January 1998

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  • Sam Idea Files
    Useful innovations from ski areas around the country, including: an automatic rope oiler from Raccoon Mountain Alpine Slide in Chattanooga, Tenn., bullhead catfish for treating wastewater lagoons at Smuggler's Notch, Vt., and an ATV hoist from Labrador Mountain, N.Y.

  • It's All In Your Prospectus
    IPO's are giving the ski industry a different image and, for the short term, a different valuation. This article assesses and compares the prospectuses of American Skiing Company, Intrawest and Vail--the three big industry offerings of 1997.

  • A Mountain Of Youth
    Snow Valley, Calif., was facing fierce competition and big capital expenditures by neighboring areas in the local market. In response, they focused on marketing to youth, diversifying and becoming, in effect, an all-season mountain sports park. Offerings include the Lot Skatepark, Schighridj Terrain Park, the DURT All-Terrain Boarding Park and lots of music. By all accounts, the strategy is working.

  • Reach Out And Plan A Ski Trip, If You Can
    Most ski areas have toll-free numbers, seemingly to provide information and advice as well as to sell product. SAM asked a Mystery Mom to plan a family vacation over the phone, who found that the convenient numbers don't necessarily provide the desired information.

  • 1998 Snowboard Rental Roundup
    Manufacturers are meeting a growing demand for rental snowboards with rental-specific product. Here's a roundup of offerings for the 1998-99 season.

  • Testing, Testing . . . It's As Easy As 1,2,3
    Snowmaking equipment can be tested using simple, repeatable and reliable procedures. This article explains the methods and instruments as well as pointing out possible pitfalls.

  • Accessing A Theme Park
    The Malaysian jungle surrounding the theme park and resort /casino complex of Genting Highlands posed peculiar and difficult challenges for Leitner engineers. They overcame the problems to build a special tropical version of the standard eight-seat gondola.

  • 1997 Lifts--Big Surge In New VTFH
    1997 was an impressive year in lift-building, with more jumbo chairlifts, a surge in replacement lifts, a spike in surface tows and a surprising number of conveyor-type and transport lifts. Includes charts and graphs.

  • Employee Housing Comes To The Mountain
    Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., put its money where its mountain was by building housing specifically for employees. This consumed valuable real estate, but created a true community at the resort.

  • It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's A Bus!
    In the 1950s, skiers were eager to get up to Mt. Hood, Ore., but a frequently impassable road often blocked the journey. Local entrepreneurs dreamed up the idea of a tram going up the mountain from the town of Government Camp at the base. The tram came into being as a bus hanging off the cables,and the rest is history.

  • On The Road To Nagano
    A look ahead to the XVIIIth Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, including snowboarding's first appearance, potential medal winners, the "green" downhill controversy and CBS's plans for TV coverage.

  • Testing For Future Turf
    An examination of the situation in Colorado, which is shaping up as a testing ground for future turf wars among the giant ski conglomerates and independent ski areas, particularly where yield management strategies are concerned.

  • New Energy Infusion For Bolton Valley
    An interview with Mason Dwinell, the 27-year-old Vermonter who purchased Bolton Valley, Vt., out of bankruptcy last summer.

  • Keeping Out Of Court By Caring
    A good lawyer will tell you that showing you care is a good way of staying away from courtrooms. Many claims and lawsuits can be avoided if a business follows a few simple rules, most of which you probably heard first from your mother.

  • 1997 Articles In Sam
    Index of articles listing title, author and issue month for 1997.

  • Operation Snoblast Underway
    A look at NSAA's new youth marketing program, Operation SnoBlast, designed to attract 10- to 17-year old Echo Boomers to the ski slopes. The program features a toll-free number and a website, and relies heavily on ski areas for updated information.

  • Ski Patrol And Area Management: A Dilemma Still Seeking A Solution
    In the aftermath of a $1.4 million award against the National Ski Patrol (NSP), there was renewed concern about the respective roles and responsibilities of NSP, ski areas, local patrol entities and individual patrollers. Comments contributed by Richard Kun, president of Snow Summit, Calif., Don McKay, general manager of Tyrol Basin, Wisc., and John Clair, national chairman of NSP.

  • Frequent Skier Deals On The Rise
    A look at frequent skier deals at resorts around the country, which have multiplied in the face of ski area consolidation.

  • Charlie Lord Of Stowe, 95
    In memory of Charlie Lord, trail designer extraordinaire. He will be remembered especially for the trails he designed in Vermont on Mt. Mansfield and Mt. Washington.

  • James Laughlin Of Alta, 83
    In memory of James Laughlin, famed publisher who was also one of the founders of Alta, Utah.