Zero to 60
As our 60th year celebration wraps up, I want to thank our readers and supplier partners. This magazine is about ski areas, but it’s for you, the people who make them run.
Our pride runneth over, knowing we have been there with many of your ski areas since they made their own debut six decades ago—Mad River, Ohio; Crested Butte, Vail, and Eldora, Colo.; Panorama, B.C.; Wachusett, Mass.; Appalachian, N.C.; Stratton, Vt.; Crystal, Wash.; Holimont, N.Y., and so many more. I think I can speak for all of us industry veterans when I say, “Yup, we’ve gone from zero to 60, and we’re just getting warmed up.”
For this issue, we tapped into both that historical perspective and forward thinking. In “What to Expect When Expecting a Recession” (p. 62), we reached into the archives and also connected with four of today’s top industry thought leaders to offer you perspective on how the industry may fare during this current period of economic instability.
We also celebrate the many facets of mountain operations as we head into winter. There seems to be a mountain ops renaissance happening. If you look at back issues of SAM, ski area marketing in the ’70s and ’80s sold fantasy and vice. Then we focused on families and wellness in the ’90s and early ’00s. Now, behind-the-scenes content that foregrounds mountain ops is taking center stage. From trails groomed to perfection to lift installations and late night snowmaking, “Behind the Curtain” (p. 40) looks at the different ways resorts are sharing their ops highs and lows with guests.
In “Smooth Operations” (p. 70), we drill down on the latest in mountain ops software and the most effective ways to implement it. These tech innovations, which allow operators to automate previously manual work, are well timed to help our staff and businesses become more efficient.
And you can flip to page 56 for our annual Terrain Park Contest, where ops is always the star. The creativity in this year’s submissions is outstanding. We also have a new category, “park crew,” to celebrate the builders and diggers who make it happen. Thank you to all who entered—our most submissions ever! And thank you to our Terrain Park Contest sponsor, Prinoth.
Darn, I am out of space and have only just begun sharing the nuggets in this issue that will bring you and your team fame, fortune, and free puppies. (Just checking to see who has read this far.)
We love sharing stories with you, but communication is a two way street. I would love to hear from you! Please email me your thoughts, feedback, story ideas, jokes, compliments, or kvetches: email@example.com.
Olivia Rowan, Publisher