Will Mountain Riders Alliance Save The Future Of Skiing?
By Ryan Dunfee | August 30th, 2012
The Mountain Riders' Alliance, whose various efforts to launch their organization’s campaign for more affordable, authentic, and sustainable “Mountain Playgrounds” we’ve reported on at TetonGravity.com, has recently launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for administrative fees and business development funds for the general organization, as well as application fees for their Manitoba Mountain project on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Their campaign has raised $3,000 of its $10,000 goal with 11 days left in the campaign, and has a variety of perks available for donors.
The MRA recently made headlines by partnering with Maine’s Mt. Abram, which they believe will provide a blueprint for how the organization’s Mountain Playground model will work. The small Maine hill has a laid-back atmosphere, limited infrastructure, and has placed a priority on affordability and sustainability. Adult weekend day tickets are only $49 — $30 cheaper than down the street at Sunday River, which is owned and operated by Boyne Resorts. And Mt. Abram recently received the Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence in the Small Resort category for their commitment to sustainability, having implemented a low energy snowmaking system, a wood pellet boiler for their base lodge, and is anticipating construction of a one-acre solar project that would make them the first ski area in the country to produce more energy than they consume. MRA hopes to share best practices with Mt. Abram and showcase the ski area as a living example of their working philosophy.
MRA’s campaign is named “Support the Future of Skiing,” as the organization believes view 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. Besides the anti-corporate idealism, the Mountain Riders’ Alliance believes there is a real market for their vision both in the hardcore and casual skiing communities, but need funding help for initial legal, accounting, and security registration fees for their LLC, cash to develop their MRA membership model, and money to pay for land use and lease permit applications for their Manitoba Mountain project, which has the potential to offer access to 10,000 acres of Alaskan big-mountain skiing after the construction of three surface lifts.
Skiers and snowboarders who believe in MRA’s mission are encouraged to visit the fundraiser website at www.indiegogo.com/SupportTheFutureOfSkiing. Donor levels from a $10 “Groomed” donation with a thank-you shout-out on MRA’s Twitter to a $2,500 “Bottomless” donation that will provide the donor with an unlimited lifetime season pass to all current and future Mountain Playgrounds, an MRA t-shirt ski strap, and sticker set. The fundraiser ends on midnight, Sunday Sept. 9.
For more, visit www.mountainridersalliance.com
The site of Manatoba Mountain is shown above. Read more about the project and see more photos here.
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