Thursday, December 16, 2010

New ski resort Eagle Point opens in Utah

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Eagle Point Grand Opening                       Video: Ski Utah

Eagle Point, a ski area near Beaver, Utah, opened Wednesday for the 2010-11 season. The area is built on the former Elk Meadows ski area that closed in 2002. The property was sold in an auction last year. With the opening of Eagle Point, Utah has a second resort in the southern part of the state to go along with Brian Head Resort. Utah has 14 resorts overall that are now all open for the season.

Since the closing of Elk Meadows, a few other previous attempts to reopen the resort failed to materialize. One of the failed plans involved creating a private club similar to the Yellowstone Club in Wyoming that has also since closed. Eagle Point, however, is completely open to the public. Lift tickets are $45 for adults and $32 for children (ages 7-17) and seniors (ages 65 and over).

Eagle Point has more than 400 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 1,400 feet. The resort is located about 3.5 hours from both Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Former NFL QB Bledsoe ventures into boutique ski business

The Montana Ski Company just began its first season of selling custom and semi-custom handmade skis from its headquarters of Whitefish, Mont. The company actually started last year thanks to venture capital from Bledsoe Capital Group (BCG), founded by former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Bledsoe. 

Montana Ski Company is based in Whitefish, Mont.
                                            Photo: Montana Ski Company
"This is a company that has an exciting mission, making high-quality skis and snowboards while having a positive impact on the environment and people who use its products. That's what really got us involved," said Bledsoe, an avid skier and part-time resident of Whitefish. 

Coming out of Washington State University, Bledsoe went to the New England Patriots as the top overall pick in the 1993 draft. Now 38, he officially retired from the NFL in 2007.

The company is the brainchild of two Whitefish locals, Zak Anderson, a race coach at Whitefish Mountain Resort, and Chad Wold, an attorney and partner at BCG. For this season, Montana Ski Company has four handmade base models that cost $599. The base models can be tweeked to create semi-custom skis for $799. Full custom skis may be designed for $1,295. The skis may be ordered through the Montana Ski Company website. For every pair of skis sold this Christmas season, the company has pledged to donate a set of adaptive skis to a disabled veteran through Vets-Help.org.