The continued growth in summer resort operations lured more than 160 attendees representing 50 resorts, along with 34 vendor partners, from across North America to SAM's 6th annual Summer Ops Camp at Camelback Resort, Pa., Sept. 9-11. The three-day conference addressed several aspects of “The Serious Business of Summer Fun” and provided several opportunities to demo a variety of summer activities and different ways to program them.
The three-day camp kicked off with a tour at nearby Mountain Creek, N.J., providing a behind-the-scenes look at its acclaimed Mountain Bike Park operations and offering guests a chance to check out the trails, skills park and pump track. Other tours included Camelback's Camelbeach Mountain Water Park; Aquatopia, the new 125,000 square foot indoor water park, complete with seven swimming pools and 13 slides; and the new CBK Lodge itself. Campers also tested the latest aerial adventure offerings at Camelback's Mountain Adventure Park, Blue Mountain's Summit Aerial Park, and Fernwood's TreeVentures Aerial Ropes Course.
Between these tours, campers attended workshops and conferences addressing several aspects of summer operations: how to measure and predict financial performance; market intelligence; marketing to summer guests; mitigating summer ops risks; and how to transition staff and facilities from one season to the next. A series of informal, small-group discussions focused on catering to families; the importance of waivers; the feasibility of aerial adventure parks and zip lines; mountain bike park operations; and summer programming options. By the end, attendees left with several key takeaways to help their businesses achieve new levels of success.
Summer Ops Camp heads West next year. Location and date will be announced soon.