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January 2023

Publisher's Memo :: January 2023

SAMMY Hall of Famers... Lift Construction survey.

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment



When it comes down to it, recognition is at the heart of what SAM does. Consider the content in the magazine, for example. Much of what we include here is from ski area operators, topic experts, and other professionals who have valuable knowledge to share. Publishing their insights for others to learn from is a  recognition of their expertise, ideas, or practices.

We recognize industry players in more conspicious ways, too, through our awards and programs, including the biggest individual recognition SAM doles out annually: the SAMMY Leadership Award. For more than 20 years, three or four individuals are chosen each year from a pool of peer nominations to receive a SAMMY. The SAMMY Hall of Fame is a who’s-who in the mountain resort world. We’re very proud to recognize these folks, and we’re very lucky to have them as resources, too.

For example, Karl Kapuscinski, who shares insights about the master plan behind his aquisition of China Peak, Calif., in “A Game Breaker?” (p. 18), was part of our very first class of SAMMY honorees in 1998. John Rice, general manager of Sierra-at-Tahoe, is another SAMMY Hall of Famer gracing the pages of the January issue (“New Growth,” p. 70).

Two of the 2022 SAMMY honorees also chime in with guest editorials on a pair of articles in this issue—Gregg Blanchard on “How Can I Help You?” (p. 48) about resorts’ growing use of AI chat on their websites; and Kevin Somes on “Rules of Engagement” (p. 42), which discusses the need for strong relationships between resorts and their local communities. 

Speaking of the SAMMYs, it’s time to nominate a rising ski industry leader you know who is driving our industry forward through innnovation, passion, and action. Go to to submit a nomination for the 2023 SAMMY Leadership Awards today, or check out the SAMMY Hall of Fame for inspiration. 



While we thrive on recognizing others, we’d be remiss not to recognize an accomplishment of our own that appears in this issue: the 60th annual Lift Construction Survey. Yes, SAM has been collecting the data on North American lift installations since the magazine’s inception. editor and author of this year’s Lift Construction Survey article (“In High Demand,” p. 64) Peter Landsman recognizes the achievement. “The early Lift Construction Surveys were instrumental in piecing together the history of many of the ski areas I track lift statistics for,” he says. “Sixty years of consistently providing an accurate accounting of construction is an incredible legacy.”

The 60th lift construction survey was a big one with 59 aerial lifts installed across North America—the most in decades. We look forward to hearing about these new improvements from you in person at the NSAA East and West conferences this winter. 

For us, the biggest recognition for what we do is having your support as a subscriber or advertising partner. Thank you, as always, for that. 

Olivia Rowan, Publisher