January 2022

Publisher's Memo :: January 2022

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment



You may have noticed a nod to our 60th anniversary on this month’s cover. Can it be? For six decades SAM has strived to be thought-provoking, helpful, and sometimes entertaining. We have been through a lot of ups and downs along with the rest of the industry, from record seasons to snowless winters and our latest challenge, the pandemic.

Like the ski business, we’ve grown and adapted over the years—SAM is no longer just a magazine. You can access news, information, insights, and opinions via PodSAM, Huddles, headline news emails, and social posts. We’ve also gathered expertise inside the industry and out to offer training, education, and networking through Summit Series bootcamps, Cutter’s Camp, and Summer Ops Camp. 

We are grateful for your support through the years. We would not be here celebrating our 60th without you.

Turning 60 is not our only news. We recently added a new member to our team: Jack Fagone. Jack started in marketing at Mount Snow, Vt., and most recently was the marketing director for Attitash and Wildcat, N.H. He was a SAM “10 Under 30” in 2017. He’ll wear many hats at SAM and Adventure Park Insider (SAM’s sister publication). 

Speaking of many hats, this issue showcases several of the roles SAM has played through good times and bad. On a positive note, lift building is on the upswing, as our annual lift construction survey shows (p. 61).

Capital improvement projects in general are trending upward. To help resorts plan their future moves, we assembled a power panel of crack financial minds to discuss how to best approach capital maintenance and growth projects. This is a must read on p. 34.

What will the industry look like 10 years from now? Several SAMMY Award honorees shared their thoughts in “A Peek into the Crystal (Snow)Ball” (p. 18). 

Of course, the future is often unpredictable, and resorts must roll with the punches from time to time. To that end, this issue’s interview with Sierra-at-Tahoe GM John Rice (p. 56) is especially poignant. The devastating Caldor Fire last summer permanently changed the resort’s future. Rice’s experiences before, during, and after the fire offer valuable lessons and demonstrate the power—and limitations—of good planning. 

In this season of giving, please consider a donation to the Sierra employee relief fund (search “Sierra-at-Tahoe” on gofundme.com). Another way to help: SAM is donating 10 percent of the cost of any new or renewed subscription during December and January to the relief fund. 

Here’s to a healthy and prosperous new year. Thanks, as always, for reading. 

Olivia Rowan, Publisher