Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mountain Rider’s Alliance Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Promote Sustainable Ski Areas


Following over two years of collaborative efforts, Mountain Rider’s Alliance has launched a crowdfunding campaign, “Support the Future of Skiing”, through Indiegogo to raise awareness and increase capital in exchange for donor benefits. All proceeds will go towards promoting the development of this new business venture, including administrative and legal costs, application fees, and registering security documents.

Mt. Abram, Maine, is slated to be MRA’s first conversion project, and will serve as the blueprint for other existing ski areas looking for a positive change in ownership. Recently awarded the 2012 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence, Mt. Abram prides itself as Maine’s Authentic Skiing and Riding Experience. 



“There are a number of independent ski areas that would fit well into this model. Many of them have been struggling or forced into closure in recent years. That doesn’t have to be the case,” said Matt Hancock, Mt. Abram’s owner and operator. “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. Mt Abram's niche – soulfulness, great terrain, skier-centricity, and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends – is what attracts people to the sport. MRA was founded to instill and promote these same characteristics in an industry that is moving away from what we love about skiing.”

Additionally, Manitoba Mountain, located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, will be MRA’s flagship ski area development. MRA is in the process of developing a simple, community-focused ski area that provides direct access to world-class terrain. Clean energy creation, increased local economic opportunities, and affordable winter sports will form a new template for ski areas worldwide. 

“The North American ski industry is estimated at $3 billion annually,” stated MRA co-founder Jamie Schectman. “We believe there is a large segment of the ski population whose needs are currently being met: ski areas focused on the ski experience, community empowerment, and being environmentally sensitive. We’re moving full steam ahead to prove to the ski industry that doing good is good for business. $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.”

MRA was founded in 2010 by a group of passionate snow enthusiasts in response to the corporatization of skiing. MRA has attracted a dedicated following of skiers and snowboarders who identify with a more holistic version of ski area operation, rather than excessive real estate development, environmental degradation, and short-sighted, profit-first mentality. MRA intends to create and convert existing ski areas around the world, implementing its triple bottom line strategies. 

About Mountain Rider's Alliance:
Mountain Rider’s Alliance (http://www.MountainRidersAlliance.com) is a group of like-minded people dedicated to making a positive change in the ski area industry. The mission of Mountain Rider’s Alliance is to develop values-based, environmentally friendly, rider-centric Mountain Playgrounds that encourage alternative energy creation while reducing our carbon footprint. It is MRA’s priority to develop sustainable Mountain Playgrounds that offer an authentic riding experience, help the environment thrive, and promote prosperity in our local ski towns. In addition to Mt. Abram, MRA has entered into the permitting process to restore Manitoba Mountain, a ski area that last operated in 1960 on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Manitoba Mountain would offer terrain for all ability levels via three surface lifts and access to 10,000 acres of world-class terrain (www.skimanitobamountain.com).

All media inquiries, please contact Jamie Schectman of Mountain Riders Alliance at shecky@mountainridersalliance.com.
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