'How to grow snowsports' meeting scheduled for Denver

After record-breaking seasons at snowsports retail and on the slopes, the industry's leaders are looking for ways to capitalize on the momentum. A first ever 'How to grow snowsports' meeting will bring them all together in Denver to talk it out.
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After record-breaking seasons at snowsports retail and on the slopes, snowsports industry leaders are looking for new ways to capitalize on the momentum. SNEWS has learned that a first of its kind ‘How to grow snowsports’ meeting is scheduled to take place in Denver on Aug. 17, 2011. Bringing together representatives from all of the major organizations and associations in the snowsports industry, including resorts, reps, retailers, manufacturers and ski instructors, the meeting is being billed as a place to discuss “best practices” for growing ski and snowboard participation.

“When the executive committees of the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) and the SIA (SnowSports Industries America) met in California in May, it was recommended that we do something like this,” said SIA President David Ingemie. “We’re still working on an agenda for the meeting, but the idea is that we are going to bring in a professional facilitator and explore how we can all work together to increase participation in snowsports.” 

Ingemie said he expects that the starting point for the meeting will focus on ideas about finding more synergy in expanding January’s lesson-based initiative, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. “I think just sharing what our ideas are about the current state of the industry, and what we all see as opportunities going forward will provide a good baseline for any kind of action items that might come from this,” he said.

Along with representatives from the National Ski Areas Association and SnowSports Industries America, invitations to the meeting have been sent to the National Ski Patrol (NSP), Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), as well as the National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association (NSSRA), and members of the snowsports rep and retail buying groups. 

“I’m looking forward to meeting with other members of the Snowsport industry,” said NSSRA President Brad Nelson. “While all the stakeholders are in the same industry we are all in different businesses. Just because I’m a retailer that has ridden a chair lift and taught a ski lesson doesn’t mean I understand the issues that NSAA, PSIA or SIA face.”

Like Ingemie, Nelson said he doesn’t have a set list of expectations for what he hope the meeting will accomplish, but still thinks that just getting everyone together in the same room is an excellent place to start. “This meeting is long overdue and is a tremendous opportunity to see the industry through the lenses of the other players,” Nelson said. “My hope is that we can build on the strength of last years good season and develop a comprehensive strategy for future growth.”

--Peter Kray

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