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Glencoe and Glenshee go into receivership [update]

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Given the appallingly bad luck (serial bad luck) of the Scottish ski areas with snow, it's hardly surprising that Glencoe and Glenshee have now gone from a state of 'for sale' to 'in receivership'.

This report from the BBC.

I assume this now reduces the cost of the ski areas to prospective buyers. Glencoe, which is a little jewel of skiing and was the first place in Scotland to get a chairlift, really must be saved. Its location, scenery and intimacy are really special. As far as I know its land ownership remains in the hands of the Fleming (Bond 007) family, and it will be interesting to know if they take a benevolent attitude.

Glenshee is more problematic on a strategic level, as I understand it from local sources, but has historically attracted more punters, partly because of its more open terrain.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 14-07-04 14:13; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bad luck............that's nature isn't it??

Sorry I don't understand why it should be saved. It it doesn't have the snow, so it doesn't have a skiing business and so it can't generate revenue (unless it diversifies???)..........why save somewhere that you used to be able to ski in but can't now.

sorry there's no old romantic in me NehNeh
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Anyone know how much they're going for?
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Dan. Perfectly fair points. What's being discussed is Scottish skiing operating on more of a 'club' basis, like some of the New Zealand fields. I think Glencoe operated this winter on a part-voluntary basis, and I have to say I found the people extremely friendly and welcoming when I was up in February. They had snow, but not nearly enough of it.

Who knows if even a run of snowless winters can turn into a run of snowy ones. It would be a pity to see the lifts go to the breakers' yards at this juncture.

WTFH. Once we know who the receivers are, let's make them Snowheads members. I'm sure they'll be up for an online auction. What would you pay for Glencoe?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I think we'd need to look at a business plan.
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I'd still love to do some skiing in Scottyland one day, but it's cheaper to go to Europe from Brighton. Ok there are cheap flights available to get there but booking last minute as you need to do with the conditions as they have been for the past few years, means paying top prices.

Hopefully the snow will return one day...........and i'll get to experience the hairdryer wind/snow experience Puzzled
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Dan wrote:
Bad luck............that's nature isn't it??

Sorry I don't understand why it should be saved. It it doesn't have the snow, so it doesn't have a skiing business and so it can't generate revenue (unless it diversifies???)..........why save somewhere that you used to be able to ski in but can't now.

sorry there's no old romantic in me NehNeh


Perhaps if there wasn't so much misinformed comment about the state of Scottish skiing then some places might not be in such bad shape.

Glencoe holds it's snow very well and contrary to popular belief had a decent amount of snow over the season. It may have some problems (old lift system, incompetent management, not much in the way of accomodation close by). However it has good snow holding and it is the closest resort for people in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. If run properly Glencoe could be fantastic.

However Glenshee has much bigger problems. Firstly it is too big. Secondly all it's lifts are surface lifts, which means that even when there is snow higher up you can't get to it because the lower level tracks aren't complete. Thirdly it has the same incompetent management as Glencoe. At least when Nevis and Cairngorm diversified they looked to do so in a way that would at least use some of the winter sports infrastructure. Glenshee built a golf course. The same management which had Glencoe shut through the week when it had snow and had Glenshee open when you couldn't reach the snow that was there. Glenshee will not survive in it's present form. Whether it survives at all is open to debate.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dan, Take a look at these pictures
http://www.winterhighland.com/glencoe/pics_17_jan_04.php
Unfortunatly the nature of Scottish skiing is such that the snow can come and go over the course of the season. It can be amazing, and then poor or vice versa in the space of a couple of weeks.
Scotlands problems lie not specifically in lack of snow, but poor management and marketing.
When there is decent snow nobody knows about it...
I do take your point about being on the south coast though.
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And there is a tendency to group all the Scottish resorts together. Bad conditions in one means bad conditions in them all. (but strangely enough, never the other way around - as Lager and markP suggest: bad marketing).
In fact, the conditons in the resorts can be very different.
A few years back friends who have a cottage near Aviemore did not get one days skiing in over New Year, while I had a couple of great days at Glenshee.
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Lager, well if that's the image I get (and it is common throughout the friends I have down here that slide be it sk=ers or snowboarders) then they don't do a very good job of publising/marketing themselves to potential users. Ok I may be on the south coast but I only hear of the odd day here and there that would HAVE been suitable, to me I need some sort of consistency so that I can justify the expense. The UK is generally more expensive than Europe and I can't take a week off for the possiblity of snow in Scottyland. Where as I can go to Geneva, Turin, Toulouse etc and go where the snow is.

markP, Yeah i've seen the guys postings so far this year on various snow forums before and they have been fantastic this year, great photos, the guy deserves a lot of praise and credit. May be posting on forums such as this is the way forward, it's the best free advertising you can get as it's straight to potenital customers doorsteps, and a way to communicate to the wider snow users audience???

Anyone any idea of when the best say month in the year is to keep a weekends free, so that I can plan an experience scotish sliding conditions? May be next year........ snowHead I'll start praying now!!!
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Im gutted! I went to Uni up here because everyone said I could get to the snow in 2hrs ( yet to be attempted with my 899cc engine) and now its going to shut!

Everytime I wanted to go this year and the snow was good it was shut - only opening at the weekend was ridiculous. Now i'll have to do the 3hr+ drive to Nevis Sad
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Well If I can drive 6.5 hours from Manchester I'm sure you could make the effort Wink
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
markP, you can give me a lift then ! NehNeh
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'll give you a shout next year. I hear its going to be a good winter... Wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dan wrote:
Lager, well if that's the image I get (and it is common throughout the friends I have down here that slide be it sk=ers or snowboarders) then they don't do a very good job of publising/marketing themselves to potential users. Ok I may be on the south coast but I only hear of the odd day here and there that would HAVE been suitable, to me I need some sort of consistency so that I can justify the expense. The UK is generally more expensive than Europe and I can't take a week off for the possiblity of snow in Scottyland. Where as I can go to Geneva, Turin, Toulouse etc and go where the snow is.



To be fair I don't really think there is much of a market for Scottish winter sports in the south. As you say it's probably easier to go to the Alps from the south than it is to go to Scotland. The main market for Scottish winter sports is probably in Scotland and the North of England. The trouble is if something is repeated often enough then people believe it. Unfortunately there is now a widely held belief that it never snows in Scotland anymore.

It's a perception though that the winter sports areas seem to have given up trying to fight though. But with the exception of last year, which was an incredibly bad season the snow has been there. The snowfall this year was OK, could have been one of the best had it stayed cool for a couple of days after heavy falls. 2002 was a good year, indeed I remember travelling to Courchevel and hearing a report that the best skiing/boarding in Europe was in Scotland. When I arrived in Courchevel most of the runs were brown. Yet people don't say it doesn't snow in the Alps anymore. Then you have 2001 which was even better than that, with just about every run in Scotland open at one point.

So all in all in the last 4 years there has been 1 great season, 1 good season, an average season and a rubbish season. In other words the reality is that while there is the chance of being unlucky with conditions, the vast majority of the time you'll have a good day in the Scottish mountains.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with a passion about skiing to become involved in the running of a ski centre. There is a great opportunity here for Scots to run their own club fields.

Unfortunately for those of you living in the South of England I'm afraid you'll miss out. Scottish skiing on a good day is without doubt some of the finest skiing Ive ever had anywhere. The atmosphere and challenging conditions make for memorable days, long after entire Alpine holidays have been forgotten. Its the same difference as Mediterranean beach holidays versus UK beach holidays. One has guaranteed sun and the other has guaranteed fun.

Despite a poor year there have still been some great days at all the centres this year. In 2001 the conditions in Scotland were reported by the Good Ski Guide to be the best in the northern hemishere.

So if you can, I reccommend that you try some proper skiing in your own country.

Indeed there is still skiable snow in Scotland with more snow likely next week. Here are some pictures taken at Glencoe last saturday.

www.highland-instinct.co.uk/winterpictures/1may2004glencoe.htm
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Peter S wrote:
Indeed there is still skiable snow in Scotland with more snow likely next week. Here are some pictures taken at Glencoe last saturday.

www.highland-instinct.co.uk/winterpictures/1may2004glencoe.htm


Only because the definition of skiable snow appears to differ from the generally accepted definition in Europe.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
ise, Stop raining on the parade! We cant all live in Switzerland you know! ANd considering what a poor season its been in the scottish ski resorts, people up here are very excited if there is skiable snow left in may!
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
ise, Stop raining on the parade! We cant all live in Switzerland you know!


only you could, or Germany, or France, or Italy, or Austria or anywhere in the world you want. Life's something to be lived not endured with a fortnight a year off for good behaviour Very Happy
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Oh really?
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I like it here thanks very much- its great and far exceeds everywhere else in the world! (in my opinion).


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 7-05-04 15:56; edited 1 time in total
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
I like it here thanks very much. Switzerland, Germany and Austria would be hell


which is fine obviously, but in that case you're going to have to put up with people laughing at skiing on 3 foot wide strips of snow Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
People may laugh but I bet not many of them can do it.

The steepest and hardest Alpine runs are good training for the real event .....in the Highlands. Laughing
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Exactly.
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Peter S wrote:
People may laugh but I bet not many of them can do it.

The steepest and hardest Alpine runs are good training for the real event .....in the Highlands. Laughing


I'll bet you I can Very Happy

Not an original quote of course, can you recall the source of that? I can't for the life of me remember who said it and the exact words, something like "the Alpes are good training for Scotland in winter" and if I had to guess it was someone like Don Whillans or Hamish Macinnes.
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The most memorable (and craziest) day of ski touring I’ve had was in Scotland, East of Kingussie.
We climbed up on skins on a thin surface of icy snow peppered with stones showing through, in a cloud or fog so thick you could only see 6 or 7 yards ahead. Since only one person knew the area and had a map this was scary. If you fell behind the leader you were lost.
In addition we were climbing in such a wind that one of the party was blown over 3 times, once the slope necessitated kick-turns on steeper slopes. She decided to turn back, along with someone else.
When we got to a narrow flat at the top we found a sheltered spot on the edge of a sheer drop down to Loch Einich below, just back from the windward edge, where the wind was hitting the cliff and being forced up vertically.
We walked about a mile along the ridge, getting brief, vertigenous glimpses of the loch and valley on our right as the swirling cloud parted for a moment.
Finally we stopped by a small peak to eat and the sun came out in the valley we had come from, revealing good, settled snow, which we then skied down, following the last narrow band of snow down a gulley till it stopped and then restarted, and finally stopped.
Then we walked down boggy, heathery slopes about half a mile in our ski-boots, following a stream, and finally down a long, unsurfaced forestry-road for another 2 miles till we hit the valley and the others who had driven to meet us.

PS I assume people have seen the photos Kit put on the Nevis thread


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Wed 1-12-04 16:19; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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Could a sale be imminent?

http://news.scotsman.com/inverness.cfm?id=634122004
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3775059.stm

Quote:
THE Glencoe ski centre could have a new owner within days, after a preferred bidder emerged yesterday.

Glencoe Mountain Resort Ltd is set to take over from the Glenshee Chairlift company, which was forced to call in receivers last month.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Another update on this story from BBC Online this morning (see 2nd story on page).

It seems that bids for Glenshee close on 25 June. Further news on the prospective new owners of Glencoe is awaited.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
A little more info from KPMG themselves...

http://www.accountancyage.com/News/1137438
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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ise wrote:
Peter S wrote:
People may laugh but I bet not many of them can do it.

The steepest and hardest Alpine runs are good training for the real event .....in the Highlands. Laughing



Not an original quote of course, can you recall the source of that? I can't for the life of me remember who said it and the exact words, something like "the Alpes are good training for Scotland in winter".


The mountains above Glenshee, so small compared with the Alps presented some real difficulties. I quickly found some slopes that were both very steep and very icy. The wind and cold sometimes made them worse than you'd find at home. Derick Brakeman, head of the Glenshee ski school watched me training. Perhaps he thought I wasn't such a bad skier after all?" - Sylvain Saudan: Skier of the Impossible
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 Poster: A snowHead
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The forthcoming owner of Glencoe, Neil Tait, talked in the Glasgow Herald on Saturday of his plans to turn the mountain into more of a year-round resource:

"The new company, Glencoe Mountain Resort, will follow in the footsteps of Cairngorm and Aonach Mor in developing summer facilities to support Scotland's increasingly precarious ski season.

Mr [Neil Tait], managing director of Glencoe Mountain Resort, said: "Glencoe is in a perfect geographic area for visitors - we've got a very busy road, we're just an hour-and-a-half from Glasgow and we're on the West Highland Way."

The rest of the article is pay-to-view, on their website.
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Results of the bidding (closing date for bids yesterday) will not be known for at least a week.....

http://news.scotsman.com/inverness.cfm?id=731792004
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The endgame for the takeover of Glenshee seems to be nearing. To quote this latest BBC report "Receivers KPMG have confirmed that it could now be sold to a team led by the resort's operations manager, Graham McCabe, by the end of the month."
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The prospective new owners of Glenshee, a six-strong management team led by Graham McCabe, are planning increased snowmaking and replacements of surface lifts with chairlifts.

Their business plan also allows for the mountain to break even with 30,000 skier days per annum, rather than the present 50,000.

This report from The Herald.
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I'm not 100pc sure how they think that extra investment will help. More snow-making facilities is all well and good, but you need the colder temperatures for it to be effective. As far as I'm aware, the amount of precipitation is not the problem, but the fact it falls as rain and not snow. I hope I'm wrong though, I enjoy my jaunts north of the border!
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tough crowd wrote:
I'm not 100pc sure how they think that extra investment will help. More snow-making facilities is all well and good, but you need the colder temperatures for it to be effective. As far as I'm aware, the amount of precipitation is not the problem, but the fact it falls as rain and not snow. I hope I'm wrong though, I enjoy my jaunts north of the border!


That wasn't the problem this year. There was plenty of snow, but on at least two occasions, as soon as it stopped the wind swung round to the south west and the temperature shot up. Thus since the snow hadn't had time to consolidate it melted in double quick time.

It's good to hear that they plan to replace some of the surface lifts at Glenshee with chairs. The biggest problem with Glenshee this year was that you couldn't get to where the snow was. The lower runs had very little snow all winter so they couldn't run the drags to take people higher.
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Yes. Chasing the snow to its upper niches seems to be the way of the snow world. On Cairngorm the latest plans are to relocate some of the lower drag lifts to the Ptarmigan bowl. The problem there isn't access, because the new funicular provides it, but lack of capacity on the bit of the mountain that nearly always has snow.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Lager, yes I do remember now about the warm weather coming up from the south west, but surely this is a sign of things to come as weather patterns become more unstable. Experts predict warmer, wetter winters for the future. I fear the days of skiing trips to Scotland are numbered... Crying or Very sad
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tough crowd wrote:
Lager, yes I do remember now about the warm weather coming up from the south west, but surely this is a sign of things to come as weather patterns become more unstable. Experts predict warmer, wetter winters for the future. I fear the days of skiing trips to Scotland are numbered... Crying or Very sad


Some experts may do, however other experts are far more optimistic. We'll have to wait and see how this season pans out I suppose.
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I was up Ben Nevis at the weekend, and impressed to see a good amount of snow still lying in corries towards the top. On the road up I saw a snaking line of pylons set back maybe half a mile from the road, heading over a ridge. Was that Glenshee?
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