Saturday, May 28, 2016

Taos Ski Valley Wins NSAA Award for Best Overall Marketing Campaign



Taos Ski Valley received the top honors in the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) recognition of the best 2015-2016 ski area marketing programs. Awards were given in six marketing categories as well as Best Overall Marketing Campaign, of which Taos Ski Valley was the winner. NSAA presents the awards annually to member resorts with successful marketing programs that ultimately help grow the sports of skiing and snowboarding.
Last winter season Taos Ski Valley executed a far-reaching marketing campaign that included content marketing, paid as well as earned media distribution, traditional and digital advertising and marketing through owned channels including social and CRM. The concept for the campaign, “Taos Secrets Revealed,” brings to life key brand characteristics and positioning, focusing on the spiritual mountain experience and the unique culture of Northern New Mexico. 
The ski valley’s results from the campaign have been incredibly successful, at the time of the nomination in March: 11 percent increase in skier visits over last year; 331 percent revenue return and 594 percent increased online ticket sales as a result of a tactical ad campaign; a prominent earned media placement on the front page of the New York Times travel section in addition to across-the-board increased earned media placements over last year; 36 percent increase in web traffic; more than 660,000 views of campaign videos on YouTube and Facebook and more. 
"We have a terrific story to tell here at Taos Ski Valley: one of untamed mystic, the genuine hospitality of our people and the quirky, funky vibe that can only be found here", said Taos Ski Valley CEO Gordon Briner. "I am extremely proud of how our marketing and PR teams communicated that powerful story last season and for the national recognition we received for their efforts from the NSAA".


Located in northern New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley is one of North America’s premier ski and snowboard destinations, with more than 305 inches of average annual snowfall and more than 110 trails. Taos has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, spectacular scenery and amazing terrain, truly making it a world of its own.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 6, Mont Colmet - North Couloir

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Mont Colmet, North face, left Couloir.
Gnarly, dry and steep line, with an awesome view on Mont Blanc and VDA!
The perfect objective for an (extra)ordinary saturday! :D

 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Peek'n Peak Wins NSAA Award for Best Social Media Campaign

Peek’n Peak Resort is the winner of the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) award for Best Social Media Campaign.
The award, which was announced at the NSAA’s National Convention and Trade Show in Nashville last week, specifically honored Peek’n Peak’s Throwback Thursday (#TBT) lift ticket campaign, which took place this past winter and featured vintage "throwback" photos from The Peak’s social media followers and offered "throwback" lift ticket prices to a time gone by. The NSAA represents 313 Alpine resorts.
"We take a lot of pride in the memories made here at Peek’n Peak. It means something for us to honor those memories and throw it back to the good times while offering a significant discount to guests with our ‘Throwback Thursday’ promotion", said Nick Scott Sr., President of Scott Enterprises and owner of Peek’n Peak Resort. "This allows us to further interact with our guests and create some excitement over social media".
The weekly offers were posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every Thursday. To incentivize people to share their own throwback pictures from their time at the resort, Peek’n Peak also offered "share to win" contests to win lift tickets for the best and oldest pictures.
These posts and the promotions were a huge success during the winter season and is now something Peek’n Peak guests look forward to each week during ski season.
Peek’n Peak offers special deals and discounts for golf, Mountain Adventures and overnight packages on social media throughout the year. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for other great promotions.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

NSAA Announces Top Ski Area Marketing Programs for 2015-16

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has given seven ski areas top honors for their 2015-16 marketing programs. NSAA announced the winners at its National Convention and Tradeshow in Nashville, Tenn. The awards are sponsored by Ryan Solutions, a strategic marketing and database technology firm based in Ohio.

NSAA presents the awards to member resorts with successful marketing programs that ultimately help grow the sports of skiing and snowboarding. Here are the 2016 winners:

Best Use of Mobile Technology
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway and Ski Area, New Hampshire

Best Social Media Campaign
Peek 'n Peak Resort, New York

Best Direct Marketing Program
Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont

Best Use of Video Marketing
Pats Peak Ski Area, New Hampshire

Best Family Campaign
Ski Apache Resort, New Mexico

Best "Bring a Friend" Campaign
Sunlight Mountain Resort, Colorado

Best Overall Marketing Campaign
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Judges for the awards were Mike Bisner, vice president of sales/East for AXESS NORTH AMERICA; Kristen Lummis, a snowsports and travel writer, and two-time winner of NASJA’s Harold S. Hirsch Award for her popular Brave Ski Mom blog; and Sarah Plaskitt, founder and CEO of scoutski.com, and former brand strategist for world leading brands.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Wachusett Mountain Wins NSAA 2016 Conversion Cup Award


Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Massachusetts, is the winner of the 2016 National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Conversion Cup Challenge, sponsored by HEAD Wintersports. This annual award recognizes resorts across the country that have developed outstanding programs to convert new skiers and snowboarders into lifelong enthusiasts.
Wachusett was selected among a strong field of ski areas from across the U.S. The other two finalists were Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, Wash., and Stevens Pass, Wash.
NSAA launched the initiative in 2010 as a way to pique competition among member ski areas and recognize those who make significant strides to boost conversion rates. The winner is chosen based upon proven results, creative ideas, consistent execution, and long-term commitment to the conversion effort. Several key metrics are used in the judging process, including beginner lesson volumes; quantifiable success of beginner lesson packages; season-to-date sales and repeat sales data collection; and marketing ingenuity and use of new media.
Wachusett won the honor based on creative ideas, a logical learning progression—beyond the initial package offer—measurable results, solid execution, and long-term commitment to the conversion effort. Wachusett has been converting new skiers/riders for decades, taking advantage of the large population centers of Boston, Providence, and Worcester that are in the ski area’s backyard. "We see it as our job to create future skiers and riders for the industry", said Carolyn Stimpson, Wachusett’s vice president of resort services.
Using customer data and analytics, Wachusett has designed various beginner programs that are targeted to specific audiences—augmented with follow-up emails—to help ensure they return. The two primary learn-to programs are the one-day Learn-To-Turn package (lesson, rental, and lift ticket for $99), and a three-day package (lesson, rental, and lift ticket for $199). Those who finish either program receive upgrade offers and coupons to continue their journey to becoming a lifelong skier or snowboarder. Messages with those deals are delivered via email 24 hours later or, for those who do not provide an email address, by direct mail. The number of upgrades from the one-day package to the three-day package is up 65 percent from last season, even in a year when skier visits were down on the East Coast.
Wachusett also has other promotions to bring more newcomers to snowsports: incentives for existing customers to bring a friend; for secondary school students; for those riding public transportation; and other programs to make it easier for people to learn.
The Conversion Cup Award, a large silver trophy based on a Stanley Cup prototype, is a traveling award. Wachusett claims ownership of the Cup for one year, until the next winner is announced at next year’s NSAA National Convention May 5–8, 2017, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Facts & Figures: Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2015/16


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Skier Visits Up to 53.9 Million in 2015-16 Winter Season

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced that U.S. ski areas tallied an estimated 53.9 million skier and snowboarder visits during the 2015-16 season, up from last season’s 53.6 million total. The annual skier visit tally, an important industry metric, was released on Thursday at the NSAA Convention and Tradeshow in Nashville, Tenn.
The Rocky Mountain Region tallied a record-setting season for the region (CO, UT, WY, MT, NM, ID), with an 8 percent increase in skier visits this season over last season. Even more impressive was the amazing rebound on the West Coast. The Pacific Northwest Region (AK, WA, OR) saw a stunning increase of 142 percent in skier visits over the drought-plagued season last year, more than doubling from two million visits in 2014-15 to almost five million visits this season (the best season the region has had in 38 years of the Kottke survey). The Pacific Southwest region (CA, AZ, and NV) also witnessed a huge jump of 53 percent over last season. Despite a stronger economy and a record season in the West, weather challenges across the entire eastern half of the country resulted in declines from the 2014-15 season in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast.
"It’s especially encouraging to see how strongly California roared back from four straight bad seasons of drought, with the amazing recovery this season reflecting the pent-up demand from our guests", said Michael Berry, president of NSAA. "Our skiers and boarders came back this season with a vengeance, which reinforces the underlying passion and loyalty of our guests, and it bodes very well for our ski areas in the East, Midwest and Southeast for next year".
For additional historical perspective, 2015-16 skier visits nationally were up 6 percent from a recent low of 51 million visits in 2011-12, and down 11 percent from a record high of 60.5 million visits during the 2010-11 season. The 2015-16 season was down 4.6 percent from the 10-year industry average of 56.5 million.
NSAA will release a final Kottke End of Season Survey this summer.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Ski Areas Honored with Annual Golden Eagle Environmental Awards

SKI Magazine has honored three ski areas—Soda Springs, California, Gore Mountain, New York, and Aspen Skiing Company, Colorado—with the 2016 Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence. Additionally, SKI named Kristyn Lingenfelter of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows in California as the "Hero of Sustainability" honoree for 2016.
The Golden Eagle Awards, overseen in a partnership between SKI and the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), are the ski industry’s most prestigious honor for recognizing resort environmental programs and projects.
"When SKI founded this program in 1993, our goal was to recognize resorts that were actively addressing environmental issues, hoping to encourage other resorts to do the same and also to help publicize templates for similar projects across the industry", said Allen Crolius, SKI’s publisher and vice president of Active Interest Media’s Mountain Group. "It’s gratifying to see how far the industry has come in 20 years, particularly with today’s vital focus on addressing climate change".
The resort awards are divided into three categories: small (fewer than 200,000 annual skier/boarder visits), medium (200,000 to 500,000 visits) and large (more than 500,000 visits). The Hero of Sustainability Award is designed to honor an individual making a difference in resort environmental performance.

Soda Springs in California won the Golden Eagle Award in the small ski area category. In November of 2015, Soda Springs launched the Soda Springs Recycled Water Initiative. The ski area will lead by example in being the first resort in California to make snow using recycled water. This innovation is the result of a shared vision and partnership with Donner Summit Public Utility District (DSPUD). The use of recycled water will preserve potable, surface, and groundwater supplies, and provide an alternate and sustainable source for snowmaking. Additionally, the snow that is made is effective water storage in the winter that is released back into the ground and surface water flows as the snow melts, benefitting the South Yuba River. Soda Springs invested significant capital to connect to the DSPUD facilities and install the new system, and 100 percent of energy used for the new snowmaking system is offset through the purchase of renewable energy credits. These investments will generate a great mountain product and enhance guest experiences while conserving the region’s valuable potable water supply. Click here for more information.

Gore Mountain in New York took the top environmental honors in the medium-sized ski area category for consistent leadership on environmental stewardship and enhancing the guest experience in creative ways that help both the planet and its business. Gore’s signature project was the signing of a 25-year solar energy contract for a 5.325 MW system that will offset 85 percent of Gore’s annual electrical budget. The first year’s savings for the project is estimated to be $213,043, and the cumulative savings is projected to be $9,985,787. Gore also continued its long-term investment in high-efficiency snowmaking, introduced service of locally produced foods, offset energy use through strategic trail modifications, added two “recycled” trails to the map, and made several other environmentally-friendly enhancements that guests can see, enjoy, and learn about every day. Gore Mountain has demonstrated that a growing resort (its acreage and uphill capacity have increased 131 percent and 142 percent respectively over the last 20 years) can be sustainable and profitable, and serves as an industry model for sustainable growth. For more information about Gore Mountain’s environmental initiatives, click here.

Aspen Skiing Co. in Colorado won the Golden Eagle Award in the large resort category for leveraging action on climate change with key audiences and in partnership with Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit dedicated to engaging the outdoor sports community in the fight against climate change. This season, all 3,600 new Aspen/Snowmass uniforms featured the POW logo on the sleeve to spark conversation among guests and employees about climate change and how they can act in meaningful ways to solve the problem. Aspen trained every employee in climate science, communication, and the mission of POW prior to the season, and included effective collateral materials in support of the initiative on chairlifts and in hotels. Aspen’s partnership with POW has resulted in great success, including influencing governors in ski states to support the President’s Clean Power Plan, bringing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to the X Games to elevate awareness of EPA’s role in climate among youth, and helping unite the snowsports industry on advocacy on climate solutions. For more information on the Aspen/POW partnership, visit www.protectourwinters.org and www.aspensnowmass.com.



Kristyn Lingenfelter is a Hero of Sustainability for her efforts in implementing Squaw Valley’s Drink Mountain Tap program, a resort-wide ban of bottled water sales at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. This initiative involved installing more than 20 water refill stations, offering guests a new, reusable BPA-free water bottle with beautiful mountain imagery on it sold at the same price point as bottled water ($3), and removing bottled water from Squaw|Alpine owned dining and retail outlets. The initiative inspires guests to rethink their daily habits by choosing reusable products over single-use items, while simultaneously reducing the total amount of plastic waste generated by the resort each year. From the last two season season averages of bottled water sold, Squaw|Alpine Meadows will remove 28,000 single-use plastic bottles from its waste stream annually. In 10 years, this will add up to more than 300,000 single-use plastic bottles and more than 8 metric tons of CO2 emissions saved from the production of 300K plastic bottles. In addition to this program, Lingenfelter was instrumental in strengthening the resort’s partnership with POW and raising awareness on the effects of climate change by developing the POW Climate Cabin and POW Special Feature Wall at the Patagonia store in the resort’s Village. For more information on Squaw|Alpine Meadows’ sustainability initiatives, visitwww.squawalpine.com and www.protectourwinters.org.

Established in 1993, the Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize the environmental achievements of ski areas. The awards are sponsored by SKI Magazine. Judges for this year’s awards include: Andy Hawk and Greg Ditrinco, SKI Magazine; Tiffany Beal, International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA); Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group; Don Dressler, US Forest Service; Kevin Kassekert, Tesla Motors, Inc.; Chris Steinkamp, POW; and Matthew Banks, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Every Damn Weekend, Ep. 5. Cresta di Corleans

A web series about steep skiing and Freeride.
A dreamtime adventure among the best spots in the Alps!
Featuring: Luca Zanette, Federico Chiappino, Luca Zattoni, Francesco Salamone

Descent of the North Couloir from Cresta di Corleans

Saturday, May 21, 2016

NSAA Announces 2016 Safety Award Winners

The National Ski Areas Association announced the six winners of the annual Safety Awards during the NSAA National Convention and Tradeshow, being held this week in Nashville, Tenn.
The awards, sponsored by Safehold Special Risk, recognize exceptional resort initiatives to educate guests and employees about skiing and snowboarding responsibly.

Here are the winners of the NSAA 2016 National Safety Awards:

Best Overall Safety Program
(350,000 or more visits)
Mammoth Mountain, California.

Best Overall Safety Program

(Up to 350,000 visits)
Ski Apache Resort, New Mexico

Best Employee Safety Program
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

Best Guest Safety Program

Boreal Mountain Resort, California

Best Kids on Lifts Safety Campaign
Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado

Safety Champion
Linda Bowling,
Sun Valley Resort, Idaho