September 1998

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  • Subtle but Important Shifts in Customers
    Jim's National Skier/Boarder Opinion Survey shows a younger average age, but fewer of the big bloc of older customers. It also shows that the pace of growth for snowboarding is slowing. Jim disseminates the research in this good news-bad news report.

  • Maintenance Shop Makeover
    This report on Alta's decision to revamp its maintenance shop shows how it gained more workspace, created a safer environment for skiers and allowed room for future growth. The reworking of the space was brought about by the area's need to replace its fuel island to meet new federal EPA regulations.

  • Putting a Roof on It
    This article discusses the success of snowdomes in around the world and how the phenomenon will make its debut in U.S. cities, hopefully opening snowsports to new consumers. A sidebar lists those proposed in the U.S.

  • Reader (Dis)Service Cards
    This article explains how Steamboat's management took planning steps to speed up reporting of reader service cards from consumer magazines. Because of a variety of reasons, many potential customers' cards weren't reaching the appropriate Steamboat contact until months after submission, meaning lost business.

  • So, You Wanna Build a Halfpipe
    This article, by John Dale of Stimilon International, explains how to build a halfpipe that pleases clients and entails less work for mountain crews. Pipes need to be bigger and better than ever and Dale suggests a pipe-grooming machine is a worthy investment. No pipe is better than a bad one.

  • Profitable Partners in Power Supply
    Hyland, lift maintenance manager of Vail Resorts, explains the partnership struck between Vail/Beaver Creek and its local power company to solve a problem that led to other cost-saving measures taken jointly by those partners. The article is one example of how resorts can form beneficial alliances with utilities in anticipation of a change in power suppliers.

  • One Stop: Step In, Step Out
    Ski Liberty, Pa.'s, snowboard rental shop has one of the largest inventories in the east and redesigned their new shop to make sure it was a model of efficiency. Their decision to use more step-in bindings also meant they could increase inventory in the same space.

  • Travel Industry Recommends Aggressive Sales Tactics
    Tips on using the vast array of traditional avenues of the travel industry. Direct contact with the customer via the Internet is not enough. This article explores the ways to contact and use tour operators, agents and bus tours to attrct more business to the slopes.

  • Letting Customers Do the PR
    Waterville Valley, N.H.'s Stacy Senger decided to promote the area's new detachable quad by throwing a contest asking skiers to "NBame the Quad." The constest drew all sorts of publicity, much more than the marketing department hoped for, and the winner of the contest was awarded a season pass and the first ride up the lift.

  • Murray Miller: Master Snowmobile Mechanic
    Frolich's profile of Mammoth Mountain's Murray Miller takes a look at this long-time employee's take on work and life; his combination of hard work, hard play and humor.

  • Revised Book for Ski Patrol
    A review of the third edition of the National Ski Patrol's book on Outdoor Emergency Care, the textbook for patrollers and how it jibes with changes in the national standard curriculum for EMTs.

  • Skiing Isn't Just Skiing Anymore
    A recap of the two-day resort development conference in Vail in May entitled "Developing, Marketing and Managing Destination Resorts." Expanded opportunities for entertainment will spell success for resorts of the future was a major theme. Speakers at the conference included, George Gillett Jr. of Booth Creek, Bill Jensen of Breckenridge, Jerry Blann of Jackson Hole and Bruce Mainzer of Vail Resorts.

  • Season Pass Sales Success
    A simple plan eliminating an assortment of discount plans and reducing the season pass price at Bogus Basin, Idaho, from $550 to $199 for 1998-1999 led to a surge in sales and the resort reached 95 percent of its proposed lift revenue before the season opened.

  • Cost vs. Time: Which is the Key Restraint?
    The debate over whether skiers are staying away because of time or cost is reviewed by two authors. Mike Shirley, pointing to his decision to cut the season pass rate at Bogus Basin, Idaho, as a great spark to generate record sales, says cost is the problem. Jim Spring says that's not the only answer. SAM magazine also offers additional viewpoints in regard to the Gallup research reported on by David Rowan in the July, 1998 issue.

  • Industry Reports
    IBM drops Olympic sponsorship for 2002; Papers selected for presentation at OITAF '99; Olympian Ned Gillette killed in Pakistan; $57 million marketing initiative revised; ski industry calendar for Sept-early Dec.; Bolton Valley back on the block; Ski Hall of Fame selects four inductees: Anna McIntyre, Bill Tanler, Warren Witherell and John Woodward; ski area sales include news of Anthony Lake Mountain Resort, Ore., Swain Ski and Snowboard Resort, N.Y. and Stoneham Resort, Que.; people news; Technology at ASC and Vail hits new levels; Insurer Willia Corroon goes private and supplier news.

  • Hot-Selling Helmets Still Provoke Controversy
    Iseult's article profiles the rising sales of helmets despite the wrangling over standards. She also explores the possibility of state mandates based on recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and how that could be a problem for the industry.

  • Seth says that the planning stage for the Olympics is at hand for Ski Utah with Kip Pitou at the helm. The article explains that Pitou will be designing a marketing plan for the Olympics in order to benefit all Utah ski resorts.

  • What's New?
    Opening glass wall system from Nnana Wall Systems, Inc; Truck-mounted sidewalk sweeper from TrynEx International; electronically controlled window tint from Technology Solutions; heated portable walkway from Clearpath; locker key tacking system from American Locker Security Systems; Wireless weather station from Davis Instruments; catastrophic resort insurance from MDM Group; Rotary screw air compressor from Ingersoll-Rand; mini grader ground plane from Western Illinois New Designs; Plastic tire giude for grooming vehicles that resists ice build up from Hans Hall; inflatable ski race starting gate from Boulder Blimp Co.; lightning and storm detector from North Office Ski Mountain Supply; a plow-type snow shovel from Frederic Abrahamson; mini two-way radio from Global Wireless; 3-D promo emblem from Marking Specialists; CAD-friendly Website from W.J. Whatley; new locking-grip x-country ski pole from Exel.

  • Construction Site
    Snowbasin lifts, terrain and snowmaking; Sunday River quad, snowmaking and ticket concourse; Crystal Mountain, Wash., six-pack; Mount Washington, B.C., quad; Copper Mountain lifts, snowmaking and buildings.

  • Idea File
    Timberline, W.V. uses scrap rebar to fashion a hanger for excess wire rope; Labrador Mountain, N.Y. uses PVC pipe to create footrests on chairs; Nemacolin Woodland Resort, Pa., uses blue spruces to replace plastic snowfence along edges of a hill.

  • Blue Pages
    Buying and Selling: Gillett purchases Seven Springs, Pa., Mount Abram, Maine, sold and rumors of others; Canadian Resorts Revel in Dollar Gap; Choppy Seas on Equipment Side; Drop in Alpine Equipment Orders; Stephen Feinberg Purchases ASC Stock; Option Opulence at Vail about resort managers selling off stock; Snowblast and Sno-Core to Roll; Detachables Get Installed at Smaller Areas; Killington-Pico Interconnect To Begin.

  • The End Page
    Vail Trail's inquiring photog asked "What is a Funicular?" and got some funny responses; A summer sign leads chair riders to syat on for the return trip; El Nino strikes again: Weird weather news from Russia and Thailand via The Vail Trail; Mount Snow on The Moove: The resort signed on with Deerfield Transit (using Holstein-style paintjobs) to integrate its shuttles to connect with nearby villages; A Polish Joke: the Polish customs dept. tried to tax a load of snow from Austria bound for a winter festival; Overboard cartoon by Chip Dunham.

  • Changes Coming in Wire Rope Standard
    This is a table of the proposed new standards submitted to the ASTM by the Wire Rope Technical Board for review.

  • Consumer Show Strategies
    Linda's article describes how resorts are banding together at consumer shows to save money and make bigger impacts with skiers. The concentration will be on explaining different ski packages to ski consumers.

  • Sore Sites for the Eyes
    Ken's piece explains that most resort Websites are stagnant and lags far behind other businesses as well as other types of resorts. He explores the reasons why resorts are lagging behind and gives some pointers for exploring the interactive possibilities available to resort Webpage designers and editors.

  • Opening Our Eyes to Global Warming
    David's piece is a call to industry insiders to keep open minds with regard to the news of global warming. A 1986 SAM interview with a scientist who developed a global warming model revealed predictions of warming during the '90s that have come to pass. In some cases resorts could benefit from snowfall in higher elevations while others could suffer from warm winter temperatures.

  • Remembering Dick Bird
    This is an obituary of Richard "Dick" Bird, who retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 1994. He died Aug. 1, 1998 after a heart attack at age 69.

  • SAM Flirts with the Millions & Saddlin' Up for Texas
    Davids first subject is SAM's partnership with Resort Sports Network to deliver SAM's breaking news from its Website to RSN subscribers: possibly millions of readers. He also bids farewell to Heidi Schultz, managing editor, who is leaving SAM for a job in Texas.