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"I just wanted to thank you for all that you have done this summer/fall to foster such vibrant and helpful collaboration between industry leaders. It is truly inspiring to be on a call knowing that our smallest mountains and largest resorts are wrestling with the same issues and working together to solve them." – Tom Butler, Sugarloaf

Huddle IG FB feed SMThe future is still somewhat uncertain so we're huddling, virtually, with fellow industry members to discuss the challenges and the many opportunities of our post-pandemic world. Our goal for the Huddles is to keep our communication lines open and work on sharing so we can all move forward together.

Upcoming Huddles

Small Area Huddle: Small Is the New Big

September 20, 3:30pm EDT

Register for the Huddle.

Small ski areas thrived last season as people stayed closer to home and new skiers and riders came out in droves. How will these areas fare this winter as Covid continues to impact travel and recreation, and more locals now have a connection to their local hill? Last winter, operators of small ski areas planned around the unknown. This season, though, they are being more strategic. Let's huddle to share what they are thinking about when it comes to retaining interest, managing demand, Covid protocols, the labor market, and more.


Co-host: Scott Brandi, SANY
Troy Hawks, Sunlight, Colo.
Matt O'Brien, Oak Mtn, N.Y.
Rebecca Sampson, Mt Peter, N.Y.
Lori Philipps, Ski Big Bear, Pa.
Jeff Staley, Detroit Mountain, Minn.
Avery Patrick, Showdown, Mont.



SAM Huddles are supported by:

DoppM Logo CMYK 



Marketing Huddle: Unfamiliar Terrain Ahead
September 13, 2pm EDT

PodSAM coming soon!

Shifts in consumer expectations and habits have historically been a game of inches and single percentage points. However, we’re now seeing sudden, dramatic changes in how guests interact with mountain resorts, what guests need and want from resorts, and even how guests see resorts fitting into their lives. There’s an awful lot of unfamiliar terrain for ski area marketers to navigate when putting together their communications plans for the 2021-22 winter season, so we're huddling to find some answers.


Co-Host: Marie-Josée Legault, Origin
Tyler Lamotte, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Hugh Reynolds, SNOW Operating 
Alex Moser, Seven Springs, Pa.
Christian Knapp, Pacific Group Resorts 
Morgan Bast, Director of Marketing, Steamboat, Colo.


Dust Off the Covid Playbook
August 30, 2pm EDT

Listen to this Huddle podcast on PodSAM.

The industry breathed a sigh of relief when last winter was in the rearview mirror. That sense of relief was all too short livedthough. While this winter won’t be the same as last, it appears that Covid will still be very much a part of it. The good news? For most operators, the Covid operations manual for winter is already written. The bad news? We need to take it out again, and maybe add a few new notes. 

In this Huddle, we will look ahead to the upcoming season and learn what mountain resort operators from across North America are planning as of now. We will discuss things like vaccine mandates, border closures, Covid playbooks, official guidelines (or lack there of), labor shortages, and staff preparedness for another Covid winter. The goal is to share what we know at this point to help operators develop their plans amid a changing landscape.


Peggy Hiller, VP of Operations, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colo.
John DeVivo, General Manager, Cannon Mountain, N.H,
Jonathan Davis, General Manager, Perfect North Slopes, Ind.
Steve Paccagnan, President & CEO, Panorama Mountain Resort, B.C.
Karl Kapuscinski, President & CEO, Mountain High Resort, Cali.
Carolyn Stimpson, COO, Wachusett, Mass. 
Kelly Pawlak, President, NSAA

Mountain Ops: Moving Forward into Summer and Beyond

Listen to this Huddle podcast on PodSAM.

As you get ready for summer ops, it’s worth unpacking the lessons learned and "Covid keepers" from this winter. End-of-season burnout has been more severe this spring than usual—so how do we move our teams forward into summer ops and beyond? It will take more than a vaccine to recover from the non-stop stress of this Covid year. Join NSAA and SAM as we gather mountain ops leaders and team effectiveness expert Paul Thallner to talk about turning the challenges of the past year into plans and positive actions for the future.

Lauri Jones, Exec. Dir. of Operations, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Laurel Mountain, Pa.
Dave Hunter, VP, Operations, Steamboat Resort, Colo.
Rich McCoy, Dir. of Ops, Pico, and Dir. Summer Ops, Killington, Vt.
Logan Stewart, Mountain Manager, Timberline Lodge, Ore.
Ken Gaitor, VP Mountain Operations, Snowshoe Mountain, W.V.
Ellen Galbraith, Sr. Director, Mountain Operations, Northstar California Resort

Post-pandemic Planning: A Primer to Moving Forward

Listen to the podcast on PodSAM. 

A year has passed since the world shut down, and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. What lies ahead? The pandemic forced an altered perspective on how we live, work, and play. How much of this will remain once the world opens up again? And how can this inform your decision making as you consider near- and long-term plans for your operations?

Join us as we explore the predominant trends that are influencing conversations about the future. SAM's Publisher Olivia Rowan and SE Group's Claire Humber will moderate an exciting panel of guests who'll share fresh insight and expertise to help you plan your next steps.

  • Stephanie Maez, Managing Director, The Outdoor Foundation.
  • MJ Legault, Principal, Origin
  • Regina Connell, Founder, Collective Work
  • Steve Wright, President and General Manager, Jay Peak Resort, Vt.
  • David Norden, CEO, Taos Ski Valley, N.M.


More Huddles are on tap. Stay tuned for more details.

To receive announcements about upcoming Huddles, subscribe to SAM or sign up for Headline News.

Haven't seen the announcements? Please check your spam and/or email Sarah W. directly to inquire. 

In the meantime, listen to the previous Huddles on SAM's podcast channel, PodSAM. Plus, check out the Huddles we've hosted for our sister publication, Adventure Park Insider.

For more Huddle podcasts, click here.

Downloadable Resources:

Mountain Ops Huddle:

Unfrozen by Paul Thallner


Post-Pandemic Planning:

View the 2021 Special Report in full: The New Outdoor Participant (COVID and Beyond) 

Metric Centric Customer Voice Snapshot


Selling Season Huddle:

Tom Foley, Inntopia Presentation

Dave Tragethon, Mt Hood Meadows Presentation


Reality Check Huddle:

Video from Bolton Valley's President, Lindsay DesLaurier


Snowsports & Rental Huddle:

Slides from Rachel, Cardrona and Treblecone, New Zealand


"Lessons from Down Under" Huddle:

Video of Bridget Legnavsky speaking to customers.

NZSki Ltd (Mt. Hutt, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak) Video

Paul Anderson's slides (NZSki Ltd)


Insight Collective Presentation from "Buckle Up" Part 2

COVID-19 Tracking Prototype

Jay Peak EverClean Team Messaging

Ski Areas Association of New Zealand Alert Level 2 Operations Guide

Download the signage examples from operations that have reopened for skiing and riding:

     New Zealand Business Toolkit Posters

     Arapahoe Basin, Colo.

     Timberline, Ore.

Download the signage examples from mountain bike operations:

     Blue Mountain, PA

     Highlands Mountain Bike Park, NH

     Detroit Mountain, MI

Watch the video from the reopening of Disney Shanghai

Download the COVID-19 People Recovery Playbook from High Peaks Group

Download the COVID-19 Response Deck from Origin Marketing + Communications

SAM is providing frequent updates, guidance, and ways to connect about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Visit our  Coronavirus Update  page for more resources and special reports. For email updates, sign up to receive  Headline News,  and, if possible, help support the voice of the mountain industry,  SAM Magazine, with a   subscription  or gift subscription for someone in need. Together, #WeGotThis.