While the decline of large resorts makes the future of skiing in America somewhat foggy, it’s uplifting to see communities step in and combine their resources in an effort to keep their shred.
In The Media
January 2, 2014 - Maine Dispatch
By creating a portfolio of like-minded ski areas, we will reduce costs and increase efficiencies (and profits) at each Mountain Playground
December 29, 2013 - Skiing Past and Present
Instead of private ownership, the ski area operations will be owned by a community of skiers that will make decisions based on what is best for future generations.
December 5, 2013 - Bethel Citizen
New Mt. Abram General Manager Dave Scanlan met with Greenwood selectmen Tuesday and updated them on plans to involve the community in the ski area’s activities.
December 2, 2013 - Bethel Living
Passion and excitement are building at Mt Abram for the new season and the new direction.
November 28, 2013 - Casper Star Tribune
“The mom and pops are part of the communities,” Schectman said. “It’s important for the overall lifeline of the ski industry.”
November 28, 2013 - The Seward Phoenix Log
The Kenai Peninsula Borough requested the transfer of this site to the borough from the State of Alaska with designs on seeing the ski area re-established
November 17, 2013 - Maine Sunday Telegraph
Enter a couple of iconoclasts from the West, with a vision of an alliance between like-minded “sustainable mountain playgrounds” that would return Alpine skiing to its traditional roots while creating a new business model that might just be the wave of the future.
October 1, 2013 - Unofficial Alpine
In the coming year, MRA with be moving forward with a plan to convert the mountain into a community owned “Mountain Playground.” MRA means “mountain playground” in its truest sense. There are no plans for excessive condo development, ski up Starbucks, indoor waterparks or distant remote parking lots.
October 1, 2013 - Ski Area Management
The 560-acre ski area and MRA began working together during the 2011-12 season when members of MRA formed part of the management team last season. Looking ahead, MRA has outlined a road map to convert ownership into a community-owned mountain playground—a move embraced by Mt. Abram’s co-owners Rob Lally and Matt Hancock.
September 30, 2013 - First Tracks Online
We couldn’t be more pleased with MRA’s dedication to our mountain. We align with their values and look forward to a bright future
September 26, 2013 - The Bethel Citizen
As a lifelong, passionate skier, Dave’s attention to detail and dedication to the community will be a great fit for Mt. Abram
April 15, 2013 - Snow Brains
The technology is there for major ski resorts to start truly considering using solar, wind, micro-hydro, geothermal and/or biomass energies to fuel their resort’s energy needs.
April 15, 2013 - Outside Magazine
Real estate and theme park attractions will be replaced with ski areas that get back to focusing on what is important.
February 14, 2013 - WePowder Netherlands
Een cool project in Alaska. The Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project wil van Manitoba Mountain in Chugach National Forest een duurzaam skigebied maken.
February 13, 2013 - Mountain
Long before megacorporations took over the ski world, no-frills, community-owned mountains were the lifeblood of the sport.
February 3, 2013 - Portland Press Herald
It’s envisioned that the MRA will create a portfolio of small to mid-size ski areas that share the philosophy espoused by both that alliance and Mt. Abram
January 15, 2013 - Outside Magazine
MRA is a grassroots organization investing in “Mountain Playgrounds” owned and operated by locals
January 13, 2013 - jh12sports
They (MRA) are a voice and a spirit that is desperately needed in the ski industry
January 4, 2013 - WMTW ABC 11 Portland, Maine
Ski areas touting an emphasis on community and the environment
December 6, 2012 - Boston Globe
This year, Abram will be the first ski area in the country to team with Mountain Riders Alliance, a new organization whose long-term goal is to collectively market a network of member mountains where the focus is on quality skiing, affordability, and eco-friendly practices.
November 20, 2012 - Powder Magazine
Now, the pair are testing their combined hypothesis: that sustainability can save small and medium sized resorts, and that skiers will support those area.
October 31, 2012 - Inhabitat
MRA hopes to promote alternative business models for small and medium-sized resorts through this new partnership with the Brendle Group. They will develop specific plans and strategies for carbon-neutral, net-zero ski resorts.
October 28, 2012 - Think Progress
Keeping those smaller and mid-sized resorts economically viable is critical to the future of the industry, which has become top-heavy with oversized mega-resort companies, an economic model that has had sometimes disastrous consequences for other industries.
October 25, 2012 - Boulder I Journal
MRA has provided a great vision and template. They’ve shown that riders are very interesting in this model. We bring the engineering and business rigor to prove these pathways are possible … we’re really optimistic we can prove that based on our previous net-zero work.
October 24, 2012 - Transworld Snowboarding
By partnering with MRA, Brendle Group has the exciting opportunity to help advance MRA’s Mountain Playground vision while bringing our newest services in net zero water, ecosystems services, and sustainable economic development to the ski industry.
October 1, 2012 - Off Piste Magazine
These lifts would access the mellower lower pitches of Manitoba Mountain and would serve as a jumping off point to the extreme backcountry terrain for which the Chugach is famous.
September 7, 2012 - Sidecut
MRA is looking to build Mountain Playgrounds rather than resorts: skier-focused developments with minimal infrastructure and reasonable costs, built in partnership with local communities and with a mindful eye on environmental impacts.
September 6, 2012 - SnoCountry
A joint effort “to promote a cooperative business model” has been announced by Mt Abram, near Bethel, Maine, and the Mountain Rider’s Alliance.
September 4, 2012 - The Brave Ski Mom
Fed up with what they see as skiing’s “increasing costs and sense of exclusivity,” MRA seeks nothing less than to recreate the ski industry along more sustainable lines.
September 3, 2012 - Kim Kircher
Mountain Rider’s Alliance is trying to change the sport of skiing. More accurately, they’re trying to return the sport to its roots.
September 3, 2012 - Summit County Citizens Voice
So for the past few years, a grassroots group of visionaries has started to formulate an alternative economic model that may not only help ensure the future of skiing, but could serve as a blueprint for the broken system that still masquerades as free market capitalist but in reality has become a form of corporate totalitarianism.
August 30, 2012 - Teton Gravity Research
MRA believes the current corporate resort model – high on infrastructure, real estate, non-skiing amenities, and energy – is putting skiing out of reach for many people while creating an experience that is distant from the true ideals of snowsports and ultimately, unsustainable.
August 30, 2012 - The Bethel Citizen
Mt. Abram Ski Resort is joining with an international organization in a pilot project designed to give the resort’s skiing community more say in what happens at the resort
August 28, 2012 - The Ski Diva
Instead of hitching a ride with Marty McFly in a modified 1981 DeLorean, we’re moving ahead with an organization called Mountain Riders Alliance.
August 27, 2012 - Mountain Stoke
Supporting this mission is just the beginning. We’re building a replicative model to save what we love about skiing, and offer a new direction for ski areas around the world.
August 27, 2012 - Ski Area Management
Mt. Abram’s collaboration with MRA is about skiing, plain and simple: a thriving business model away from the commercialized, overpriced, factory outdoor experience at the mega-resorts.
August 27, 2012 - The Ski Channel
Teamed up with the MRA, Mt. Abram will not only be giving nature’s gift the respect it deserves, but be providing a better community for their fellow snow-lovers.
August 24, 2012 - Summit County Citizens Voice
Instead of top-down decision making to benefit corporate shareholders, grassroots involvement by skiers could help shape management decisions, ensuring that the area is run for the benefit of the skiers and riders.
August 23, 2012 - My Happy Path
$25 might not get you lunch at a mega-resort, but it will help create a future where ski areas are committed to having a positive social and environmental impact, as well as providing great skiing
August 23, 2012 - Adventure Journal
MRA to fund a ski area trust that would help resorts go greener, enable for-profits to convert to co-ops, and shake off some of the corporate hegemony that so thoroughly grips the sport.
August 23, 2012 - Powder Magazine
MRA plans to add approximately five more ski hills to their Mountain Playground partnership in the next five to seven years, focusing on “Ski areas under performing with upside potential, on-site renewable energy potential, an engaged community and a large enough population base to make the project viable”
August 23, 2012 - Ski The East
Represents the first partnership with an existing ski area for the MRA, which was founded in 2009
August 23, 2012 - Skiing Business
Mountain Rider’s Alliance has partnered with Mt. Abram to promote a cooperative business model and convert Maine’s authentic ski area into an MRA Mountain Playground
August 10, 2012 - Utah Backcountry Skiing
Ski “resorts” have bastardized the sport, MRA is taking it back for the people who love it most
May 7, 2012 - Ski the East
The ski industry is 3 billion dollars annual business and we believe that there is a segment of the ski population who will gravitate towards our business model of focusing on the ski experience.
May 3, 2012 - Lake Tahoe Skiing Blog
We are most stoked about is that just beyond the proposed ski area boundary is straight up, slam banging, down to the nitty gritty big mountain backcountry terrain.
May 3, 2012 - Alaska Dispatch
The Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project aims to construct three surface lifts that offer access to some 10,000 acres of “legendary Chugach terrain”
May 1, 2012 - KTVA CBS 11 Anchorage, Alaska
Mountain as playground: that’s how many Alaskans see the Chugach.
April 17, 2012 - Capitol Public Radio's Marketplace
Schectman says the lack of competition has made lift tickets more expensive.
March 27, 2012 - The Ski Diva
We want the sport to refocus on the ski experience.
March 20, 2012 - Skiing Business
But the biggest problem I see is that often the decision makers aren’t passionate skiers. They’re worried about making the big corporation more money.
January 24, 2012 - Moonshine Ink
Mountain Rider’s Alliance mountains would change the current ski resort model by taking the priority off of selling lift tickets and passes by selling memberships in each ski area it owns.
December 30, 2011 - Ski Magazine
Think heli-skiing without the heli.
December 24, 2011 - KGO 810AM, San Francisco
Rich Walcoff and Jamie Schectman discuss ski industry sustainability and the current state of the Tahoe Ski industry. (Interview starts at minute 27)
December 19, 2011 - Mountain Magazine
In a trend that extends beyond the holiday season, gear makers are partnering with philanthropies to promote causes close to the hearts of owners and employees.
December 18, 2011 - Tahoe Today
In the 1980′s and 90′s ski areas got out of the uphill transportation business and got into the resort business
December 17, 2011 - SnoPresence
10 Reasons Why You’ve Just Got To Buy The Mountain Riders Alliance Limited Edition Ski; Powered By SkiLogic »
They have an epic design and only 500 will be sold so you will have the opportunity to ride some kick a** boards, be the envy of all your snow riding buddies, and have a great conversation piece on the lift and during those backcounty dayz.
December 14, 2011 - Mountain Stoke
in the 80′s and 90′s, ski areas got out of the uphill transportation business and got into the resort development, and culinary, and out-of-boot experiences. So that was kind of the motivation for us to say ‘well, did you know there’s another way? Let’s focus on the community, and environment and being rider centric’, and with that the Mountain Riders Alliance was born.
December 13, 2011 - SnoPresence
To partner with local, national and international non profits to make the world a better place.
December 12, 2011 - Peninsula Clarion
MRA is working with a class at Alaska Pacific University to help shape the outdoor education offerings. The group hopes to offer avalanche training and wilderness survival courses, and also introduce kids to safe outdoor recreation.
November 29, 2011 - Slope Fillers
I’m not pretending to have the answers, but what I find fascinating is the debate from both sides and what that is teaching me about how skiers think. One such movement that is picking up a lot of steam in the industry is Mountain Rider’s Alliance.
November 22, 2011 - Radio Kenai
We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the local communities.
November 22, 2011 - The Ski Channel
These limited editoin MRA skis really do it all as they help the environment and give back to the community while still being exceptionally functional, unique, and artsy.
November 21, 2011 - Skiing Magazine
Ski areas by the people, for the people? Mountain Rider’s Alliance shoots for just that.
November 16, 2011 - Climate Solutions
It is an exciting time to be skier or snowboarder; witnessing the much needed movement that MRA is generating to challenge current resort practices places skiers in a revolutionary era.
November 15, 2011 - Homeboy Ski Blog
So are you ready to show all those on the mountain that it is time to take skiing back to its roots?
November 9, 2011 - Triple Pundit
Each step along the way, social media played a pivotal role in building the MRA brand, as well as defining, refining and delivering their message.
November 3, 2011 - Anchorage Press
MRA project manager Dave Scanlan emphasizes that Manitoba is going to be a ski area, not a ski resort. I like that. Somewhere along the way, resort skiing started being more about luxury and less about skiing, and somewhere along the way people like me stopped being able to afford resort skiing, too.
November 2, 2011 - The Virginia Skier
Inspired by MRA’s flagship project, Manitoba Mountain, located in Alaska, the one-of-a-kind top sheet design showcases the beauty of the terrain while giving homage to the sun, rivers, and natural environment.
November 2, 2011 - First Tracks Online Ski Magazine
Breckenridge-based boutique ski maker Skilogik is producing a limited edition Mountain Rider’s Alliance graphic on its entire lineup to bring attention to Mountain Riders Alliance’s (MRA) principles of community values, environmental respect and minimal ski area infrastructure.
October 31, 2011 - Mountain Magazine
Our model reduces the carbon footprint, sells memberships, and has advisory councils to keep the management in check.
October 29, 2011 - Freeride Sweden
Som social marketing director på SKILOGIK är jag stolt över att kunna meddela att vi precis inlett ett samarbete med Mountain Rider’s Alliance – en grupp riktigt grymma människor som jobbar hårt för vår favoritisports framtid i en bransch, där alltför många alltför ofta struntar i miljön.
October 28, 2011 - Teton Gravity Research
The Mountain Rider’s Alliance has partnered with Skilogik to produce a custom, limited-edition ski graphic for the 2011-12 winter season. A portion of the proceeds will go to the MRA and MRA’s new nonprofit partner, the Native American Olympic Team Foundation.
October 27, 2011 - Powder Magazine
Skiers around the globe can now show support for a future in skiing that is based on community values, environmental respect and access to exciting terrain with minimal infrastructure by purchasing this limited edition Mountain Rider’s Alliance Skilogik custom graphic ski, now available on Skilogik’s entire lineup.
October 20, 2011 - 12 Sports Online
We want to try and prop up and promote and support all the local businesses as much as possible.
October 18, 2011 - Powder Magazine
People are finding that there’s a cleansing and refreshing nature when they go back to these minimalist areas”
October 10, 2011 - Teton Gravity Research
Think Silverton Mountain with heli-quality AK terrain, accessible for about $40 a day. The fact that Chugach Powder Guides sought out an exploratory permit for an area an hour and a half skin from Manitoba validates the potential of the terrain here.
October 8, 2011 - Mountain Magazine
NSAA President Michael Berry says the MRA plan could work. “The industry was founded on that model and there is no reason why it can’t be replicated.”
September 27, 2011 - Outside
Welcome to the cold revolution. The first generation of new era hot shots, initially out for a sick thrill, is looking for meaning, and they’re finding it primarily in the struggle to solve climate change.
September 22, 2011 - New York Ski Blog
There would be a real ski village, one where everyone lives, works, shops and plays. It would create its own energy on-site and not be dependent on the grid, but instead serve as a provider of energy for the surrounding communities.
August 26, 2011 - Freeride Sweden
För de som tycker att framtidens skidåkning är nåt att bry sig om rekommenderar jag Mountain Rider’s Alliance och Home.
June 12, 2011 - Joe Turner's Life and Times
Listen as renowned photojournalist Tom Winter gives us his two cents on the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project in the Kenai Range in Alaska.
June 11, 2011 - Kim Kircher's Blog
Mountain Riders Alliance is moving forward on its plan to reopen Manitoba Mountain, a ski area on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula that closed down in 1960. MRA, according to its website, wants to make a “positive change in the ski industry.
June 6, 2011 - Adventure Journal
And on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula in the Chugach Range, the Mountain Rider’s Alliance is helping spur talk of the revival of Manitoba Mountain, a small ski area that ended operations in the 1960s.
June 2, 2011 - First Tracks Online Ski Magazine
While the group touts that the resort’s three surface lifts “will access 10,000 acres of legendary Chugach terrain,” that figure includes all terrain accessible within a two-hour hike from the lifts.
May 30, 2011 - Push.ca
No it’s not that Manitoba…. it’s in Alaska and it’s going to be a new ski area of a different breed. A ski area focused on working with the local communities, saving energy and keeping it as natural as possible.
May 30, 2011 - Summit County Citizens Voice
According to the MRA website, the Manitoba project embodies a new philosophy of ski area development based on core skiing and community values, including a collaborative operating partnership with local businesses to increase job opportunities.
May 26, 2011 - Ski Area Management
The Project is noteworthy because it looks to develop a minimalistic ski area that utilizes clean energy, promotes winter outdoor recreation, and increases economic stability and regional employment opportunities in the area.
May 26, 2011 - Seward City News
Three surface lifts will access 10,000 acres of legendary Chugach terrain. Renewable energy options including micro-hydro and wind are being evaluated.
May 25, 2011 - Unofficial Networks
On the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska the Mountain Riders Alliance is working to rebuild Manitoba Mountain, a minimalist ski area that was last opened in 1960.
May 16, 2011 - Joe Turner's Life and Times
Manitoba Mountain provides a great launching off point to your classic Chugach lines.
May 6, 2011 - Sunshine Village Watch
MRA is the only ski industry model currently proposed that is compatible with the Parks Canada mandate.
April 13, 2011 - KSRM Radio Group
The Mountain Riders Alliance is continuing to look for public input about their proposed Manitoba Ski Development.
March 20, 2011 - 2nd Green Revolution
The increasing environmental concerns among the skiing community led directly to a new vision of how a ski area can operate: the Mountain Rider’s Alliance, made up of industry veterans and passionate recreational skiers, aims to open and operate a ski area that, among other sustainable practices, will be a net producer of electricity.
March 7, 2011 - The Virginia Skier
The project aims to incorporate wind, solar and micro hydro power to make the ski area sustainable and allow for all profits to be put back into the mountain experience.
March 7, 2011 - Turnagain Times
With the help of Mountain Rider’s Alliance, [Local ski enthusiast Dave Scanlan] hopes to resurrect the historical Manitoba Ski Area and in the process, infuse some economic activity in the tri-community areas of Hope, Moose Pass, and Cooper Landing.
March 5, 2011 - Snow Bomb Blog
Mountain Riders Alliance, a different approach to guiding Snowsports into the future…and perhaps saving it.
March 3, 2011 - Boulder Weekly
Community ownership and involvement would ensure that they remained focused on core values and benefited the surrounding towns.
March 2, 2011 - ESPN Action Sports
Guide companies will be able to operate out of the ski area, as will private concessionaires like food service companies. ‘We don’t need to run everything, and we want to create opportunities for the locals to have their own businesses,’ says Schectman.
February 17, 2011 - Turnagain Times
The Manitoba Ski Area is designed to bring outdoor education, physical activities, social camaraderie, and economic stability to the East district of the Kenai Peninsula through the development of downhill skiing, community based ecotourism, and outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the entire year.
February 16, 2011 - First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine
Environmentally Sensitive Group Attempting to Revive Lift-Served Skiing on Alaska’s Manitoba Mountain »
‘One of the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project’s primary goals is to bring economic stability to the communities of Hope, Sunrise, Moose Pass, and Cooper Landing by creating a centrally located destination to create local jobs and foster additional private sector economic activity by redeveloping the downhill, and Nordic ski opportunities in the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor,’ states Scanlan.
November 4, 2010 - ESPN
‘Our priority will be to have a copious and safe snowpack, large amounts of expert-level terrain with a wilderness experience, and easy access,’ Schectman says. ‘We think if we do this once [run a ski area with MRA's unique ideals] and show it to be a refreshing, viable model, we’ll be able to duplicate it throughout the world.’
September 30, 2010 - Boulder Weekly
Jamie Schectman aims to change the way ski areas are run, one chairlift at a time
September 29, 2010 - First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine
MRA members point to failed ski resorts built on real estate schemes, like Idaho’s Tamarack Resort, to prove their point. Rising lift ticket costs, negative impacts on ski communities and the environment, and the desire to combat climate change have all led Schectman to found the group, which he describes as ‘a movement of snow enthusiasts who are dedicated to changing the ways ski areas are run.’
September 17, 2010 - Fernie.com
Managed by people (and corporations) more interested in short-term profit than long-term viability, mountain resorts across the world are fast approaching the tipping point.
September 16, 2010 - HomeBoySki
Mountain Rider’s Alliance believes the great ski and snowboard community can make a change.
September 3, 2010 - Summit County Citizens Voice
The Mountain Rider’s Alliance wants to develop sustainable ski-energy centers.
August 27, 2010 - Terrace Daily Online
By pooling together our money, us snow lovers can have our own ski area to enjoy…one that is based on values, not turning a quick profit!