New ski resort in Dubai
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langleyskier
August 24, 2005
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Thought this was kinda interesting:

The first ever ski resort where the average yearly temperature is over 100. Ski Dubai is opening in september and is a fully indoor ski resort with a vert around 250 ft and a total area of 3000 square meters. Also it will have the first ever indoor black diamond run. In addition it will have a 90 meter quarter pipe. Also, the resort is going to have all real snow and will keep the temperature around -1 or -2 Celsius.

Ski Dubai
Roger Z
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
So we pay 2.60 a gallon and they invest it in... a ski rink? Would it be too much to ask them to start diversifying their economy? ARGH...
snowcone
August 24, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Them that has, yada, yada ... conspicuous consumption, and all that. Plus, you do know some company is building a similar indoor ski hill in New Jersey? ... http://www.meadowlandsmills.com/static/node1315.jsp ... doesn't say much except that the complex will include the 1st snow dome in the USA and be finished in 2007. I wonder if that might make the 'unseason' less tedious?
Roger Z
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well as long as we get a piece of the action too, I forgive them.
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POWPOW
August 24, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
I love the euro trash house music in the intro

How is it that Mahat & Macoat have a indoor ski slope and we dont?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
August 24, 2005
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Quote:

So we pay 2.60 a gallon and they invest it in... a ski rink? Would it be too much to ask them to start diversifying their economy? ARGH...




And what are we doing to wean ourselves from their oil? Buy more SUVs?
Roger Z
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

And what are we doing to wean ourselves from their oil? Buy more SUVs?




Or driving seven hours to Snowshoe for our ski trips?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
August 24, 2005
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Quote:

Quote:

And what are we doing to wean ourselves from their oil? Buy more SUVs?




Or driving seven hours to Snowshoe for our ski trips?




Carpool 100 percent of the time... 2K combined miles on my car last year.
Roger Z
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Good. And you'll be glad to know that Americans are buying more fuel efficent SUVs and fewer of them too:

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.as...mp;cbsReferrer=

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/ford_suv_ads.html

Even Texans are leaving their trucks on the lot:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05122/497861.stm

And who's still buying SUVs? Why, people who need them, just like people who "need" to go to Snowshoe are still finding ways to get there:

http://www.saratogian.com/site/news.cfm?...17708&rfi=6

So perhaps you can lay off your aspersions about Americans' behavior once in a while, Lou. The only thing more annoying than an ugly American abroad is one at home.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
August 25, 2005
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Quote:

So perhaps you can lay off your aspersions about Americans' behavior once in a while, Lou. The only thing more annoying than an ugly American abroad is one at home.




Not a chance, Z... It takes many people to become active to create a change in popular behavior. If I-81 became a toll road with .20 a mile toll rate, I'd be happy, but it's just a start. The change is coming because it's hitting people, including you and I, in the wallet, and it's good. We should have had European prices two decades ago, we would have the mass transport system from heaven. And besides, working to change the country to something positive and beneficial isn't ugly, it's inherently good...

Back to the main issue: What got my dander up was your indignation and tacit assertion that the people in Dubai or for that matter, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or Indonesia should do something to give us cheap oil, or that we should get into their internal affairs to diversify their economy or whatever. Hogwash. They're a sovereign nation and your statement is classic Ugly American...not to say inappropriate, and then a couple of messages later you... forgive them??? Yes, your highness... .

It may surprise you that the UAE is a very, very modern state at the moderate if not liberal side of the Arab world, with a standard of living that is close to ours and a domestic product that approaches the world's industrialized nations. I had the opportunity to meet some of their defense leaders in my previous work with our foreign affairs world. To answer your query, we don't have to force them to diversify their economy because they have been doing it for the past 30 years. From aluminum to cement, to tourism, they have been doing it. And they are also turning back their oil money in US purchases. From 60 million in emergency food supplies to Enduring Freedom, to the purchase of 3 billion of Boeing aircraft, and 7 billion of F-16 Block 60 aircraft with AMRAAMs (less than five nations in the world have received approval for these). The Emiratis are not a bunch of bedouins trampling in the desert, they are an educated and highly advanced people. Having both visited and met many of them, yes, I looked at your remark as quite puerile.

It's their money and their oil, obtained under the rubric of free enterprise. God bless them for building a ski area in 100 degree heat. If I was back traveling in the Mid East, I'd go there in a hurry... Better than spending the time in a liquor-less compound in Riyadh...
Roger Z
August 25, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
First of all, it was a joke Lou. Get a sense of humor.

Second of all, you're willing to forgive any nationality's behavior except Americans. That's a double standard and is completely unaccetable. When I see you start defending our behavior once in a while instead of criticizing it, I'll take you seriously. Criminy, you even jumped on someone for cussing when he got knocked over in a liftline. That's just courtesy not to knock people over. If an American had knocked someone over, you'd be the first person to jump all over them, but if a non-American does it... well then we have to understand their culture and not get frustrated yada yada yada. Whatever.

The only people you don't criticize in America are people who live the exact lifestyle you do. Everyone else lives an "ugly" lifestyle or a "worse" one. We have something in America called "freedom of choice." I'm sick of you throwing snide comments in one post after another about the way other Americans choose to live their lives unless it's exactly according to your standards. You hold your nose up at 80% of the country, tell us to forgive 80% of the world it's behavior, and don't get jokes to boot.

And what exactly was your point in the first place? Oh yeah, that we're still buying SUVs. And once again, when your point was refuted, you quickly shifted gears onto another subject, about how wonderful Dubai is. Guess what, dude? My family has worked with a princess from Dubai and her family treats her as a second-class citizen because she's... a woman. Her brothers refuse her investment decisions and then appropriate them for their own gain. So Dubai- surprise surprise!- has problems too. It is simply amazing though the things you'll whitewash in other countries and take offense at in our own just to reinforce your own personal prejudices.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
August 25, 2005
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
You're an expert at begging the question, and then accusing others of the same, Z... the initial point wasn't SUVs but Dubai (UAE)

I stand by my comments. First of all, there's nothing wrong with constructive criticism. We need a whole lot more in our social order. Second, your remarks contained a gross disregard for others. Third, it displayed a lack of knowledge about another culture. Go ahead and travel some. It cures parochialism. It's a big beautiful world out there... you can even do it by train
Roger Z
August 25, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
You know absolutely nothing about me, my travels, or exposures to other cultures Lou. And for all your worldly knowledge, all your traveling seems to have done is jade you toward your own country.

And again, my point: IT WAS A JOKE. You need a sense of humor. You also need to get out of that yuppie ghetto you live in and start meeting some folks in America who don't share your lifestyle. With all your infantile opinions about people and behavior in this country (and, I should add, your virtually complete forgiveness of behaviors in other countries), it's risible that you would lecture someone about parochialism.

You want to stand by your constant criticism of America? Fine. But I'll stand by my criticism of people's behavior in other countries, too. And I don't expect to hear a word of complaint from you. After all, don't we all need constructive criticism? Or is it just Americans who should be criticized?

Have the last word on this if you want. I'm done with this subject.
KevR
August 25, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
The great thing is we CAN criticize ourselves -- it is/was a hard earned right. In Dubai, perhaps there are forms of criticism but some things are LIKELY off limits. There's little doubt where that will lead is there?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
August 25, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
I welcome the new Ski Dome in Dubai and hope the owners make a lot of money. It will be great R&R fun for those people forward deployed in that region. There are a lot of soldiers and marines in Iraq who greatly miss snow and this might give them a small taste on a limited R&R. WV it ain't but it's still snow.
bawalker
August 25, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I-81 isn't $.20 toll road thankfully, but Virginia and West Virginia are pushing HEAVILY for a 6 lane interstate for 325 miles from Martinsburg, WV (they have completed a short stretch of 6 lanes from exits 8 to 15. Currently Winchester, VA is hosting several public meetings and planning sessions to discuss on how best to achieve a 6 lane highway for the entire length of 81 in Virginia.

Some of the discussions pertaining to Winchester, Strasburg, Stephens City, and other locations are talking about adding Round-A-Bout entrance and exit area's at the already cramped exit's. One example of this is the Rt 50 crossing of I-81 in Winchester at Shenandoah University. Serious discussion of adding a round-a-bout here is well under way due to lack of available land to expand the highway along with have room for exits and such.

Oh joy, 10 years of construction on 81.
fishnski
August 25, 2005
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
A bunch of marines bottled up in a dome in the mideast? I don't think so!It will probably be run by westeners like everything else that requires knowhow over there! It will melt when the oil dries up!.....OK That sounded a little bad,but I grew up over seas & with that said, I cannot tell you all how glad & proud I am to be an American! Dubai is a friend of the us(I guess?) so we should wish them well,but maybe we should offer a country like iran some expertice learned from local resorts like Blueknob, timberline,laurel mtn & a few others so as to help thier ski Industry!!
jimmy
August 25, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
The road from Dubai goes thru Martinsburg?

Hey Brad, read something about that I81 toll road thing.....iirc they're proposing to add two lanes for trucks only and those two lanes would be subject to the toll?
bawalker
August 25, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Jimmy, thats just one of the many proposals of how to alleviate the problem on I-81. If I remember the stats correctly, I-81 is at 150% capacitity of original 1970's designs which only got extremely worse when former president clinton signed the NAFTA (that the right one?) legislation. That in affect somehow caused companies to start shipping via I-81 more resulting in traffic now to be up over 45% since 2000. I can attest to that because I used to drive I-81 every day going to college from 97-91. Back then it was easy going, now it scares the living daylights out of me.

There has been every idea imaginable tossed around to solve the traffic problem. Including ideas of forcing companies to go back to using rail lines which run adjacent to I-81 all the way to the TN border.
Roger Z
August 26, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Truck traffic is the worst of it, Brad. Since NAFTA, truck traffic has quadrupled on I-81 and now accounts for up to 40% of all volume on the road! By way of comparison, trucks normally comprise no more than 10% of interstate traffic. Normally, I-81 has about 20-25% trucks... so their "normal" is still two times higher than a high amount for other interstates. It got the nickname "the NAFTA highway," along with a couple others out in Texas.

I-81 has great point-to-point distribution. Knoxville is a major gateway from the south, and the interstate then rambles 800 miles north never once going through a major city. Consequently trucks are all but assured a smooth 75 mph ride the whole way. Most of the major urban centers (such as DC) are about an hour away from the interstate via a branch highway (such as I-66), so with speed you get convenience too.

I'm all for adding a third lane to I-81 going both ways, however I don't like the new four-lane toll idea much, though many make a pretty valid argument that separating truck and car traffic would make the road much safer. Lost in the whole mix has been a discussion on rails, though. Right now, CSX trains average 35 mph as they wind their way up through Virginia. Apparently CSX has been talked to before, but they express little interest in increasing the speeds of their trains... would take too much money to change crossways, things like that. And of course the government isn't offering to assist.

Ideally you make any expansion of I-81 contingent upon funding to double the rail speed. If it's a private company adding two lanes each way, the private company has to fund it. If the government is adding one lane, the government has to fund it. This is one case where rails make more sense for dealing with freight traffic. It'd be much cheaper to improve point-to-point distribution by improving the rail lines out here, would reduce truck demand on the highway and have a positive impact for a lot of industries out here in the mountains, who are struggling to get their products to market affordably. You'd only wind up shifting a portion of existing and future demand to rail, plus it doesn't address car volume as well, so I think the third lane is still important.

Now, about Dubai and that ski area... Sorry for the digression.
Murphy
August 26, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Is the 35 mph thing really a problem with the trains? Arent' truck drivers limited to 8-10 per day? Unless they're tag team driving, the train would still cover the same distance in a day.
Murphy
August 26, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
I decided to do a little more research on the subject of rail versus high-way freight transportation. I found that rail was, on average, 4.5 time more fuel efficient (tons of freight per mile per gallon) than highway (ref) and 1/3 as expensive. HOWEVER, that cost analysis was from one end of the line to the other and excluded transfer costs to final destinations. Apparently that can be the deal breaker depending on the length of the shipment and availability of rail. Of course that may change as fuel cost become a bigger portion of the expense.

Here's another good, if not biased reference: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/freight/about/issues/energy.htm
bawalker
August 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
The one thing that is really curious for me is that if the 4/8 lane structure was to ever be built, where the land would come from to build that. Several places like Winchester, Stephens City, Harrisonburg and others down along 81 have their cities right upto the very limits of 81. At best I could see them putting concrete retaining walls between the highways to squeeze them closer together and possibly putting up sound retaining barriers, but even still it's going to come close to taking lots of business land like the Winchester Apple Blossom Mall for example. While Eminent Domain can be used, bet your bottom dollar high powered lawyers protecting business would win.

The one thought that boggles my mind is why expand at a heartbeat because the highway is full. The Beltway has showed us that if anything that when you expand highways, it frees up more room not just for current drivers, but is an invitation for even more drivers. Basically the more available space is filled up with more drivers putting everyone back in the same position as before. I know without a shadow of a doubt that expanding 81 isn't the sole solution. Expanding it would do nothing but add even more vehicles, increase accidents, etc. Something to target trucks like tolls would be greatly beneficial without punishing consumer drivers who live and use it more often than we use the greenway.
Roger Z
August 26, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Murph I've got a friend who is HUGE railroad fanatic- he actually moved into his townhome in Christiansburg specifically because it was within 100 yards of the freight line. He's cited some numbers before that show expanding rail is pretty inexpensive, so your stats kind of back him up.

Brad it's true that expanding highways would attract additional traffic. However not allowing highways to keep up with demand is also bad, too- that's where you wind up with the huge delays that never end (like the Wilson Bridge) and basically ruin an areas transportation network. It's a delicate balancing act, but maybe it's an argument in favor of the toll truck lane- less likely to draw more drivers in. I can imagine a worst case scenario where they expand to six lanes, it causes traffic to increase and eventually they have to add the four truck lanes anyway. Then we've got the New Jersey turnpike running through the Shenandoah.
MadMonk
August 26, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
I love this thread so much that I just went out and burned some gas just for the heck of it.
bawalker
August 27, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Roger - I whole heartedly agree that not doing something is pure neglegence. But I don't believe either the solution is slapping an extra two lanes on and say go at it. Because when that does happen traffic just increases proportionally resulting in a greater mess. I know the solution lies in managed access, or some sort of managed control of the amount of traffic on 81. Unfortunately we as people are inherently inclined to do anything against reasonable amounts of management or control when we are in large groups of people, or in this case cars. "Whats one more car driving on an already crowded 81 gonna make?" etc. I'm not sure if' it's weight scales (81 outside winchester has those already), or is it toll lanes? Or is it migrating to rail? Almost every town and city along the 81 corridor has DIRECT access to rail right in town so that isn't nessecarily a complaint for companies who say rail is harder to be accessed. Heck a business could setup shop in numerous towns, outsource trucking from rail to the business and save the businesses millions in fuel. All sorts of ideas there.
Roger Z
August 27, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
I know how you feel Madmonk! Just yesterday I found gas for 2.31 a gallon. I was so happy I sprayed ten gallons in the air for glee.

Brad the extra lanes would definitely attract more traffic, but it's not a one-for-one trade off. Having a traffic engineer comment on the matter would be helpful. I don't know anything about how to differentiate between expected future demand and induced-demand for added highway lanes. Would be interesting to find out.
fishnski
August 27, 2005
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Toll roads are obsolete.Does it make sense to build a road that will save you 30 min but you have to use 10 min stopping at the toll booths? There has got to be a better way!Take down all these silly obstructions & just tax us.
Roger Z
August 28, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
They've got toll roads out in LA where there's just a large scanner that sits about 30 feet above the highway that scans a card in your windshield as you drive by. You don't have to drop 1 mph in your speed- if you're doing 75 you just keep doing 75. The good part about these tolls is that there's now no booths to drive through. The bad news- or scary news- is that because you're not physically pulling money out of your wallet, you don't know how much you're spending on driving, and it can eat up a fat chunk of change in a hurry.

It's a real neat system though. A friend of a friend found out you can be doing up to 130mph and the toll scanner will still read your card. Not that I encourage that type of behavior...
Roger Z
August 29, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Speaking of trains and I-81, found this report today at work:

http://www.drpt.state.va.us/downloads/fi...or%20railroads'

Study completed in December 2003 about the impact of upgrading the rail line along the I-81 corridor. 8 billion dollars could divert over a quarter of the truck traffic on I-81. If I remember right, the upgrade to I-81 is expected to cost multiples more than that.
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