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MRA and Mt. Abram Officially Bromantic
Words by Alex Kaufman
In a statement released today, the Mountain Rider's Alliance (MRA) has announced that they and Mt. Abram in Maine are totally down with one another. Details of the relationship are limited at this time, but it does represent the first partnership with an existing ski area for the MRA, which was founded in 2009 and is also busy in Alaska reviving Manitoba Mountain on the Kenai. It's also their first foray into the eastern ski market. The full press release is below. There is also a newly announced fundraising campaign.
Mountain Rider’s Alliance Announces Partnership with Maine’s Mt. Abram
Mt. Abram Aligns with MRA to Launch Crowdfunding Campaign in Support of a Sustainable Ski Industry
JACKSON, WY – August 23, 2012. Mountain Rider’s Alliance (MRA) has partnered with Mt. Abram to promote a cooperative business model and convert Maine’s authentic ski area into an MRA Mountain Playground. The joint effort aims to boost regional visitation, increase sustainability awareness, and create a business model for other community-oriented ski areas worldwide.
MRA is dedicated to creating and supporting a sustainable ski industry model, which focuses on keeping environmental, community, and rider concerns ahead of short-sighted decision making. This partnership with Mt. Abram represents MRA’s first conversion of an existing ski area. Mt. Abram will remain open to the public without significant changes to its operating plan. As part of this partnership, membership shares will be available via MRA, which will offer a variety of benefits and privileges, reciprocation at other Mountain Playgrounds, as well as allow for elections to represent membership in dialog with ski area management.
“We started this movement in 2009,” said MRA co-founder Jamie Schectman. “Since then, we’ve seen thousands of passionate folks around the world support the preservation of our sport. It’s about the local communities, generating our own energy, reducing our carbon footprint, and most importantly sliding downhill on snow. With Mt. Abram’s dedication to the community and environment, we couldn’t ask for a better partner. 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.”
Mt. Abram is a 560-acre privately owned and operated ski area that recently won the 2012 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence by the National Ski Areas Association. Mt. Abram is located 90 minutes from Portland, Maine, and offers 1,150 feet of vertical drop, affordable access, and an alternatively laid-back vibe to nearby mega-resorts. Mt. Abram is owned and operated by Maine businessman and recent Maine Sports Hall of Fame inductee Matt Hancock.
“Mt. Abram’s greatness doesn’t have to be restricted to Maine,” said Hancock. “There are a number of other independent ski areas that would fit well into this model. 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.”
About Mountain Rider’s Alliance: Mountain Rider’s Alliance (www.MountainRidersAlliance.com) is a group of like-minded people dedicated to making a positive change in the ski area industry. The mission of MRA is to develop values-based, environmentally friendly, rider-centric Mountain Playgrounds that encourage alternative energy creation while reducing their 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).
MRA has recently launched “Support the Future of Skiing”, skiers and riders who wish to support this crowdfunding campaign are invited to visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/SupportTheFutureOfSkiing.