The Future of Skiing According to Mountain Riders Alliance


Mountain Riders Alliance is trying to change the sport of skiing. More accurately, they’re trying to return the sport to its roots. They want less emphasis on real estate villages and expensive lift systems and more focus on skiing. Their goal is to provide just enough uphill transportation to keep the sport viable, but not so much that it inundates the environment. I like where they are coming from. I had the pleasure of meeting founders Dave, Jamie and Pete last season when they came to Crystal. We skied, talked about the future of the industry and shared beers at the Elk. These guys get it. They have signed terms sheet to purchase Mt. Abrams and the steep Manitoba Mountain in Alaska is coming on line; these like-minded souls are poised to shine some serious light on the ski industry.

It is, or should be anyways, first and foremost about the skiing. Everything else is gravy. Below is MRA’s plea for support in followers, donations and schwag buyers. Click on the logo below to be taken to their site with more info. These guys deserve a look.

The ski industry has been taken over by Big Business.

Conglomerates and private equity firms with no connection to local communities have bought up ski areas large and small, while many community-based mountains have closed. Lift ticket prices have gone through the roof, making snow sports inaccessible for many. Urban sprawl in our mountain towns is degrading the natural environment while a select few make a large profit.

We want to offer an alternative!

Who We Are

Mountain Rider’s Alliance is a group of passionate snow enthusiasts dedicated to making a positive change in the ski industry by supporting mountain communities and being more sensitive to the environment. We want to bring the triple bottom line of people, planet, then profit to the ski industry. We believe riding is more than a sport, but rather a way of life.

MRA is creating or converting values-based, environmentally friendly, rider-centric Mountain Playgrounds around the world. Our model will help local businesses prosper, create renewable energy and offer an authentic skiing experience.

MRA Triple Bottom Line Business Model

MRA’s Triple Bottom Line Business Model


Why Should You Support MRA?

You love community.

You want ski areas to support their local economies and preserve the individual character of ski towns. You want skiers to have a voice in how their ski areas operates. You want your ski area to partner with non profits to make the world a better place.

You love the environment.

You want ski areas to reduce their fossil fuel dependence, harness renewable energy techniques and lower their footprint. You love snow and the mountains, and want them preserved for future generations.

You love skiing. 

You are not concerned about time-shares, out-of-boot amenities, or overpriced lift tickets. You want affordable uphill transportation with the emphasis on skiing and riding.

Matt Reardon at Manitoba Mountain, Alaska

Matt Reardon on Manitoba Mountain, Alaska

What Do We Need?

Our grassroots organization has been bootstrapping for over two years. We have made an enormous amount of progress without any operating capital. Recently, the first round of seed investors has contributed to support our global vision. Now we are now seeking additional funds to move forward from concept to reality.

Two ski areas are ready to become the world’s first Mountain Playgrounds, with many more to follow. You can make that happen.

How Can You Help?

Donate: Your contributions will have a direct impact on moving our plans forward and, more importantly, support the sustainable future of skiing and riding.

Represent: Wear your MRA attire with pride and spread the good word!

Share: Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Meet the Leadership Team

Director of Finance and Development Pete Blanchard graduated from Duke with honors, worked a stint on Wall Street, and recently received his masters in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School. His ability to speak in “financial talk” is a key piece of the team. As a long-time member of the pro leisure tour, Buddy Pete’s gifted ability to put the team’s ideas on paper makes him our three-time returning MVP.

Project Manager Dave Scanlan is a jack of many trades. Over the years he has been known as Tele Dave, No Poles Dave, Bumping Dave, Hippie Dave, and Tie-Dye Dave. As chairman of his local Land Use Advisory Planning Commission on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, Dave’s ability to eloquently discuss the finer details is top notch. His work ethic and attention to detail are in a league of their own. He would like nothing more than to create more cool places to ski.

CEO Jamie Schectman has been around the block a time or two. He is the guy who keeps everything organized and everyone moving forward. He comes from an entrepreneurial background and isn’t afraid to try new things by challenging the status quo. As a self-proclaimed change agent and global ski bum, “Shecky’s” ultimate goal is to create the job of product tester at MRA Mountain Playgrounds around the world.

MRA has over 50 active team members from 6 different countries contributing to our grassroots organization, and has recruited an imressive group of advisory board members, bringing a diverse wealth of knowledge to our collaboration.

14 responses »

    • I was thoroughly impressed with Crystal’s operations. The ski area is run by a passionate skier, and it is reflected on the mountain.

      I also thought the new Northway fixed grip double was awesome and makes perfect sense.

  1. I like the concept, but in reality how many resorts are going to change their business model to reduce prices?
    good luck to all of you in this adventure, I will be following along!

    • The ski industry has many niches. I like the MRA concept in that it provides something new by returning to the skiing first. In my opinion that’s the best way to run a ski business anyways. Create and develop good skiing and they will come.

      • Kim,
        I agree with you about returning to skiing first, however, it still needs to be made affordable, especially in this economy. The only way I was able to afford skiing was because I was an instructor (at Olympia Ski School at Crystal btw). I do understand the need for ski areas to be profitable, but how can it be made profitable while providing affordability? Good discussion, thanks. PS, I haven’t heard, how is your hubby doing?


        • Brian,
          John is doing great. He’s happy and healthy and living large. Thanks for asking. I hear you about making skiing affordable. Since John bought Crystal the cost of a new lift has tripled. Fuel cost has quintupled. And construction prices are through the roof. That’s just in the last 15 years. Compared to other areas throughout the nation, our prices are very competitive. There aren’t many other areas that you can ski for 61$/day (which is the price this year at CM if you reload online). But I’m probably preaching to the choir here, aren’t I?

        • Kim

          Since we are talking price here ($61 at CM w/ many HS chairs that cost millions), what would be your best guess at the daily price at Manatoba Mt. when they open w/just rope tows? They will be 1 to 1.5 hrs. past Aleyeska on snow covered roads for skiers from Anchorage.

  2. Pingback: MRA Exceeds Crowdfunding Campaign » MRA Blog

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