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January 2019

Publisher's Memo :: January 2019

A word from SAM publisher, Olivia Rowan.

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment

Running in Cycles

As we enter the new year, it’s a good time to both look back, see what we might have picked up on our shoe, and look forward to what’s coming down the road ahead.

Summer Business Is Our Business

This issue has a special section on summer business, a topic SAM has emphasized for the past 10 years. This focus led us to launch our Summer Ops Camp and, three years ago, SAM’s sister publication, Adventure Park Insider. Winter business is in full swing, but it’s not too early to consider summer opportunities. "Summer Rising," "Summer Op 2.0: The Adventure Continues," and "Electric Bikes: Fad or Future?" make up this three-pack section and should inspire some new ideas.

Paying It Forward

We’re proud to introduce year two of the Summit Series, a program that shares the wisdom of current leaders with the next generation. In this issue, mentors Steve Wright, Jay Scambio, and guest mentor Kelly Pawlak talk communication skills (p. 70). The full discussion is coming soon on our PodSAM podcast channel.

14th Annual Terrain Park Contest Winners

Our annual Terrain Park Contest drew a record number of entries, 60 worldwide, and a whopping 2,430 votes across the three categories.

The winners:

Bread & Butter: “Tranny Fest,” Thredbo, Australia
Event: “Sun’s Out, Guns Out,” WinSport, Canada
Feature: “Bonfire Axe,” Big Boulder, Pa.

The winners get bragging rights and a swag bag from our Terrain Park Contest sponsor, Burton. Check out all the entries at

The Ghost of Consolidation Past, Present, and Future

A pet project of mine for this issue was to dive into our archives and re-read our 1996 issue about consolidation. At the time, there were fears about the impact of mega resort groups, including Intrawest, Vail Associates, Powdr, American Skiing Company, Booth Creek, and Boyne Resorts. We asked several industry leaders to comment on the trend. Fast forward to now: I asked some of the very same leaders to compare 1996 and 2018, and to identify the near-term opportunities and challenges.

My father David Rowan, SAM’s founder, believed it was important to learn from the past or run the risk of repeating failures in the future. See if you agree with industry leaders and their interpretation of events then and now.


And finally, the consolidation talk all circles back to the importance of the places where many of our guests, and most of us, learned to ski—small, local, community ski areas. Our new #MyFirstMountain series showcases these special places, and puts their stories—and yours—front and center. Read the first installment, “Non-Profit Ski Areas.'