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SAM Magazine—Boston, Mass., Sept. 8, 2023—The producers of Snowbound and Snowvana, two of the largest remaining consumer ski shows in the nation, report a record number of ski resorts and exhibitors have signed up to participate in the events this fall. Untitled design 99 

PowderDaze, a retail sales event in Colorado at which local resorts often sell passes, has expanded its footprint as well to include the Pacific Northwest. In-store sales events have played a key role for some ski areas as the number of major consumer ski shows has dwindled in recent years.

Snowbound Doubles Number of Exhibitors

At press time, 60 ski resorts and 150 brands were signed up to attend Snowbound Expo in Boston, Nov. 3-5. That’s a 100 percent increase over last year, according to Chloe Hyland, senior marketing manager for Raccoon Media Group, producer of the event.  This year, the event will be held about two weeks earlier than in the past. It also has a new location: the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, located in the South Boston Waterfront. The event was previously held at the Boston Hynes Convention Center, a few miles to the north. 

“The change in dates has made it easier for resorts and brands to commit to the expo before the season officially starts, so we are sure this will be the same for the consumers too, and the venue is much easier to access as well,” Hyland said.  

Last year, Snowbound attracted 20,000 visitors, and more than 15,000 tickets have been reserved for this year, Hyland added.

In addition to a new date and location, Snowbound has also collaborated with BirdieBlue, an outdoor company that fashions new products and accessories out of old gear and apparel, as a way of promoting sustainability at this year’s event. BirdieBlue will host the Revive, Reuse and Recycle Zone, where visitors can drop off their old snow pants, skis bibs, winter jackets, tents, windbreakers, snowsuits, and more. BirdieBlue will then upcycle the products into new accessories including sling bags, fanny packs, pouches, and carryalls.  

Guest speakers at Snowbound include athletes Shaun White, Lindsey Jacobellis, Ted Ligety, and Jeremy Jones, among several others. 

Snowvana Adds Indy and Ikon Sponsorships

Snowvana Logo2019 ToyotaMeanwhile in Portland, Ore., 22 ski resorts from the Pacific Northwest region and Canada and more than 50 gear and apparel brands have signed up to attend Snowvana—the most exhibitors in the event’s seven-year history. The uptick is primarily driven by new sponsorship deals with the Indy Pass and Ikon Pass that include free exhibit space for the ski resorts under those umbrellas, explained Doug Fish, Indy Pass founder and Snowvana producer.  

The show will host a roundtable addressing the future of skiing with Scott Turlington, general manager, Tamarack Resort, Idaho; Greg Pack, general manager, Mt Hood Meadows, Ore.; Andrew Gast, general manager, Mt. Ashland, Ore.; and Jeff Colburn, general manager, Silver Mountain, Idaho; with Stuart Winchester, publisher of the Storm Skiing Journal, moderating. 

Other speakers scheduled to appear at Snowvana include Matt Lorelli, news writer at POWDER Magazine, Jeon Huenggoo, general manager of Kiroro Ski Resort, Japan, and Brent Potter, of Japan Ski Tours.  

Snowvana sees more than 11,000 attendees on average during the three-day event. 

PowderDaze Sales Event Expands, Helps Fill Ski Show Gap

In Washington, outdoor retailer Christy Sports said in August it was renaming its annual SkiBonkers sale—which has been ongoing at Christy Sports’ outdoor retail store Sturtevant’s in Bellevue since 1978—to PowderDaze, bringing it under the banner of the company’s fall sales event in Colorado. 

Christy Sports has held the two-week long PowderDaze sale for the past 14 years. The sale runs concurrently at its headquarters in Littleton, and its other retail locations in Dillon, West Vail, and Steamboat. The main event is at the Littleton store, where several Colorado ski areas are also on-hand selling and processing ski passes. This year PowderDaze was held from Aug. 25 to Sept. 4.

"SkiBonkers has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kirk McEwan, Pacific Northwest regional manager for Christy Sports. “The rebrand to PowderDaze represents more than just a name change, it symbolizes our commitment to unifying our offerings and experiences for ski and snowboard enthusiasts across the country.”

This year, PowderDaze at Sturtevant’s featured several resorts from Washington and Western Canada. However, in the past few years ski resort participation at Christy’s headquarters in Littleton has dropped off, as some resorts have moved all season pass sales online. 

John Sellers, marketing director at Loveland Ski Area, told SAM that in-store sales events like PowderDaze have helped fill an important function in the absence of a major consumer ski show in Colorado. Snowbound Denver was discontinued after Covid forced its producers to cancel the event in what was to be its debut in 2020 and again in 2021. Prior to Snowbound, BEWI Productions had produced the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver since 1979. In 2019, Snowsports Industries America (SIA) acquired the Ski Expo and subsequently partnered with Raccoon Media Group in 2022 to relaunch the event. 

“Following Covid, the decision was made to focus on one Snowbound event and getting the Boston event back to full strength,” explained Hyland. “Raccoon and SIA are continuing to assess opportunities to extend the Snowbound Expo portfolio into other regions but have not yet announced where or when that will be.”

“The Ski Expo was always a great event for us,” said Sellers. “It provided us with another high-profile opportunity to engage with our guests, but in its absence those sales are still coming through from other events or online sales. We have a lot of good relationships with Front Range retailers and are certainly open to creating new ones.”

The Loveland sales team attends 30 to 40 sales events each fall, most of which happen at independent retail locations.

“We kicked off our fall sales events at PowderDaze again this season, and we were very happy with the results,” said Sellers. “Our sales were up over the previous season, and I think it is safe to say that we have rebounded from Covid.”

Sellers said that while he is doubtful a major consumer ski show like Snowbound will return to Colorado, Loveland would participate if one did.