In year two of the SAM Summit Series—a collaborative leadership development project where industry up-and-comers learn from respected resort bigwigs—our 10 mentees take a more active role in the program, increasing their opportunities to learn the ropes from 10 renowned industry leaders.
During the conference calls, including this one that tackles the sticky subject of growth, mentors share their thoughts and answer mentees' questions. The three distinguished mentors for this round are Kim Mayhew (GM, Solitude, Utah), Ben Doornbos (GM, Nub’s Nob, Mich.), and Russ Coloton (GM, Hunter Mountain, N.Y.).
In addition to the calls, each mentee is paired with a mentor, and they’ve been connecting at least once a month for one-on-one phone calls. And to further this education, Dr. Natalie Ooi of Colorado State University’s graduate Ski Area Management Program provides mentees with additional deep-dive projects following every group call.
Thank you to all our mentors, and to Dr. Ooi, as well as the Summit Series sponsors MountainGuard and Leitner-Poma. And thank you, as always, to Paul Thallner of High Peaks Group, for his expert facilitation of each call.
Paul Thallner: I was thinking about this topic before the call, and I thought, wow, every leader of every organization is constantly thinking about growth. It's sort of the burden and the expectation of all leaders for organizations, and one that occupies a lot of brain space, so I'm sure there's going to be plenty to talk about today with our mentors.
To start, I'd love for our mentors to think about an “ah ha!” moment when you realized that there was a challenge or a solution. Something that you observed related to growth, working in conversion and retention. So, start thinking about your first experience with that, whether it’s some of the key learnings or guiding principles that you acquired at that time, and how you're using them today.
Kim Mayhew: My early career, especially as a supervisor-manager, was at Deer Valley Resort. I was with Deer Valley Resort for just over 33 years prior to coming to Solitude, and the thing that sticks out in my mind that I really grabbed hold of was our owner's principles of impeccable guest service and guest experience. That is the key to having people return to your resort, gaining that brand loyalty, and telling their friends—making sure that they had such a great time that they couldn't wait to tell their friends.
So, part of the culture in my early years was that everyone, including the front-line staff members, really understood the value of excellent guest service. And each touch point and each interaction or transaction, if you will, creates the whole entire guest experience. So, everyone was responsible for the outcome, which was to get that guest to return and retain them as a long-term loyal guest to the sport and to your brand and culture.
Ben Doornbos: So, my whole ski career has been here at Nub's Nob. I started here in 2008 and I'm still very new to the position of general manager, this is only my second year. But when you asked for a story, I thought about an interesting experience with growth here with our NASTAR program. I was in mountain operations early on here, and one of the things I had to do was run NASTAR races, and we had been seeing declining numbers in NASTAR racing.
One thing we noticed was people were getting frustrated because we started NASTAR right at 12:30, but you couldn't get into the race if you didn't show up before 12:30 because the roster was already set. With technology, I realized that we could set up a remote computer and actually enter people into the race as it was ongoing.
So, we did that and all it cost us was an internet cable and a laptop computer. We went from having maybe 15 to 20 people racing during the weekend to doing 40 to 50 people over the weekend, and we've got the best NASTAR numbers in the Midwest.
That was one of those things where you just listen to the guest and they say, “I do NASTAR, but I can't get to the hill before 12:30.” Simply adding in that ethernet cord and a remote registration computer allowed us to basically double our participation with NASTAR.
So, as things like that come up for the mentees, think about what the problems are that your hill is having, and listen to your skiers and your snowboarders, and what they are telling you. Usually if you use a little ingenuity you can come up with something that will result in growth.
Paul: Incredible how simple some solutions can be. The solution-to-result ratio is nice when it's high like that.
Russ Coloton: At Hunter, for a long time, both the ski school and the rental operation were concessions. About 20 years ago we took over both of those operations, and one of the things that became evident to me was that we were having a lot of guests leave the rental process looking to learn to ski or ride, but if they had missed a lineup, they were out there floundering.
So, if a never-ever exited the rental shop and had another hour and a half before they got into a lesson, by the time we got their instructor they were done already. Their experience just wasn't that great. So, I started questioning why we operate this way and the response was, “Well, that's the way we've always operated.”
At times, I thought we were in the line-up business, not introducing our guests to the sport. The early takeaway for me was the opportunity to challenge all of the traditional thoughts and processes that had been in place to make sure that everything that we do had the guest experience in mind.
Paul: That's really interesting. I’d like to switch gears a little bit and throw it back out to the mentees.
Rick Herlihy: Do you view the shift to mountain consolidation as a growth driver for the industry as a whole? An example might be resorts having access to capital that they may not otherwise have had, so for a resort that's getting that growth capital it’s very beneficial. But I’m interested in your perspective from the industry as a whole.
Kim: Solitude became an Alterra Mountain Company property in August. Your question is very thoughtful—I appreciate it because you're exactly right. I hope that the consolidation will be a growth driver, both for the resort to grow and to utilize that capital opportunity from the consolidation to better their brand and what they have to offer the guest.
Focusing on what the guest needs and what they're telling you, it's really important. It’s nice having the money to be able to execute some of those things. I'm seeing that as a real plus of consolidation.
Your other part was growth in terms of skier visits or driving skier visits. I think it will. I think we're still in a place where we’re competing for the same guest. But I think that the experience of being able to go to other properties within the consolidation may help spur some growth.
Ben: I'm going to take this question from a slightly different perspective. We're in the upper Midwest, and we’re not part of a consolidation, and I really don't think anybody's interested in us, either, because we're not near a metro area that can be a theater to a bigger area out east or out west.
So, the question is an interesting one. For small areas like us that are owned by families, I actually think that the consolidation thing is a little bit of an opportunity for us, too, because it differentiates us from the bigger resorts. So for those folks that are still at small mom and pop ski areas, I think that there's always been a little bit of, you know, a little bit of an underdog thing going on, and I think this highlights that even more.
And, certainly, our season pass growth for the past few years has been very good. I think that there is a model that works for the small folks that aren't going to be part of the consolidation process.
I do think that small ski areas can actually benefit from this thing as well.
Russ: Like Kim, we're a recent acquisition to a larger family, so to speak, about two-and-a-half years now. There are definitely additional resources that may have not been there otherwise—both from a financial standpoint and a technology/informational standpoint, I would say.
As for growing the sport, I would say that it depends on the organization and what their commitment to growth is—whether it is organic in building the market, or if it is into, frankly, stealing market share. And so, I think it really depends on the organization and their direction.
Paul: Lots of big business-decisions that have to be made, and strategic ones when thinking about this, for sure. I want to turn to Greg, who has a question relating to the creativity and flexibility of ways to ensure growth in times of challenge.
Greg Valerio: So, with the popularity of skiing on the decline, do you think it's important for the industry to continue expanding beyond snowsports? And what are some ways to attract participants beyond skiing and riding?
Ben: That's a great question, Greg. I do think that it’s important for ski areas to look at what they have as a resource and see if there's any ways to expand. I'm going to focus on actual stuff that's happening in the winter.
One thing that we've seen here in the Midwest is the growth of things like skate skiing, cross-country skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing, and AT skiing. A lot of our dedicated core season passholders here, they may start off their day on the cross country trails, then move to a pair of snowshoes, and then finish off the day off on a pair of tele-skis.
For us, I think that we need to continue to look at the resource we have, which is this ski slope and the trails around it, and think about other ways that people want to use the ski resort. We're totally focused on wintertime operations here, but at the same time, there is an opportunity to do more things in the summer as well.
I think that it's just important to not stay stagnant, and to really listen to your customers and what they are telling you. Look at trends in the industry, as well. Certainly things like fat biking are gaining popularity and it's important to be ahead of the curve on some of this stuff.
Russ: I guess I'll focus on the off-season, because I will tell you that when the weather is good there is still really strong demand for skiing and riding. So, it's important to continue to develop opportunities for the resort during the non-skiing season. Opportunities like conferences and weddings, and food and beverage [events], and concerts—things like that.
Having said that, it's still really difficult to replace the volume from a visit standpoint and a revenue standpoint of a single Saturday in the wintertime. It takes a lot of weddings to get close to a Saturday in January.
Kim: We make hay in the wintertime and we fill in some business and keep some great people employed in the summer. To your point, what a very important thing it is to expand beyond snow sports. The reason being is studies do show that Millennials, or Millennial participants, which is our next generation of growth opportunity in this industry, they're looking for a full-mountain experience, and snowsports are just a part of it. Offering some other activities that provide for that expanded experience helps to grow that generation of skiers.
You’ll notice, too, that families are travelling, and especially I've noticed here at Solitude, they travel multi-generationally. So, it's really key to have some other things that are happening, for the different levels of generation. Generally, the older folks in the family and the younger folks in the family. So, just growing those opportunities is important as well.
Paul: Parker had a question that seems to piggyback right on this conversation that we're having right now.
Parker Gokey: With low snow years and flat or declining participation, how important is it to add summer activities to try to balance the flow of revenue during years when winter might not be enough?
Ben: I'm going to double down on what Russ said. When you're the person looking at the numbers, it's just incredible the cash flow that can happen with skier business. I see the cover of SAM magazine and a lot of focus going to bike parks and alpine slides in summer operations, and I can only speak for our business in what we see, but there's just really no replacing the volume you can do with skier visits.
For most of us, our infrastructure is set up that way. We're set up to run thousands of skiers through the ski area. So, for me, I'm going to just say in terms of the low snow years and the summer operations, that's why we take money and we put it into snowmaking here and we absolutely have to have that snowpack. Maybe it's not a super diverse business model, but it is one that works.
I think that it's important, certainly in the Midwest, it's important for us to really invest in our people, because they’re the ones who need to make it happen when the cold weather comes. We also have to have the infrastructure so that when that cold comes, we can pull the trigger and do what we do best. And there's really not another way to replace that. Now that's not to say it's not good to be creative, but I am worried that as an industry as a whole we're losing a little focus on the skiing thing. I think that it's important to really continue to double down on the skiing thing. Skiing is not dead.
Paul: How fascinating. That's probably a whole hour discussion right there. We could really dig in on that one, that's really interesting.
Russ: It's important to generate visits to the resort in the off-season, but it’s also a great opportunity for us to allow us to keep our key people that are so important to the operation during the wintertime. The other point that I would make, at least in this market here, is that it's very difficult from a competition standpoint to compete in the summertime, specifically with water. We’re seeing a resurgence of demand to go to the mountains, but it's still very difficult to compete with going to the ocean or to the lakes in the summertime.
Kim: Well, we certainly don't have oceans here in Utah, but Russ makes an excellent point—people are looking for a different experience in the summer. We're in the unique position where our ski center is 12 miles from the heart of Salt Lake City, which is about three million people.
I've watched the ski industry grow their summer business from exactly where Russ was coming from, and it was to be able to retain really good staff. I remember working three and four jobs as a seasonal person, and that's hard work, and it's hard to juggle. Your passion sometimes can win out, and sometimes your passion doesn't.
But I really believe that the summer experiences that the industry is growing is an incredible retention tool for experienced winter people, and we really need to retain those people to make the snow, to groom, to do all the things that really do make hay for us in the wintertime.
Paul: We’re kind of on this theme a little bit of some of the headwinds that ski areas face in terms of achieving growth, especially when times are challenging. But the next question I'd love Hunter to ask has a little bit to do with self-inflicted pain.
Hunter Steinkamp: Do you feel as though at times the [high] pricing [of day tickets, ski school, etc.] offsets and ultimately lowers demand enough to decrease participation in the sport and actually hurt the overall bottom line of the resort?
Russ: I would say that most of us have fairly affordable introductory programs into the sport. I think one of the challenges that we have is that we have discounted these programs to make it affordable and to have a larger reach into the market, but at some point we have to take these people and transition them into the retail market. And I think that's where it becomes very difficult from the guest standpoint.
There are multi-day products, there are learn-to introductory products—the industry as a whole has some real affordable products out there where people, if they really have the interest, can get into the sport fairly affordably.
Kim: I'll just echo Russ there—the competitiveness of the pass prices, especially from the consolidated resort, is definitely something that people are looking at. In the ski industry I think we've developed a group of great shoppers, people who find ways to find that discount, and get the experience that they're looking for, and not necessarily pay retail.
There are a lot of us that are with the Liftopia platform, where people can purchase in advance. We're actually rewarding people to purchase things in advance and most of the competitive season pass products are also priced out really inexpensively if the consumer is willing to pay the price many, many months in advance.
I think we're finding ways to not price ourselves out of the business. We have a lot of costs. If you've ever looked at what it cost to run an operation, we have very fixed costs and you’ve got to pay those prices, still make money, and pay people, but you also have to be sensitive to the consumer and what they're doing.
Ben: Hunter that's a great question It's a great time to be a skier who loves the sport and knows where they want to ski. So, if you're a guy in the upper Midwest and is going to spend all your time at Nub’s Nob and you buy that season pass ahead of time, you're getting an incredible value.
But to Hunter's point, I think the thing we need to worry about is we're talking to our core audience. We're offering them a great product at a really fair price. But the folks that want to show up on a Saturday with zero planning, they are not getting a good price, and I think that there is some loss right there. As an industry, that's where we need to think about the family that wants to just show up on a Saturday.
The folks that really don't know the ski industry at all and just want to show up on a Saturday, there is a big price barrier for them.
I think that it's important for all of us to look at that and say, OK, we’ve got a never-ever showing up here and they don't know anything—how are we going to get them on the hill at a fair rate so we have a chance to convert them into season passholders down the road?
Paul: That is a perfect segue to Meghan's question related to marketing to guests and reaching guests.
Meghan Wilcock: We’re good at reaching peers, and engaging with established guests through our marketing practices. Do you have suggestions for marketing to non-skiers?
Russ: We’ve had pretty good success at finding partners who have the ability to reach never-evers through different channels than we do. And frankly, they may have the resources that we may not have to get into small niche markets. But whether it's different tour operators, whether it's different associations, just the use of different partners out there, gives you the ability to reach markets that frankly sometimes we don't even know exist.
We had a social tour operator that specialized in the Millennial market, for example. The skiing experience was just one part of the overall experience. It was really neat how they packaged it so that the bus tour itself was even part of the day.
And so a lot of people would come up and probably 98 percent of them were first-time skiers or riders. They would spend two to four hours on the slope and then they were in having lunch or listening to the band in the bar or something. It was all experience-based, but this was a group that we never would have been able to reach, and we would never have been able to package it in such a way that the ski experience was just one aspect of the trip as a whole.
Kim: One of the things I have challenged my team with is to find those non-snowsport participant segments of our population here in central Utah, to kind of whet their palette a little bit about snowsports.
One thing we’ve done is hook up with a Spanish-speaking radio outfit. We have a fairly large Spanish-speaking population here in the Salt Lake Valley, and to tap into that market and see the Hispanic population coming up here and enjoying snowsports has been really nice.
We also partner with Ski Utah, which is an organization that helps to promote the skiing and snowboarding industry in our state. Solitude alone provides 1,000 fourth graders with free lesson packages—and that's just our resort, that doesn't include what Brighton does, what Alta does, or what Snowbird does as part of this Ski Utah program. We have seen conversion from that population, and it is a diverse population. We provide discounted rental equipment and lessons [all the way up through sixth grade], and if you can get kids to ski more than three times, generally by the fourth time you've got them hooked. and then you provide incentives for them to continue. It's a great opportunity.
Paul: Pennsylvania does a similar thing. My son took advantage of the free pass for fifth graders a couple years ago. He's been skiing ever since.
Ben: When we talk about marketing to non-skiers, I always think: we're all consumers, so what's the thing that usually swings our decision-making to buying a product or purchasing an experience? Typically, it's friends and family, people we already know.
So, we always joke here that we spend 100 percent of our marketing dollars on snowmaking and grooming, which is to say: make the product great, and service the heck out of the people that buy your season passes. They'll be happy and they’ll want to get their non-skier friends and family involved in the sport. Make sure your season passholders—the core group of people that are at the resort—have a fantastic experience, and they will do the marketing work for you.
Paul: One thing that Kim mentioned a little earlier was the profile of folks coming out to resorts and that people tend to travel in multigenerational groups. So, Christina had a question that fits into that theme.
Christina Mattson: When considering the multigenerational shift in our market, would you consider it more valuable to develop programming that appeals to all members of the family, or more to a specific generation?
For example, if we get the kids hooked on an awesome seasonal program, will it drive the decision to make the home of that program the weekend ski destination for the family?
Russ: Developing programming that appeals to multiple members of the family would be important. In our learn-to business, it's not just children. It's children and adults, and then you have all the different types of segments whether it's daily programs, seasonal programs, and there's so many different niche markets for each of those different groups. So, there's multiple ways to reach all the different potential guests in the market.
Ben: I do think it's important to appeal to the multigenerational. You’ve got to remember who's got the wallet—it's going to be mom and dad. So you always want to make sure that it’s a place where they want to be at.
One of the things that's really popular for us here is Night Race League. We have hundreds and hundreds of people in our Monday, Wednesday, Thursday night race league. It’s for adults, they drink beer afterwards and have a good time, but while mom and dad are doing race league, what are the kids doing?
We have a ski academy that mirrors our race league. And ski academy is essentially like swim lessons, where you've got six or seven kids in a lesson with one instructor and they do the same 10-week schedule at the exact same time as the racing. So, we've got the whole family out here: mom and dad are having fun with their friends doing race league, and the kids are doing ski academy with their friends. So, it’s important to think about what's going to draw a family out to the ski area, and how do we keep each portion of the family involved.
Paul: I have a quick follow up on Christina's question for the three of you. Where do you see the growth in some of these more specific segments that we've been talking about? Whether it's the family or a particular generation, like Millennials or others, or specific demographic groups? Are there specific numbers that you can point to at the moment that show that it's worth investing in some of these groups that have potential?
Kim: You know, I think we are just getting started in being able to really capture some of those demographics that you mentioned. I think what is valuable is when we talk about developing programming, I think of things that are non-ski. Because I think every resort does a great job of offering adult group, adult private, child private, long-term programs for your local youth, women on Wednesday. I think we do a pretty darn good job of appealing to all of those different segments of the population.
But I think the valuable part is having the “fire pit marshmallow” opportunity at the end of the day, which brings all of the different age groups together. We even have sing-a-longs, we have jewelry making, we try to provide some really fun, family-type activities in the village here to diversify and bring those people back together at the end of the day. And I think that's the experience that, regardless of the generation, I think that's what people are looking for.
Russ: We continue to see growth in the Millennial market. Being two-and-a-half hours from Manhattan, we do a lot of group business and we see a lot of people that are looking for an adventure and a lot of these are people that have not skied or ridden before. So, we continue to see people dabble and try this new adventure for them, and we've been very successful in building programs that, once we get them the first time, we're able to keep them within our program to hopefully develop them into a lifelong skier or rider.
Ben: I am seeing growth anecdotally with the Millennial market. It seems like it's been happening fast here. Four or five years ago at the end of the ski day in the pub you'd see mostly Baby Boomers, and now that is shifting—we are seeing Millennials in there. And it's interesting because when you watch a group of Millennials, I think they are spending a lot more time in the lodge compared to Baby Boomers or even Gen X skiers. They seem to like to take more breaks and have a nice cup of coffee and enjoy each other's company in the lodge as well as on the chairlift and on the slopes.
So, I know we're thinking right now a little bit harder about the space of our lodge and what we're providing, not just on the slopes for the ski experience, but the total day at the ski area—what beer is on tap, what kind of coffee we have. Where that stuff maybe wasn't as important to the Baby Boomer generation, I do think that stuff is going to become increasingly important to the Millennials. It's going to be important to have things like good coffee and good beer, and just comfortable spaces where people can kick off their ski boots and enjoy each other's company. It's something worth thinking pretty hard about here.
Olivia Rowan: I love these observations. We all grew up with the parents that had you on first chair to last chair, but it’s shifting. Consumers are taking more breaks to just relax and enjoy the experience. Not quite what we had growing up. It’s very cool to watch the ski experience evolving.
Russ: It is. To follow up on that, we see exactly what Ben is seeing where the hardcore boomers show up and they are running out to the lift to get the runs in. The Millennials are coming in to have breakfast before they go out on the hill.
Olivia: Good cup of coffee, check the Insta feed. Do you see technology as a bigger piece of the Millennial experience on the hill?
Ben: At Nub’s we're kind of actively resisting that, and I think that whether or not Millennials would admit it, I think a lot of them are looking for a break from the screen time.
I was just reading a book called The Nature Fix and how important it is to just have that time to unplug, and I really think that ski areas have an opportunity with this next generation to offer that. Skiing is, obviously, not a good time to be looking at your phone—it's a good time to connect with people.
Of course, we still have Wi-Fi at the lodge and things like that, but I think that ski areas really have an opportunity to provide this space where technology is not so front and center.
Paul: I’d like to throw it to Eric to take us home.
Eric Kertzman: What can we do as resort leaders to collaborate with both new and established organizations in creating new, original, and out of the box introductory programs and draw in more new skiers and riders?
Russ: I would turn this around 180 degrees and ask all you folks the same question! [LAUGHS]
You know, I think we work on this all the time, but I still think there's a lot of great programs that are out there yet to be developed.
Paul: How do you get the creative juices flowing? Do you have teams, or staff meetings, or other ways to get the idea-generation going?
Russ: You know, it's beg, borrow, and steal. We have some really good people that are always looking for opportunities, looking at other industries to see what ideas are out there that might be relevant to what we do.
We look at what other people in the industry are doing to see if that will work in our market. We're very much a learning organization, so we're always trying to find ways to better ourselves. We're also a sales-oriented organization, so we're always looking at ways to bring new guests to the resort. I think it's something you never stop doing— it's something that we focus on all the time.
Ben: We should be really be looking at what outdoor sports are growing right now. Who's seen the growth? I know in our area, mountain biking has just exploded in the last decade. So the question is: what is mountain biking doing that is getting all of these new folks joining the sport?
I've got two little boys, a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, and we took a vacation this summer and went to some really nice mountain bike trails in the Upper Peninsula. They had a little flow track for kids that was just a circle right next to the parking lot. It had bumps and jumps and things, and my kids would probably still be there if we didn't pull them off of it.
I looked at that, and thought: “Okay, how can we replicate this kind of thing on a ski hill?” We just built a beginner park here. Our parks builder, Ryan Moore, just did an incredible job. He built this rolling terrain that wasn't just boxes and rails, but really kind of a little mini pump track for skis. It's hilarious, because I look every day now at our beginner slopes, and nobody's on the beginner part of it—they're all using this little pump track. I think we need to look at industries like mountain biking that are seeing explosive growth and ask ourselves what we can do as a more established industry to just stay fresh.
Olivia: I think everybody's writing that idea down, Ben, so you might want to copyright that one [LAUGHS].
Kim: So, in regard to looking at collaborative ways with other industry partners to grow programs and the sport, I think there are two sides to that. First, who have we not thought about partnering with to help us grow the sport? And the other side is the 750 people that I have here at the resort that are already mountain enthusiasts—how am I tapping into my current team to get them to come up with the next best idea?
One thing that I value very much is having a mission, vision and values, and having it malleable enough that it grows with you as a company. We were ready for a new vision statement. What are we reaching for in the future? Where are we going? And I'm so proud of my team—they came up with a vision statement that speaks exactly to what we're talking about here today. Our vision here at Solitude is we will never be wrong when choosing our next step to ignite our passion to inspire the next generation of mountain enthusiasts.
So, when you think of our vision, it actually is about us finding the way to ignite our passion to inspire that next generation of mountain enthusiasts. I'm so excited when I walk around the resort and talk to staff. They're providing ideas and thoughts about how we are going to grow the sport in general, and then grow the sport amongst ourselves here at Solitude.
Paul: So, we’re going to do a lightening round for a one or two sentence answer.
In your experience, either at a resort or an as an industry as a whole, what have you seen that we do well in terms of conversion and retention, and what is something that we could do better?
Russ: I think what we do well is we express our passion. We're all passionate about what we do, and I think that we translate that very well to the guest. What we don't do well is I think sometimes we lose that passion in the processes.
Ben: I think what we do well as a ski area is what we’ve always done, which is snowmaking, grooming, and the service side of our business. I think most ski areas have that pretty dialed in.
I think the thing that we could do better is looking for new opportunities at our ski hills. Whether it’s looking at things like creative terrain builds or doing things like expanding our ski offerings to include things like cross country, uphill routes, and things like that. I think that as an industry, sometimes we move slower than we can, and should.
Kim: I think what would do well in the ski industry and here at Solitude is provide exceptional mountain experiences that are memorable.
I think what we could do better as an industry is compare and share best practices to be more innovative with untapped markets.
Paul: Thank you so much, I really appreciate the pressure of that lightning round and I'm going to turn it back over to Olivia.
Olivia: Thank you, Paul, very much for facilitating once again, and to all our mentees for showing up and having great questions. This was a fun topic and it was hard for me to stay quiet. Thank you to Kim Mayhew and Russ Coloton and Ben Doornbos for your time on the call today, and all of your seasoned advice and insights on this topic.
Thank you very much to the three of you and, of course, our sponsors Leitner-Poma and MountainGuard and our Deep Dive Partner, Colorado State University.