Starting in 2016, Jonathan Wiesel has acted as a resource for USA Today each fall to select the Top 10 cross-country ski resorts in North America. In 2017 and 2018, he spearheaded the project, including finding experts to select resorts and developing publicity strategies for nominated areas.
On the Snow
Guidebooks come and go. They are generally as reliable as yesterday’s newspapers because, by the time it finds its way into your favorite bookstore or onto one of the online behemoths, it can be woefully out-of-date.
Jonathan Wiesel, arguably America’s best raconteur of skinny skiing, has placed the newest version of his classic Cross-Country Ski Getaways: A Guide To Great Resorts, Lodges, and Groomed Trails in North America online.
Ski Area Management
Cross-country and multi-use trails can add value to real estate—and we can prove it.
Cross-country skiing has always had a complex reputation. Too simple or excessively technical, granola or Lycra, boring or terrifying without metal edges. As a business, it’s been accused of being a small black hole; as one alpine GM once said, “A cross-country skier is a kid who heads into the woods on Friday and comes out on Sunday without changing either his underwear or his $5 bill.”
Encouraging golf course winter operations
- Beginning in September, 2018, NGI in collaboration with SE Group initiated a multi-year project to work with golf courses throughout the U.S. and Canada. The primary goal is to create a new generation of viable cross-country ski areas, with groomed trails, multiple types of recreation and income streams, services, and in some cases snowmaking and lighting. Related consulting includes feasibility studies as well as development of turn-key operations. First step has been to identify existing courses with groomed trails (more than 200), which was completed in February, 2019.
- NGI is offering a $500 commission for each referral of a golf course that becomes an NGI client.
SAM article on CCSAA
- In its November, 2018, issue, Ski Area Management published a feature article by Jonathan Wiesel on Cross Country Ski Areas Association. Titled “CCSAA Moves Into The Future,” this article discusses the organization’s vital contributions to the Nordic industry (liability insurance policy, U.S. Forest Service permits, signage system, member education, and more), as well as how the association is vigorously evolving under new Executive Director Reese Brown.
New ski area clients receive CCSAA membership as part of consulting package
- NGI continues to offer new ski business clients a year of Green Level membership in Cross Country Ski Areas Association. Over the years, a significant number of operations in the U.S. and Canada have taken advantage of this program.
Potential clients receive free consulting time
- NGI offers 1/2 hour of free consulting to possible clients. These include existing and potential winter businesses such as golf courses, guest ranches, real estate projects, public lands agencies, four-season resorts, equipment suppliers, and grooming and snowmaking companies.
Jonathan Wiesel joins CCSAA Board
- In June, 2018, Jonathan Wiesel was elected to the Cross Country Ski Areas Association’s Board of Directors. More accurately, it’s a re-election, since he was voted onto the Board when the organization was founded in 1977 and held that position through 2002.
Jonathan Wiesel writing studies for CCSAA
- Jonathan Wiesel has been chosen to write an extensive series of studies of the Nordic ski business for members of the Cross Country Ski Areas Association
Jonathan Wiesel joins Trax editorial staff
- Benjamin Sadavoy, publisher of SkiTrax magazine, designated Jonathan Wiesel as a contributor to the magazine. He has particular responsibility for destination coverage.
NGI forms alliance with SE Group
- Nordic Group International formed a strategic alliance with SE Group, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in the planning, design, and development of mountain and resort communities throughout the world.
- NGI/SE Group’s complementary skills will concentrate initially on winter operations as a way to increase revenue for golf courses in snowbelt/snowmaking areas.
- The team’s goals include helping golf courses optimize profitability, staff retention, community service, and real estate sales. Services include feasibility studies, financial modeling, facility/trail design, and marketing.
NGI’s Jonathan Wiesel writes winter article for Golf Course Management
- Nordic Group International’s Jonathan Wiesel authored an article on the pros and cons of winter operations for golf courses. The article appeared in the July, 2009, issue of Golf Course Management.
NGI selected to lead Master Plan for major Newfoundland ski club
- NGI was selected as lead consultant to develop a Master Plan for upgrades at Blow Me Down Cross Country Ski Park. The venue is in Corner Brook, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Associated consultants are SE Group (Vermont office) and SD Architects (New Hampshire).
- The project calls for assessment of existing trails, facilities, and programs; design of a new lodge; and recommendations for conversion into a multi-season operation.
Jonathan Wiesel interviewed by Mountain News Industry Report
- NGI’s Jonathan Wiesel offered his solutions to the cross-country ski world’s financial issues in an article and interview on the Mountain News Industry Report. The article was based on Wiesel’s thoughts on areas as diverse as women’s markets, operational trends, climate, the economy, equipment sales, and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
NGI leads trails team at Greylock Glen project in Massachusetts
- The NGI-led trails team for the Greylock Glen Outdoor and Recreation Center project in Adams, Massachusetts assumed additional project responsibility – in this case, for all trails and infrastructure within the “hub” activity zone. NGI was contracted to design trails, terrain gardens, snowmaking, lighting and trails center features for this development area.
- Trail construction for Phase 1 is expected began summer, 2009. NGI assisted in choosing a contractor for this work and was retained to supervise construction.
Praise for Cross-Country Ski Getaways
- Jonathan Wiesel’s e-book, Cross-Country Ski Getaways, was called “the best cross country guide ever written” in a review in www.onthesnow.com.
NGI completes evaluations at $44 million Greylock Glen project
- NGI completed initial evaluations of bridging specifications, stream and wetlands crossings, and dog trail needs for the $44-million Greylock Glen Outdoor and Recreation Center project in Adams, Massachusetts.
NGI returns to Lab City for final trail routing
- Nordic Group International was invited back to Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador, for final routing of new trails at the Menihek Nordic Ski Club. At the request of Iron Ore Company of Canada, they were also asked to facilitate a Winter Recreation Vision Workshop in Labrador City. Invitees included recreation groups, government agencies, local businesses, tourism entities, and other community stakeholders.
NGI principals give leading presentations at cross-country meetings
- Nordic Group International delivered major presentations at Cross Country Ski Areas Association’s convention at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado. Topics covered environmental sustainability in developing and marketing trails and facilities, and the benefits and structure of marketing plans for any size cross-country operation. Presentations were selected by participants as some of the most useful and relevant presentations in three intensive days of meetings.
NGI carries out preliminary trail re-routing in Labrador City
- NGI successfully carried out preliminary re-routing of trails at Menihek Nordic Ski Club in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador. NGI also discussed the benefits of state-of-the-art multi-season trails and associated facilities with local stakeholders. Funding was provided by the Iron Ore Company of Canada.
NGI completes Nordic trails study for Moonlight Basin, MT
- Nordic Group International completed a detailed Nordic trails study for Moonlight Basin, a major four-season resort in Montana.
NGI completes feasibility study for major area in Steamboat Springs, CO
- NGI completed a feasibility study for a world-class Nordic ski area and multi-season Trails Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
NGI quoted in four publications on benefits of environmentally friendly trails
- NGI’s principals were quoted in publications including Spokane Business Catalyst, crosscountryskier.com, skitrax.com, and xcskiworld.com on how environmentally friendly trails can help developers, resorts, and municipalities.
NGI facilitates guest ranch meetings
- NGI facilitated multi-day meetings between the owner and the lease-holder at Wind River Ranch in Estes Park, Colorado, to define relations and establish growth priorities.
NGI creates marketing plan for Methow Valley Sport Trails Association, WA
- NGI completed a multi-year marketing plan for the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association in Winthrop, Washington.
NGI produces market studies for cross-country areas and guest ranches
- NGI produced marketing studies on how cross-country ski areas and guest ranches can benefit from news releases, media tours, and photo libraries.