the Outdoor Leadership and Resort Management major at Western could be just the ticket. The program can even include an emphasis on Ski and Resort Management. Nearby Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Monarch Mountain offer real-world opportunities.

Westminster College

Salt Lake City, Utah

Westminster College offers a “study-abroad alternative” that is not shy about promoting the area’s ski resorts for students willing to visit for a semester. The brochure boasts that “you’ll even make the ski bums jealous.” In addition to the visiting students, about 2,000 undergrads attend the private, liberal-arts school. Complete with a hangar at the Salt Lake City International Airport, Westminster’s aviation program goes beyond the typical liberal-arts fare.

(Photo courtesy of Westminster College)