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May 2020

Publisher's Memo :: May 2020

We're all in this together.

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment

None of Us Is as Smart as All of Us

Dear SAM Readers,

By the time you read this issue, the landscape will have changed a few times from the world that existed when we finished working on it. This is our new normal. We have all taken a crash course on adaptability. To survive we have to evolve at a pace we’ve never experienced before. That is as true for SAM as it is for you, our readers.

As the crisis deepened, our team of seven shifted most of our efforts to helping the mountain resort community (and the aerial adventure park community we serve with SAM’s sister publication, Adventure Park Insider) navigate the crisis caused by the pandemic. As resorts shut down in mid-March and we were all urged to stay at home, we saw the need to connect operators to one another as a means of broadening everyone’s support network. In many cases, we have been able to share resources, advice, and insights between the audiences of our two magazines.

That led to our weekly industry Zoom gatherings, The Huddle. This became a lifeline for many of us as we stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. Every Monday, we dived into crisis management topics to help the mountain resort industry weather the pandemic. Check out “SAM at Home” (in lieu of “SAM on the Road”—see what we did there?) on p. 22 to see some of the faces and topics of the first few Huddles. We will continue The Huddle for as long as it’s needed. Join us for the next one by emailing If you are interested in the adventure park huddles, email

The Huddles have revealed the depth of the challenge we face as an industry. It has been an unsettling and often disheartening couple of months. In the history of the industry, we have never confronted as big a change as this. But it has also been inspirational to see the community come together and share viewpoints, questions, and solutions.

A time like this demands strong, creative, fearless leadership—like that of this year’s SAMMY Leadership Award recipients. We’ve been recognizing top leaders for more than 20 years, and we’re encouraged to see many of them taking part in our Huddles and generally helping drive the industry. You can read all about this accomplished group—Danielle Kristmanson, M-J Legault, Ken Gaitor, Rick Schmitz, and Davy Ratchford—in the SAMMY program that accompanies this issue.

This crisis also requires new thinking, like that provided by younger staff unencumbered by excessive experience or decades of routine. We’ll profile 10 such staff members in our July issue when we present the annual SAM “10 Under 30.”
We are grateful for your continued support through all this. Quite simply, your subscriptions help us remain a resource for you and your team. That’s especially important now with staff members isolated.

To that end, this issue considers the impacts and responses to the coronavirus from a variety of perspectives. But it also addresses a range of important subjects beyond the immediate challenges, from lift safety for kids and state-of-the-art snowmaking to enterprise software and snow play as a means to expand our markets. The immediate threats are real and daunting, but we will get past them. So it’s important to keep an eye on the long view, too.

With your support, we will work hard to keep you and your team informed, connected, and thinking about next steps. If you have team members that could use some inspiration during these challenging times, contact for a special subscription rate we’re offering to help folks stay connected and, most importantly, contributing to our road to recovery.

Be well,

Olivia Rowan