Archive for March, 2011

Interesting News About the News Industry

Since both PR and advertising are rather key elements to marketing a ski resort, I would highly recommend that anyone interested in ski resort marketing take a good look at the new report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism titled, “The State of the News Media 2011“. Some highlights include:

  • Newspaper newsrooms are 30% smaller than in 2000
  • In the digital realm the news industry is no longer in control of its own future
  • In 2010 every news platform saw audiences either stall or decline — except for the web (see chart below)
  • Nearly half of all Americans (47%) now get some form of local news on a mobile device
  • Online ad revenue in 2010 is projected to surpass print newspaper ad revenue for the first time

I highly recommend the report for some great insights in terms of where journalism, but also online advertising and public relations are going.

Backcountry access sign


Backcountry access signA recent article about sidecountry access from ski resorts titled, “Sidecountry Ski Deaths Spur Safety Debate” focuses on the fact that deaths and rescues of skiers and riders in the out of bounds, but readily accessed terrain at many ski resorts called “sidecountry”, are increasing. It’s interesting that this article focuses on the fact that these incidents are increasing but on the “why”. I know this has been hashed through before, but I do think that this phenomenon is related to the rampant promotion of big mountain skiing and riding as well as the fact that equipment advances have made the “steep and deep” terrain that is accessible through many backcountry access gates more readily rideable. These factors, along with the push by resorts to open terrain the past decade that has never been open to the public before are all contributing, in my opinion, to the increase in accidents and deaths.

‘d like to pose the question, should resorts that offer sidecountry access be addressing these safety concerns more directly in their marketing efforts, or are the on-hill educational and signage that they are providing enough? As a skier I do think that most resorts I’ve seen do a rather admirable job of signing and trying to educate their customers on the risks of accessing the sidecountry from their boundaries. That noted, it could be said that some of these resorts’ marketing departments are doing an equally good job of selling that sidecountry access to their customers, many of whom should not venture anywhere near to the sidecountry due to their lack of appropriate knowledge, equipment and/or both. Are we walking a dangerous line between the freedom to experience what the backcountry has to offer us (with a little lift assist), and giving perhaps to easy access to potentially deadly terrain which we are in some ways encouraging them to experience? I don’t think so, but what do you think?

Photo credit: Flickr user dvs

Another View on Extending the Ski Season

i was recently pointed to an interested blog post and discussion about the possibility of an extended spring ski season at Crystal Mountain. I had posted about this in more generic terms just a little bit ago, but there’s a great discussion of this currently going on at Kim Kircher’s blog as well as on CM’s Facebook page. It’s very interesting stuff to follow and I think CM is doing quite a good job of being transparent in how they’re dealing with this decision. Oh yeah, if you didn’t realize, Kim Kircher isn’t just a ski patroller, she’s also the wife of Stephen Kircher, President of Boyne Resort’s Eastern Operations John Kircher, President of Boyne Resorts Western Ops.

Edited on Monday, March 21 to reflect Kim’s marital status – my apologies! -Eric

Interesting Things From #Mrktchat Participants #1

I’ve been tossing this idea around a bit and have decided to kick it off this week. It’s a listing of topics, links, items, etc that have been posted by #Mrktchat participants over the prior week or so. I don’t think I’ll have this as a weekly update, more like somewhere between a weekly to maybe monthly series. So without further ado, here’s the first list:

Please feel free to add any good “#Mrkchat Interesting Things” that I may have missed in the comments below.

Closing Day

Why Does the Ski Season End?

Closing DayAt the beginning of this season I wrote a post called, “FIrst Resort to Open a Boon or Bust?” and now that we’re getting closer to the end of the ski season I’d like to think a little about the other end of the season – closing day. For many ski resorts, this year is a tough one for setting their scheduled closing day in that Easter, a traditional holiday towards the end of the season, falls as late as it ever does, on April 24. For many resorts, it would be really pushing it to stay open that late, so they have set their scheduled closing date to prior to Easter. Why would that be “pushing it”? Well, there are many factors that go into setting a “scheduled closing date” and while I can honestly say that I don’t have intimate knowledge of the process, I know that these are some that come to mind:

  • Average snow settled depth and temperatures at that time
  • Expense of keeping resort operations running until that time
  • The amount of potential earning vs resort expenses – potential profit
  • Lease dates of public and/or private land
  • Ability to keep seasonal employees on staff
  • Other seasonal activities in the area (are people ready for the golf courses)
  • Possible positive PR value of staying open later than other resorts (or possible negative PR value of having to adjust a scheduled closing date earlier)

There certainly are probably a bunch of other factors that I haven’t listed, but I do think that these are some of the more important ones for most ski resorts, and oh yeah, it’s always good to make sure your resort has a nice spring tradition like pond skiing to close things out with!


Photo credit: Flickr user Zach Dischner

Social Networks for Ski Resorts – LinkedIn

This is another post in the ongoing series on “Social Networks for Ski Resorts“. I have to say that this series is actually getting more fun to write as I check off the more obvious social networks and delve into ways to leverage networks that aren’t in the news media daily or don’t seem logical to “link” to a ski resort (yeah, bad pun, I know). So without further pathetic attempts at humor, here are some thoughts on LinkedIn…and it’s 90 million members in over 200 countries.

The clear opportunity for a ski resort with LinkedIn is to use it as a recruiting tool. Most resorts probably won’t look to recruit ski & snowboard instructors, ski patrollers or lift operators using LinkedIn, certainly wouldn’t hurt to try, but it’s a fantastic resource for recruiting more business savvy candidates in middle or upper management. It can also serve as a great way to introduce a resort to perspective employees via LinkedIn’s “company” profile page via which people can see recent “news” blog posts and even peruse current and new employees.

The recruiting angle is easy, but what about groups? There are groups groups with people eager to share their knowledge in a wide variety of topics, including:

Don’t be bashful, ask to be a member and you’ll surely be invited in.

And yes, I  admit it, I’m not a power LinkedIn user, so I’m sure that these ideas are probably just scratching the surface for what options exist for ski resorts to promote and network on LinkedIn, what other ideas do you have? Please let us know in the comments!


I don’t speak Russian, or whatever language is being spoken in this video, but I’m pretty sure that at some point there are a couple of people saying, “Oh sh*t!” as things get interesting.

Here’s the Google translation of what the original poster put for the video description:
02/16/2011 Kabardino-Balkaria, a village Terskol firing avalanche sites. Russia, Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Terskol.

POV Knife Edge Ridge Fall

I guess it’s bound to happen with all the GoPRO and other sport oriented POV video cams out there, but this video of Austrian skier Ager Stefan going off a knife-edge ridge the wrong way is an impressive reminder of what these little cams can also capture.

Thankfully he made it through the rocks and even looks to nearly land a double cliff drop near the end. This version was edited by YouTube user bikeinmotion (slowed down 400%, if you can believe it) off an originial Vimeo clip that has been made private – wonder if someone is looking to make a few $$ now? I suppose he should get something as I’m sure those ski pants aren’t usable again (you know what I mean)!

3/3/11 update: As the YouTube Clip has been made Private, check out the clip here:

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