Thursday, September 16, 2010

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Effort Unveiled


As the weather turns cooler and winter is sneaking up on us ski resorts and associations in the US are preparing for another winter ski and snowboard season. Currently I am attending the New England Ski Areas winter trade show. A key part of today's program is dedicated to the national effort to grow skiing and snowboarding.

This Thursday morning NSAA President Mike Berry presented on the topic of the Model for Growth. He spent key time making sure to focus on the learn to ski and ride effort as a critical part of sustaining our ski industry. The urgency of trial and introduction has never been more critical. The industry is at an all time low for introductory lessons.

Certain areas the areas are at capacity up to about 15 days a year when it used to be maybe 5 days. Resorts in the Southeast and near urban areas are impacted most by this. Core numbers is relatively stable while some reactivation on the lapsed skiers. Industry issue is introducing and creating new skiers. We will work closely with groups and resorts to promote participation in our winter sports.

It is still the case that the best way to get new skiers is to get an existing skier or boarder to bring a friend. The ski and snowboard industry is solidly organizing behind January being Learn to Ski and Snowboard month – www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org. State associations are driving this initiative nationwide.


What is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month? It is a national effort that empowers states organizations to get out and promote in a manner that works best for them. The message consistency is – “Humans were never meant to hibernate”. It embodies the concept of think globally and act locally. This campaign is being supported by all facets of the ski and snowboard industry. The goal is to encourage adults and children to take introductory ski and snowboard lessons. The industry wants to get more people from all walks of life involved. The campaign will go beyond first time skiers and appeal to individuals to take lessons to get better enabling them to enjoy the sport even more. We as an industry want skiers and snowboarders for life.

The goal and messaging to the public will be focused on highlighting lessons to learn the sport and to improve. There will be valuable promotional offers to encourage this participation. Look for deals on the national web site – www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org . This site will also have information on learning the sport and targeting the beginner and intermediate skier and snowboarder. Programs and promotions will vary by region and resort. One interesting part of this promotional effort is the building of terrain parks in urban areas to promote these campaigns. One example is he association for Maine ski areas – Ski Maine is expanding an effort started last winter in downtown Portland.

One of the spokesperson for this national effort is Glen Plake. More details will be forthcoming as resorts and state regions announce the promotional efforts.