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January 2021

Publisher's Memo :: January 2021

Time to Go on Offense

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment

Time to Go on Offense

Since the pandemic began, much of SAM’s focus has been to create resources, content, and platforms to help ski areas with business continuity. The ability to operate safely for paying guests and staff isn’t just a good thing for ski areas, though. It has a ripple effect on many other businesses—from the mom-and-pop retail shops to the many suppliers who support our industry.

For the past 10 months, our industry has been on defense, reacting to a fast-changing world. Planning ahead two weeks has been a luxury. With vaccinations ramping up, though, we head into 2021 with a different mindset. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so it’s time to shift our game plans to offense. We know enough now to start planning for next summer, fall, and the 2021-22 season.

Some things are still unknown, of course, like how our customers’ habits and needs will change. But we do know that our outdoor mountain environments have space, abundant fresh air, and activities that will be sought after as the world gradually returns to a semblance of normalcy.

One consideration for 2021 should be the health of our community at large, namely the suppliers that are so important to our businesses. They’ve had to adapt, too, in the name of business continuity. Many have become more than just suppliers of goods and services—they’ve further established their roles as trusted partners and supporters of our industry. They’re in this with us, and we need them to be healthy and ready to rebound in 2021.

I recently talked with a supplier who had received a call from Sugarloaf, Maine, thanking him for sponsoring SAM’s Resilient Leadership Bootcamp. The supplier was blown away with the message of gratitude. As you take stock of who has been there for you in small and big ways, we encourage you to tell your supporters how much you appreciate them. Gratitude is powerful.

Another offensive play will be identifying and recognizing the innovative leaders who will guide our industry to a better future. Leaders who have shone brightly during our hardest time. If you know someone who fits that description, please nominate him or her for a 2021 SAMMY Leadership Award. These are peer-nominated honors—we rely on you, our readers, to identify these influential leaders. Visit our website to fill out the SAMMY nomination form, or email to tell us why someone you know deserves this recognition.

Thank you for reading and subscribing to SAM, and for recognizing the value of what we do. We couldn’t do it without your support.


Olivia Rowan,