January 2001

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  • Staying In Touch With Guests
    Walkie-Talkie radio use among guests gives resort operators another way to monitor activities on the hill and to respond to potential problems.

  • Industry Reports
    ASC Merges with Meristar; Two Colorado Court Decisions (Nathan Hall and Eldora MOuntain); Austrian (Lift) Tragedy Still Unsolved; Saddleback Sells Part of Appalachian Trail; A-Basin Watching and Waiting (snowmaking plan); Donner Ski Ranch Sold; Wintersport Business Pulls Plug; Voters Approve New Ski Resort (Dyer Mountain, Calif.); Mt. Abram Sold in an Hour; Silver Creek to Become SolVista; Obits, People and Supplier News.

  • Brian Fairbank: On a Mission to Convert
    This profile of new NSAA Chairmman Brian Fairbank, also owner-general manager of Jiminy Peak and Brodie Mountain, Mass., details his committment to the NSAA Model for Growth. He's on a national campaign to get beginning skiers converted to core skiers.

  • Letters to the Editor
    Paul McMorris asks for names re: Idea File piece in the November 2000 issue; Marian Austin of Association of Scottish Ski Areas reminds us that Scotland is far from flat and Michael Suisman suggest lift towers be numbered in reverse order to give guests a heads up when approaching the top terminal.

  • Playing it Safe
    Northstar's communications manager, Erin Bernall, details the safety programs running at Booth Creek ski resorts aimed at keeping guests and employees safe.

  • Seth Says: The Marketing Wisdom of Marshall Tito
    Seth takes a look at how the disconnect between ski school, rentals and ticketing works to frustrate visitors and lead to losses of regular customers.

  • When In Doubt, Shop
    This piece details how a strong, carefully planned retail presence can lead to year-round sales success.

  • B-to-B Websites
    This occasional column features Websites dedicated to help resorts find equipment and services for all aspects of the business.

  • Boot Camp Symposium on Terrain Features
    This is an article describing the symposium sponsored by Pisten Bully at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in November of 2000. There was classroom training as well as on-hill workshops aimed at spreading the news about building safe and exciting terrain parks.

  • Construction Site
    Summer improvement projects at: Park City, Utah; Ski Cooper, Colo.; Camelback, Pa.; Loon Mountain, N.H.; and Lake Louise, Alb.

  • 2000 Lifts: An Average Year, but with Highlights
    This is the annual new lift construction survey. This year's edition reveals that the 1999-2000 season's snowlessness had an impact, but Canada was gangbusters. It also shows that there is continued growth for six-packs. (Numerous charts and tables accompany the article.)

  • SAM Idea Files
    Using float chargers to juice up batteries w/o overcharging and using an extra battery with a marine switch for backup power at Winterplace, W.V.; smart Web marketing to guests by Snowshoe Mountain, W.V.; and snow retaining walls at Snow Trails, Ohio to preserve cover at unloading terminals.

  • It Ain't Just Skiing
    This is the third piece in a series on ski schools. It details Aspen ski schools, which have one of the industry's highest return rates, and how the instructors teach beginners that it's not just the turns, but the whole mountain experience, that makes skiing great.

  • Blue Pages
    Doral: A New Brand in Snowsports (our questions on the MeriStar-ASC merger that was not to be); Dept. of Utterly Useless Statistics (wherein David estimates $4.1 billion has been spent industrywide on snowmaking since 1950); Colorado's Lynx: A Report Card; Area Expansion? You Flunk Enviro Test (first Ski Area Coalition report card and NSAA Enviro Charter); Spike in Consequences of Recklessness (Nathan Hall convicted); Vertical Bragging Rights Resolved (Killington correct's its Website to read "greatest in New England," Whiteface has greatest in East).

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  • The End Page
    Wild Mountain, Minn., lost power the day after Thanksgiving and made due towing skiers with Pisten Bullys and cooked burgers and brats on gas grills. Ghost Town sign pointing the way to a ski area and another photo of Barb Hampton and Rick Grush with a chairlift swing from Purgatory's old #1 chair.

  • Are Your Downloadables Deductible?
    The article discusses the gray area of deducting costs of certain aspects of maintaining a Website for business purposes. No code exists, but precedent exists for tax savings where Internet business is concerned.

  • We Remember Two Friends
    John Jay, early ski-filmmaker, and Bob Gillen, editor and publisher of Snow Industry Letter, are briefly profiled.

  • Avoiding the Spam Trap
    This article explains that careful targeting and marketing can be used to produce an emailed newsletter that is both valuable and appreciated by potential and return customers.

  • A Huge Sigh of Relief
    Early-season visits hint at a strong current season at most ski areas across the continent.

  • MVP: A Lifetime of Service
    This is a brief profile of Robert Davis, who has been with American Tramways, and its previous incarnations, for the past 40 years.

  • Thoughts on our 40th Year
    A brief salute to our readers and our advertisers for their support over a period of 40 years.

  • A Ramble in Ski Statistics
    David explains the historical context and ongoing debate over the accuracy of skier statistics.

  • PSIA-AASI Replies, Explains Role
    This essay by the president of the PSIAA is a response to Speak-Out pieces in the November 2000 issue that discussed the role of ski school and how customers are better served through lessons.

  • The X Games Delivers Bigtime But Should We Ask For More
    The continuing success of X Games events, TV coverage, crowds of spectators, could benefit the Guild of Action Sports to help fund insurance, education, legal consultants, etc. for athletes.

  • Rental Equipment in the Spotlight/SAMMY Time
    The memo highlights the "Rental Equipment Handbook 2002" supplement in the issue and tells readers about the Renmtal Alley showcase scheduled for Las Vegas; the second part discusses the upcoming SAMMY awards to be presented at the NSAA May convention and points out the nomination form bound into the issue.

  • Kicking Horse, B.C.
    The cover image relates to the annual lift construction survey that begins on page 69 of this issue. It is a (solarized) shot of an air-lifted crossbar going in at Kicking Horse Moauntain Resort, B.C. with four workers awaiting at the top of a tower.