Winter is Coming
News of snow blanketing parts of the U.S. at press time has us all excited about the prospect of a good season ahead. Everything is hopeful. Let’s pause, take a deep breath, and enjoy that familiar feeling.
Now, on to Business
The pandemic is still on our worry list, but with vaccines available, fewer restrictions, and Covid playbooks in hand, this season may feel closer to normal in that regard. As Dave Riley, COO of Sunshine Village, Alberta, said in “What, Me Worry?” (p. 22), “It would be wonderful to get back to having fun, doing what we do best, skiing and snowboarding.”
To do that, we have to address the biggest worry facing EVERY business in North America: staffing shortages. Ski area staff will wear a lot of hats this winter. If you see your GM parking cars or your rental techs loading lifts, send us a picture so we can document what we do best, which is get “steeled up and adjust to whatever comes,” as Jeff Kohnstamm, GM of Timberline, Ore., put it. For a proactive take on tackling a big part of our staffing woes, check out part two of Andy Bigford’s series “Skiing’s Prickliest Problem” (p. 55), where he dives into employee housing solutions.
Of course, we have a lot to celebrate, too. Take “Construction Site” (p. 66), for example. It showcases just a few of the many capital improvement projects at ski areas this year—a sign that many had a successful winter despite some extreme challenges.
Speaking of improvements, our Tech Planning Guide supplement is a valuable resource for your resort’s future technology upgrades. The guide will help you assess your internal needs and prepare checklists for RFPs and integrations. We have also compiled a chart of tech suppliers that outlines what they do, who they do it for, how to get in touch with them, and more.
Tech stands still for no one, though, so we made an expanded version available online in our Tech Mountain Department (saminfo.com/tech). There, we’ll continually update you with the latest content and supplier info.
Finally, we just wrapped our 5th year of the Summit Series Leadership Development Program. We brought 10 mentors and 10 mentees together for weekly discussions on the most relevant and pressing issues of our time, including: Leading the Change, Sustainability, Career Development, Culture of Change, and Guest Experience.
The conversations were too important not to share, so we’re making them available as part of five bootcamps that can be taken individually or together, and include additional advice and insights from top experts and industry leaders. Check out the details on page 44.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
See you on the mountain!
Olivia Rowan, Publisher