“World Surf League Releases 2023 Schedule: Surf Ranch, Trestles Return” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

“World Surf League Releases 2023 Schedule: Surf Ranch, Trestles Return” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

Will Filipe defend his title? The schedule would seem to support a repeat run for the Brazilian. Photo: Pat Nolan//World Surf League With the 2022 season freshly minted, the World Surf League wasted little time in releasing its 2023 schedule. Highlights? The Surf Ranch returns, as does Trestles as the WSL Finals location. But judging by the recent fan reaction to Lowers as an end-of-year-championship venue, there’s sure to be blowback. Last season’s end-all party to 2021 was an anomaly at Lowers: big swell and offshore Santa Ana winds made for dreamy conditions for the Finals – the ideal scenario. The League bet on Lowers again in 2022, hoping for similar conditions within its early September window. But those dream conditions failed to return and normal Lower Trestles ensued: good size, glassy in the morning followed by an afternoon wind that shut the waves down with less-than-stellar championship conditions. The fan furor was swift on the WSL social pages, as well as on this site and its social outlets. I reached out to WSL CEO Erik Logan and am waiting to hear back. The League has of course kept its premier locales in play. Pipeline kicks the season off January 29 (the WSL will not start its season in 2022, keeping everything in a single-year package). Margaret River will be the final event before the mid-year cut, and Teahupo’o returns August 11-20. “Following the incredible momentum and milestones we’ve hit in 2022, we will continue to build our global platform to progress and elevate professional surfing,” read Logan’s statement in a release. “We experienced the redesign in its entirety for the first time this year, and...
“The Surfing World Owes Stephanie Gilmore an Apology” by Ben Mondy via The Inertia

“The Surfing World Owes Stephanie Gilmore an Apology” by Ben Mondy via The Inertia

She earned it. And we forgot about her. Photo: Thiago Diz//World Surf League “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” wrote bad boy Billy Shakespeare. Or in Stephanie Gilmore’s case, some quietly achieve GOAT status whilst no one is watching. Perhaps of the most remarkable aspects of Gilmore’s eighth world title was that no one had given her a chance of making history. In a massive fail in surfing groupthink, it’s hard, in hindsight, to justify how most surf fans, and so-called experts, underestimated and ignored the greatest female surfer of all time. How did a seven-time world champion, one of the most stylish humans to ever ride a surfboard, and with a competitive track record only bettered by Kelly Slater, get written off before the WSL Finals? It was an incredible lack of foresight, matched only by a dearth of respect of which I was very much a part of. And yes, I can pathetically list all my reasons for writing off Gilmore. After all, she had to surf six, maybe seven, heats at Trestles, the last two or three against Carissa Moore, by far the best surfer of the last five years. The WSL Finals format was set up to reward performances throughout the calendar year, and Gilmore had been handed a severe handicap based on a largely mundane 2022. Having missed Pipeline due to COVID, in the next five events she managed just a single semifinal. Early on there was talk not of world titles and impending greatness, but of relegation and retirement under the brutal new cut system. After Margaret River, Gilmore...
“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

WASHINGTON – Retail shrink, when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for $94.5 billion in losses last year, up from $90.8 billion in 2020, according to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey released today by the National Retail Federation. Organized retail crime (ORC), a critical component of that shrink, is a growing challenge both for retailers and the industry at large. “The factors contributing to retail shrink have multiplied in recent years, and ORC is a burgeoning threat within the retail industry,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “These highly sophisticated criminal rings jeopardize employee and customer safety and disrupt store operations. Retailers are bolstering security efforts to counteract these increasingly dangerous and aggressive criminal activities.”    The survey found that the average shrink rate in 2021 was 1.44%, a slight decrease from the last two years but comparable to the five-year average of 1.5%. The majority of retailers report that in-store, ecommerce and omnichannel fraud have risen. Violence is a growing area of concern and retailers are prioritizing addressing guest-on-associate violence, external theft and ORC. The COVID-19 pandemic created more challenges for retailers. A large majority (87.3%) of respondents said the pandemic resulted in an increase in overall risk for their organization. Retailers specifically cited an increase in violence (89.3%), shoplifting (73.2%), ORC and employee theft (tied at 71.4%) as a result of the pandemic. Retailers reported a 26.5% increase in ORC, on average. Even more alarming, the vast majority (81.2%) said the violence and aggression associated with ORC increased in the past year. Research shows that ORC groups...
“Sandia Peak Ski Area to remain closed for second year” – A result of climate change and staffing issues by Scarlett Lisjak via SIA Newsletter shared article

“Sandia Peak Ski Area to remain closed for second year” – A result of climate change and staffing issues by Scarlett Lisjak via SIA Newsletter shared article

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia Peak Ski Area officials recently announced they will be closed this winter, for the second year in a row.  The lack of snow on the mountain for the past five years has created a snowball effect. For the first time in at least the past 25 years, the ski area will not even make an attempt to open this winter.  Push Play “It’s not been snowing in November or really in December, and then it’s ended earlier, so middle of February, early March, and just the total snowfall has been down,” said Ben Abruzzo, Sandia Peak Ski Area general manager.  In 2021, the snow came too late.  “On the last week of January, it snowed a little more and we started to get things ready to go and, just, it wasn’t going to happen, you know, trying to operate a ski area for three weeks is a pretty tough call,” Abruzzo said.  The short ski seasons have made it difficult for management to keep the ski area operational.  “Asking someone to leave their job and come work for us for three to four weeks is a tough ask,” Abruzzo said. “All that leads into – when you have those short seasons – obviously it’s greatly reduced revenue, so then it becomes difficult to maintain your equipment, do new things, pay your staff.” The future for the ski area is unknown.  “We have been working on a mountain coaster that we thought would provide some economic stability for us, and the approval process became extremely cumbersome, very lengthy, and costly, and is on hold for now,...
“Why Microplastic Pollution is Still Fashion’s Concern” by  Catherine Schetting Salfino via The Robin Report

“Why Microplastic Pollution is Still Fashion’s Concern” by  Catherine Schetting Salfino via The Robin Report

Although numerous residents of New Jersey are still openly bemoaning the plastic bag ban that took effect in May, millions of people around the globe are participating in Plastic Free July, an initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation, an organization whose vision is “seeing a world free of plastic waste.” Included in that waste is microplastic ocean pollution, more than a third of which stems from apparel-made synthetic fibers. Critical Microplastic Mass At this point, the majority of all apparel is made from polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. And their microfibers contribute to microplastic pollution as every time consumers launder their clothes, millions of tiny particles wash out with the wastewater and enter rivers, oceans, drinking water, and the food chain. Experts say it’s high time for the fashion industry to start listening to not just environmental authorities, but consumers themselves. The majority of all apparel is made from polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. And their microfibers contribute to microplastic pollution as every time consumers launder their clothes, millions of tiny particles wash out with the wastewater and enter rivers, oceans, drinking water, and the food chain. “The planet cannot afford an industry that’s not making progress,” said McKinsey’s Achim Berg, senior partner, in an episode of The McKinsey Podcast. “Consumers have become more demanding in that respect. A lot of people have been at home throughout the pandemic. They have had more time to think about their consumption patterns. We’ve seen a big change – in particular, in Western Europe and North America – in how consumers think about sustainability and what they demand from brands. Therefore, brands will have to do it all. It’s not going to get any...
“Vail Resorts to Limit Ticket Sales Every Day of 2022-2023 Season” by Will Sileo via The Inertia

“Vail Resorts to Limit Ticket Sales Every Day of 2022-2023 Season” by Will Sileo via The Inertia

Snowboarders ride the lifts at Brighton, UT, an Epic Pass resort. Photo: Jackson Blackhurst. Are the days of overcrowded Vail-owned ski resorts a thing of the past? Will the infamous “Epic Lift Lines” Instagram account have to be discontinued due to a lack of content? Vail Resorts came under a lot of fire last season due to, well, a number of things. In short, they were accused of low pay for employees, leading to labor shortages which significantly impacted the guest experience. Add to that a healthy dose of Epic Pass crowds, and you’ve got the makings of a problem. In response to the criticism, Vail announced a number of changes at the end of last season, not the least of which was a $20-per-hour minimum wage for employees at its resorts. And just yesterday, Vail took things a step further, announcing a cap on daily ticket sales across all 37 of its North American ski areas. The cap will be in effect the entire 2022-2023 season. However, the cap only applies to the sale of walk-up day tickets and online ticket sales. Season pass holders (including the Epic Pass), employees, and those taking lessons will not be impacted. Last season saw 23 days of limited day-passes during peak holiday periods, and this season they don’t necessarily expect to sell out often. “This is a lever that will let us manage the experience on the most popular days without having to change the experience for our pass holders,” said Vail Resorts spokeswoman Lindsay Hogan. Crowds at Stevens Pass last season. Photo: Change.org. One thing Vail Resorts reportedly isn’t changing is its policies on season passes. Last year Vail slashed Epic...