Lessons Rise Doesn’t Match Increase in Visits, Safety Awards + Matrix Monday

According to the Kottke Report, prepared for the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) by RRC Associates, the average number of ski and snowboard lessons given this season was up 0.7 percent (to an average of 18,670 lessons per area), while total visits at this same resort sample increased by 1.7 percent (to 54.7 million). As a result, the lesson participation rate (or share of visits that included a lesson) dropped slightly to 7.7 percent in 2016-17, compared to 7.8 percent the previous season.

A total of 137 areas provided data on total lesson volumes for the previous seasons, and reported that absolute ski and snowboard lesson volumes were up strongly in the Northeast and Southeast regions, rebounding from a down year in 2015-16. Average lesson volumes per ski area were highest in the Rocky Mountain region (29,497 lessons, down 3.9 percent). Similar quantities of lessons were taught in the Pacific Southwest (17,599 lessons, down 17.1 percent), Northeast (16,630 lessons, up 19.2 percent), and Southeast (16,581 lessons, up 22.7 percent). Ski areas in the Pacific Northwest, which saw an average of 10,196 lessons given – up 6.4 percent – were still down 5 percent in total lesson volume compared to the growth in visits. The Midwest, on the other hand saw the average number of lessons drop 4.3 percent in accordance with a drop in visits, while the ratio of lessons compared to visits still rose 1.2 percent.

Six Areas Honored with NSAA Safety Awards

NSAA announced the six winners of the organization’s annual Safety Awards during the NSAA National Convention and Tradeshow in Scottsdale, Arizona. 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:

Best Overall Safety Program (350,000 or more visits) – Vail Mountain, Colorado

Best Overall Safety Program  (Up to 350,000 visits) – Stratton Mountain, Vermont.

Best Employee Safety Program – Mount Hood Meadows, Oregon

Best Guest Safety Program – Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, California

Safety Champion – Eliza Smith, Vail Mountain, Colorado


Seven Areas Honored with Marketing Awards

NSAA also honored these seven areas for their marketing campaigns:

Best Use of Mobile Technology Boreal Mountain Resort, California

Best Social Media Campaign Squaw Valley |Alpine Meadows, California

Best Direct Marketing Program ­­­­Bristol Mountain Resort, New York

Best Use of Video Marketing ­Tamarack Resort, Idaho

Best Family Campaign – Sunlight Mountain Resort, Colorado

Best “Bring a Friend” Campaign – Pico Mountain, Vermont

Best Overall Marketing Campaign – Killington Resort, Vermont 


Matrix Monday Has a Free-Heel Focus

Just because most of the ski areas have closed doesn’t mean you have to stop skiing. Here are three must-see videos on The Matrix that will help you improve your cross-country skills.


- Peter Kray

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