May 2023

Publisher's Memo :: May 2023

Looking Back and Ahead

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment



With the winter season behind (most of) us, May is a good time to take in the big picture, to look backward and forward, to review the past season and prepare for the next.

At SAM, we are looking back on 25 years of the SAMMY Leadership Awards. This peer nominated award was started in 1998 to honor your colleagues’ mid-career leadership accomplishments. The SAMMYs have recognized nearly 100 leaders so far, many of whom continue to rise in stature and help shape our industry. Past honorees include: Karl Kapuscinski, Mountain High (’98); Karyn Thorr, Crystal Mountain (’00); Rob Perlman, Steamboat (’02); Bill Rock, Vail Resorts (’05); Joe Hession, Snow Partners (’11); Jody Churich, Breckenridge (’12); Ross Boisvert, McIntyre Ski Area (’13); Christopher Nicholson, CWSAA (’17); Nadia Guerriero, Vail Resorts (’18); Geoff Buchheister, Aspen (’19); and Rick Schmitz, Nordic Mountain (’20). 

Turning to the present, your 2023 SAMMY honorees boast the same passion, innovation, and standout leadership you have always lauded in your peer nominations. They are Preston Cline, director of risk and business operations, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, W.Va.; Stacey Timmons Ehleringer, executive director of guest engagement, Sun Valley, Idaho; Nadia Pepin, CEO, Mont Gleason, Quebec; and Mike Solimano, president and GM, Killington Resort/Pico Mountain, Vt. To learn more about these honorees and past hall of famers, check out the SAMMY program in this magazine.

Strong leadership from these folks will drive our industry forward and help shape our future. 

When it comes to imagining the next steps for your resort, we have many features in this issue to help get you there. “Investing in Retention of Interest” (p. 80) is all about a new take on calculating the ROI of your capital expeditures. “The Future of Tech” (p. 84) looks at the extent to which software solutions are replacing traditional tasks and services, and provides a glimpse into where future innovations can take us. “Season Pass Plays” (p. 28) provides food for thought regarding pass partnerships, benefits, and segmentations to meet customer needs and drive the bottom line. And one last example: our annual “Best and Worst in Marketing” (p. 72) offers dozens of resort marketing examples worthy of emulation—along with a few cautionary tales—to guide your messaging.

Resort managers and department heads have a good deal of work ahead as they plan for next season. This issue serves up a smorgasbord of thought-provoking ideas to help inform that process. We hope you find it energizing, useful and inspirational. 

 Olivia Rowan, Publisher