From April 1-4, over 300 ski and snowboard industry executives gathered at Copper Mountain, Colorado, at a summit geared to take over the roles that the Transworld Industry Conference and Ski Industry Week once played. By uniting the two conferences, Transworld Snowboarding, Mountain Sports Media and Snowsports Industries America, hope to provide a universal forum for equipment manufacturers, ski resorts and retailers. The result? Most agreed that the Snow Industry Summit (SIS) was a big success and organizers look forward to an even bigger event next year. Here are some of the highlights:

From the chairman of Zumiez retail shops to the VP of marketing at Nissan, SIS provided conference-goers with keynoters who had plenty of take-home information. For example, Tom Campion, chairman of Zumiez, spoke about motivating employees with a 100k club and bash, designed for those who sell over $100k in a year. The next evening, Anne Marie Luthro of Envirosell, gave a talk on consumer habits and why people buy...or why people don't. She emphasized the importance of the decompression area in a retail store, that is the area the consumer first enters, gets organized, and tries to figure out where to go. This area is important in determining the customer's experience so attention in this area is well placed.

After dinner on the second evening, Jane Kachmer of Sony Pictures brought with her a movie titled "Riding Giants." This eye-popping epic covered the lives, thrills and near-death experiences of some of the world's best surfers as they negotiate 40- to 60-foot waves in Hawaii.

On the last evening, Steven Wilhite, VP of marketing at Nissan, told the riveting tale of how Nissan turned themselves around from near bankruptcy. This no holds barred speech provided some great insight into successful business practices as well as a glimpse into the future. Wilhite stated that the future will be an ethnically diverse market and to ignore it is to do so at one's peril, especially the Latino market.

Throughout each morning and each evening, seminars and workshops were offered to attendees. Sessions on Youth Initiatives, PR and the Women's Wave drew standing-room only audiences. In addition, rental equipment, the specialty shop, successful retailing, using research and mergers and acquisitions were also covered.

On the final night, the Tranny awards were given to photographer Bud Fawcett and super sportsman, Shawn Palmer. The ever-humble Palmer announced that competitors in several sports can breathe easy now because he will decrease his athletic involvement in the future and concentrate on his company, Palmer Snowboards.

On a final note, Copper produced some fine spring snow for attendees who were given the opportunity to slide every day from 10:30 to lift close--this attendee took full advantage of the great conditions, as did most everyone else at the Summit.

Photos from the event will be posted in the coming days. \