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January 2017


Below is the Table of Contents. We have selected a few articles that you can read in their entirety online.

To order an article that is not online or a back issue of SAM Magazine, email

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Featured Story

Livin’ La Vida Loca

January 11, 2017

Some Industry heavy-hitters, and past SAMMY Award winners, talk about their journey, guilty pleasures and best days.

Idea Files

Idea Files

Written by Sam Geise
Wheels on snowmobiles, inexpensive coffee timer, and an easy way to blow snow off a conveyor.
Mount Snow’s Telecabine G1,  a unique two-person “skis-on gondola,”  which debuted in 1965.

Ski Inc.

Written by Chris Diamond
Excerpts from Chris Diamond's must-read new book.
Mountain Spy :: Question on Base Depth
Nordica’s Astral for women, Salomon’s XDR, K2’s Pinnacle, Head’s Instinct 78, and Elan’s Explore Ripstick.

Rental Buyer's Guide :: January 2017

Written by Peter Oliver, Dave Zook
The broadening scope of the rental shop customer has manufacturers enhancing the quality of their products.
Breckenridge Fun Park, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colo.

Measuring the Summer Market

Written by Ralf Garrison, Rick Kahl
As the data and trends show, summer can no longer be called the "off season."
Spend Your Money Wisely

Spend Your Money Wisely

Written by Dave Meeker
Bogus Basin's new summer operations will make its winter passholders very happy. Find out why in the SAM interview.
Keeping the crowd happy on peak days is key to increased guest loyalty. Shown here: the throng at Copper Mountain, Colo.’s Sunsation festival, a weekend of live music and competitions.

Raise the Bar

Written by Scott Hannah
Plan ahead and wow your guests during periods of peak demand. First in a series of articles about using Net Promoter Scores to enhance the guest exper...
Lifts 2016: Moving Up

Lifts 2016: Moving Up

Written by Rick Kahl
This year saw an uptick in resort lift installations and upgrades, all aimed at enhancing the guest experience.
Blue Pages :: January 2017

Blue Pages :: January 2017

Written by The Editors
Perspective and Views
A panel discussion at SAM Summer Ops Camp in September focuses on how to implement the  Recreational Opportunities Act. Panelists (L to R): Sean Wetterberg, U.S. Forest Service; Dave Fields, Snowbird; Jamie Barrow, Vail Resorts; Roger Poirier, U.S. Forest Service.
Follow the screening criteria to smooth the way to approval.
Sierra-at-Tahoe has a resort-wide “department scoreboard” program that shares how the resort and departments are doing in a fun, competitive, and rewarding way. Each department creates a unique scoreboard—there are even prizes for the best one—that displays up-to-date performance stats based on goals they set at the start of the season.

Feel the Burn (Out)

Written by Moira McCarthy
Stimulate your staff to help manage the inevitable burnout that happens during a long season.
High school kids staff 90 percent of departments at Wild Mountain near Taylors Falls, Minn.

The Teen Scene

Written by April Darrow
High school-age employees are the backbone of many ski areas.
Dealing with Collegians

Dealing with Collegians

Written by Linda Goodspeed
To attract the college crowd, the price must be right.
Industry Reports

Industry Reports

Written by The Editors
New Ownership at Magic Mountain... Mount Snow EB-5 funds Released at Last... People... Supplier News... Awards... Obituaries
Speak Out :: The Value of Snowmaking

Speak Out :: The Value of Snowmaking

Written by Roger McCarthy
Snow brings people. And people bring their wallets. The contents of those wallets drive the economies of most ski area communities, small or large. Peo...
Pub Memo :: SAM by the Numbers

Pub Memo :: SAM by the Numbers

Written by Olivia Rowan
Publisher Olivia Rowan touches on the Terrain Park Contest, Cutter's Camp and the SAMMY Leadership Awards.