Frank beat me to the punch on this one since I was waiting for my sources to confirm the truth that Burton has dropped a few more riders. Looks like Trouble, Heikki, Freddie, and Tadashi got pink slips and will be looking for some new sponsors, well maybe not Trouble. My guess is he can finally concentrate even more on his mediocre musical career and getting drunk. Heikki I wouldn’t be surprised to see pop up over on Yes with the powerhouse they have. Could Freddie be swooned by Volcom? Tadashi will just quit snowboarding to become a beni-hanna chef with Travis Parker in Texas of all places.
Looks like Forum gave Travis Kennedy the boot and he’s getting some flow from Technine. Probably a better choice for his image anyways.
Word on the street in Summit County is Vail Resorts is eyeing up Copper to be their next acquisition. Last month Bill Jensen had this to say, “The reality is, in this global economic challenge, that we have to take every step to survive. We’re looking at all the options to reduce our debt.” When you’re in the billions for debt you will sell something. “Copper is not one we want to sell,” Jensen continued. “There are some assets that are core to our business … But we’re exploring all the options.” If there’s a need to sell it doesn’t matter if you want to sell.
I was talking with some friends that work under the Vail Resorts umbrella and with the cuts that they are seeing enforced and the rumblings that are going around, word is Vail is getting ready to make a big purchase. The fact they aren’t operating in debt and have substantial capital is another good sign. Copper makes perfect sense, it would give them three resorts in Summit County and a perfect edition to the already established Epic Pass. Unlike other areas Vail has bought, the base area wouldn’t have to be renovated plus retail and condo space is established. There is land to expand further if need be, parking is ample, and it does boast the new Woodward training facility and summer camp.
The idea of Vail owning Copper appeals to me as Copper is a pretty sick mountain, good parks lay out, and great snowfall. I’d love to have this on my Epic Pass.
Back in March a little blurb popped up on the Flow Blog about Vans discontinuing their snow division. This is what they had to say:
I have a friend that rides for Vans and rumor had it that they were going to call it quits with their whole snowboarding line, that means everything. No more Sick Team, no more Boots, no more Clothes, nothing. I can not say if this is true or false but my friend is a pretty dam good snowboarder and real soon he will be sponsor less.
At the time I put this more as a jilted rider who was either getting dropped, forced to take a pay cut, or just upset with his sponsor. This past week a friend of mine in New Zealand that works in the industry told me that his rep informed him that they were discontinuing the outerwear line down there. Now this could be a mere coincidence, it could just be the demand wasn’t high enough so the distributor decided not to bring it down, or they really could be slowly cutting the line out.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense though for Vans to come out this season with all the collaborations it’s doing, then pull the plug. Let alone they have been in the snowboard footwear game for years and do make a consistent product. Their team is definitely killer as well. Could this just be some ploy by VF Corp. to pull back their cover of interest?
Anyone else got any juicy tidbits floating around?