Cutter's Camp 2022 Recap
The 18th annual Cutter’s Camp at Timberline, Mt. Hood, Ore., May 16-20, 2022, was a sold-out event. Freestyle terrain professionals from resorts of all sizes and regions in North America and worldwide descended on Timberline for the five-day event. Attendees engaged in seminars, workshops, roundtables, networking activities, and one-one-on-hill operator coaching, and discussed topics ranging from risk management and feature design and construction to events and progression and much more. Check out the full slideshow below.
2022 SESSION HIGHLIGHTS
WHO IS IN OUR PARKS?
A common theme from park managers across North America is an increase in more entry-level customers in our parks. Do you look at them as a nuisance or an opportunity to bring more people into your terrain parks? How do you educate and help them advance to the next level? Are your operators and park crew onboard and understand considerations in building for skill level in your parks? We will dive into a proper feature-sizing mix for guests of all levels.
BUSINESS OF PARKS
Your park program is like running a business. You have to create a plan, communicate that plan to your team and management, allocate budgets and resources, and execute the plan. Industry veterans Mike Bettera and Kevin Laverty of Effective Edge will take campers through the process of how to develop a progressive, sustainable, business-diving program, designed to achieve and keep their competitive edge.
THE NEW LANDSCAPE OF TERRAIN FEATURE DESIGN
Since the beginning, freestyle terrain has evolved and been refined through progression, failure, and breakthroughs. The creative spark that influenced parks in the beginning is now pushing the limits of event designs, and parks are benefitting. This innovation, coupled with innovations in equipment, has allowed for new ideas and opportunities to create freestyle offerings for all user levels and support the continued growth of our industry.
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING GROOMING TEAMS
Finding, training, and managing a grooming crew is an industry-wide challenge. Industry veterans and resort leaders will share and discuss three frameworks for building up your grooming team.
This job takes a toll under normal circumstances. Add a pandemic that has impacted business and personal lives, and a historic labor shortage, and we have a serious burnout issue that is turning into a mental health crisis. We don't have a deep well of operator talent, so we have to take care of the crew we have. In this roundtable with experts and operators we will talk about how to take care of yourself and your team and learn what signs to look out for and how to advocate for help.
ASTM RESOURCE GUIDE UPDATE & JUMP MEASUREMENT
Members of the terrain park resource taskforce will share the latest news and updates on the ASTM standards for jump measurement and terrain park design.
Back by popular demand, the intensive one-on-one on-hill coaching gives each camper a concentrated block of cat-time, building in the park on-hill with a top park builder. Campers have the opportunity to ask all their burning questions, get veteran tips and advice, and hone their operating skills. Whether you have one year or eight+ years of experience as an operator, you choose what you and your coach focus on. You are in the driver's seat!
PROGRESSION / LEARNING PARKS
This workshop will take campers through how to take your never-evers to the next level quickly. Successful parks with guest progression in mind increase your park's ROI. We will explore how to make simple features more interesting and feature lines that encourage natural progression. We will talk about ways to sync your parks with snowsports to help drive ROI and guest experience.
Communication is a soft skill that can often get overlooked. In this session, experts and industry leaders will share what they have learned and the in's and out's of effective communication—whether it's communicating with marketing, management, or across departments.
The in's and out's of terrain park risk management will be examined with experts from leading insurance companies and ASDA attorneys. Topics will include the main areas that impact terrain park litigation, including: education, warning, design, construction, maintenance, and supervision.
ADDITIONAL CAMP SESSIONS INCLUDE:
• Terrain Park Managers Roundtable
• Hosting successful events and contests in your park
• Design and construction of snow and man-made features
• Pre- and post-loss risk management strategies for your park program
• Social media and parks
• Snow science: how to get the most from your product
• Strategies for growing participation
• Machine operation and maintenance
• Documentation and logs
...AND MUCH MORE!
We would like to thank our panelists and on-hill coaches, some of whom have been part of Camp for all of its 18 years, for their expertise and extensive contributions to make this annual gathering a success. Check them out in the slideshow.
Cutter’s Camp would not be possible without the support of our sponsors: Arena Snowparks, BlackStrap, HKD Snowmakers, PistenBully, Prinoth, RDO Integrated Controls, Effective Edge, TowPro, and Safehold Special Risk. The invaluable contributions from the industry’s leading terrain park experts bring it all together.
As a few campers summed up their experience at camp:
"My experience was an eye-opener. The amount of passion for snowsports at this camp is incredible."
"Excellent. The amount of knowledge that's here and being able to understand what other resorts are going through and succeeding at is incredible."
“The opportunity for all of us to come together, share ideas and drive inspiration for our craft is a thing of beauty. I will cherish and remember these connections forever. This is an experience of a lifetime and I hope that I can come back next year.”
"This camp really inspired me to continue to progress myself in the industry. Hard work speaks volumes and there was a room full of dedicated hardworkers."
"This was my third experience at Cutter's Camp and it only gets better every year."
CUTTER'S CAMP ATTENDEES SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCE...
“At the start of camp my biggest issue was difficulty communicating with my team and upper management. After camp I have a better understanding of terrain parks role in the “big picture” of the resort and a better idea of how to communicate my needs within that structure.”
"This has been the best thing I have ever done to better my park. Really looking forward to applying everything I have learned.”
“Year after year I am able to go back to my resort and apply a new things that I have picked up.”
"This is a time I will never forget, the friends I have made this week, the knowledge, skills, and tools gained will change our mountain for the better.”
"Extremely helpful and knowledgeable coaches."
"I fell in love with the environment and the people that are a part of this industry. I'm glad to see that everyone is moving in the same direction."