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July 2011

The Learning Season

Summer is the time for training and education.

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Ski area employees in the Northeast and Midwest have three high-level educational opportunities this summer: the Midwest Ski Area’s Association (MSAA) Summer Meeting & Trade Show; the New England Summit; and the SANY/PSAA Fall Expo. (For schedules and contact information, see page 14.)

One new seminar series at the MSAA program focuses on lift brake and load testing. Sponsored by Wells Fargo, this program grew out of the insurer’s inspection program. There will also be a show-and-tell session in which Doppelmayr, Leitner Poma, and Skytrac will discuss their new, smaller fixed-grip lifts. A final addition is a ski area swap sale, where resorts can buy and sell used equipment.

The MSAA show continues to offer a program that includes a full track of sessions for several different departments, including patrol, ski school, mountain ops, and administrative staff.

Among its two new programs, the SANY/ PSAA Fall Expo will host a two-part management program headed by Bill Jensen, CEO of Intrawest. Jensen will talk about leadership and how to manage change. He will also lead a New York resort CEO roundtable focused on adapting to a constantly changing environment.
Doug Motel, a web marketing whiz who specializes in low-cost and free avenues for tourism promotion, will anchor the marketing track with a presentation on Google rankings, Facebook page secrets, and Internet PR.

New England
The New England Summit is introducing a new program for hotel operations, including a presentation on yield and revenue management. The Summit program also includes several sessions related to environmental issues: emissions control and cost containment in snow grooming; wind power that makes sense for ski areas; and how to manage, track, and talk about sustainability efforts.

The Summit again offers its seven-part lift maintenance program, with sessions led by NSAA’s Sid Roslund, and representatives from Doppelmayr USA, Leitner-Poma and others involved in chairlift inspections, maintenance and design. The seminars cover ANSI B.77 standard updates, conveyor and carpet maintenance and operations, and chairlift lubrication, among others.

All the regional shows continue to host the NSAA Fall Educational Series, a four-part program to keep resort personnel current on claims and liability trends, improve employee and guest safety training programs, and help develop strategies to control injury and claims costs.