Linking Turns: Powder’s new owner, the future of Taos and skijoring in MN

Midwest Ski Journal likes to highlight a few pieces of skiing internet worth your time in Linking Turns. Find the best, most important, least important and otherwise links here each week. 

This week MSJ gets in the weeds with a media acquisition affecting our favorite magazine. Then, we check out a profile of one of our country’s most alluring ski areas before looking at a wild ski ride in southeast Minnesota.

TURN 1: American Media Acquires 14 Adventure-Sports Media Brands From TEN: Publishing (Tony Silber/Forbes)

When you live and ski in the Midwest, you often lean on living vicariously through your favorite publications, films and websites (MSJ included, of course).

For this reason, we are taking a look at a media acquisition that could change the way we read about our favorite sport.

According to this Forbes report, Ten: Publishing, which owns and operates Adventure Sports Network (i.e. Powder Magazine and Snowboarder Magazine among others) was sold to American Media late last month.

An issue of Powder Magazine from 2018. (Powder Magazine)

As this paragraph shows, Powder Magazine is no stranger to ownership changes either.

The Adventure Sports Network brands have moved from company to company over the years, having been part of Times Mirror Magazines, then Time 4 Media, and most recently part of TEN, the former Source Interlink Media, which sold a majority stake to Discovery Communications  in August 2017. ASN itself rebranded from the TEN Sports & Entertainment Group in January 2018. “ASN has built a portfolio of the most enduring brands in the adventure-sports media landscape,” said Norb Garrett, president of ASN, in the statement. “Under AMI’s leadership, we will continue to grow our multi-platform reach across digital, social, print, and experiential events.”

Tony Silber/Forbes

What remains to be seen is if any substantive changes will be made to our favorite magazine. Rumor has it that the historic ski publication may be reduced to four issues per year from the six it currently puts out. So, go subscribe so that doesn’t happen!

TURN 2: Taos Had History and Mystique, but Few Skiers. Can a New Owner Change That? (Biddle Duke/New York Times)

As a media nerd, I love the fact that both Forbes and the New York Times made it into this week’s Linking Turns.

This story, from the paper of record itself, highlights Taos Ski Valley in northern New Mexico and its shift to new ownership.

Taos is a bucket list ski area for me and its allure is only magnified by this portrait of the place. The story talks about how the new owners want to change everything while also preserving the southwestern vibe and commitment to pure skiing that makes Taos special.

So, when the financier and conservationist Louis Bacon purchased Taos Ski Valley from the Blakes five years ago, he set out both to turn the business around with $300 million in on-mountain and base-area investments, and win over undecided, possessive locals. Or, as Taos chief executive David Norden put it, “make this a sustainable business without messing with the magic.”

Biddle Duke/New York Times

The story also touches on the deadly avalanche that killed a Minnesotan last month and the business fallout of such an incident.

Overall, it’s a snapshot of a ski area that is dealing with some unique challenges and tackling them in creative ways.

TURN 3: Minnesota Amish Shreds The Gnar Behind Horse and Buggy (Unofficial Networks)

Now for some fun.

This weekend is the annual skijoring event at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, where skiers are towed by galloping horses over jumps, rails and other obstacles.

Skijoring is so uniquely Midwestern. Using a horse to create enough speed to pop some air or arc some turns is only a necessity when it’s this flat.

This video from the fine folks at Unofficial Networks shows a man skijoring behind an Amish horse and buggy in Harmony, Minnesota in the southeast corner of the state.

Most remarkable about the footage is his speed. Those horses are hauling! If you’ve ever driven along rural roads like that, you know they are littered with obstacles that come up quickly. That’s a thigh-burning ride, for sure.

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