May 2019

Publisher's Memo :: May 2019

Follow the Leaders; How to Follow Up on a Great Season.

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment

Follow the Leaders
It will take a wide range of talents to strengthen the resort industry over the coming decades. And that’s what the 2019 SAMMY Leadership Award winners represent: a diverse mix of leaders who are making a difference at their home resorts, in their communities, and in the industry overall.

may19 pub memo 01This award stems from peer nominations, and the respect and support our four recipients have earned blew us away. The four include a sustainability leader, a change leader, a guest experience guru, and an innovative marketer: Dawn Boulware of Taos Ski Valley, N.M.; Geoff Buchheister of Keystone, Colo.; Simon Pagé of les Sommets, Quebec; and Hugh Reynolds of Mountain Creek, N.J., and SNOW Operating. All have demonstrated the leadership skills needed to help steer the snowsports industry into the future. Check out the SAMMY insert in this issue to learn more about them—we suspect you will be seeing and reading a lot about them in the future.

How to Follow Up on a Great Season
Most of us had a crazy good season. Mother Nature was on our side this winter. Pause. Celebrate. Do a little dance.

Now, let’s get back to reality. Unfortunately, we can’t rely on snowy winters every year. Since the weather is ever unpredictable, resorts must find other ways to stabilize business. One shining example has been the steady growth of summer business over the past decade. Making use of our existing infrastructure and using our operational and business expertise, summer and fall business now accounts for an average of 15 percent of overall revenue. Some resorts realize as much as 60 percent of revenues in summer.

This side of our business has a lot of potential for future growth. Tom Foley of Inntopia dissects the opportunities and challenges of summer business in the third installment of his series, “Summer Rising,” on p. 85. Katie Brinton describes a different kind of mountain town, one that sees more than 11 million visitors a year, in “Set Up for Success in Gatlinburg,” on p. 88. This gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a lot to teach about catering to summer’s diverse, multi-generational audience.

To really learn about it, though, mark your calendars for Sept. 3-5, when our annual Summer Ops Camp heads to Gatlinburg. You just have to check out this place. The program will be chock full of seeing, experiencing, and learning. We hope you can join us—it will be well worth the trip.