Browse Our Archives

March 2016

Publisher's Memo - March 2016

Cyber Hacking, Active Shooters, and Unions, Oh My!

As one operator said at the recent NSAA winter shows, after attending sessions on unions, ADA web compliance, active shooters, and cyber hacking, “This is not what I bargained for—I got into this business for the free skiing and hot girls.”

Written by The Editors | 0 comment

All joking aside, it’s a new world out there. Operators who don’t spend time and resources on protection and preparedness for when (not if) one of these events hits are playing security roulette. We at SAM know this from personal experience, as we just recovered from a cyber attack that resulted in the total loss of our website. After a complete rebuild that cost hundreds of hours of staff time and required the assistance of contractors who were not planned or budgeted for, we are hopefully wiser.

One lesson in this: Anyone can be a target for hackers. For the first week our site was down, we wondered, “Why us?” When most of us think of cyber attacks, we picture major corporations, millions of dollars lost and identities stolen. We now know the question is, “Why not us?” The biggest growth in cyber attacks is hitting small to medium businesses—a 300 percent increase over the last year.

So when I sat in the cyber attack sessions at both the eastern and western shows, and saw a room less than half full each time (the active shooter session was standing room only) … I sighed and hoped attendance was low because most operators already have secured themselves from attack. You have, right?

SAMMY Guest Editor Offers Wise Words

Hiram Towle, one of our 2015 SAMMY winners, worked with us on three articles in this issue: “Why Don’t More People Like Us,” “Reaching New Markets, Part II,” and “To Build or Not to Build.” Hiram added several thoughtful comments to the first two, and provided valuable editorial direction to the last item. Often referred to as the “go-to guy” at the resorts where he has worked, Hiram was there when we needed him, too. We are grateful for his contributions to this issue.

Speaking of the SAMMY Leadership Awards, have you nominated anyone for this year’s award? Do you know someone whose contributions have been felt locally or on a national level, whose approach to leadership stands out as innovative, honest, inspiring and confident? Visit the SAMMY Hall of Fame ( and let us know who should join these ranks. A special thanks to our longtime (19 years!) sponsors, Leitner Poma and Wells Fargo, for their support of the SAMMY program and ideals.

Summer Ops Camp Goes to Park City, Utah

SAM is excited once again to gather operators for three fun days exploring ideas for growing summer business during this year’s Summer Ops Camp at Park City Sept. 6-8. The community showcases several variations on the four-season mountain resort model. “Summer Ops Camp is an ideal forum to gather like-minded operators to exchange ideas, get hands-on education, and demo activities. Operators and their staffs will walk away with solutions to common problems and ideas for growth,” says Park City VP/COO Bill Rock, co-host of the 2016 camp. Visit for details.