Park City and White Pine Touring welcomed 55 members of the cross country industry to the CCSAA Annual Conference presented by SMI Snowmakers.  Many attendees arrived early and were treated to 8 inches of fresh UT powder as well as the entertainment Park City had to offer.  Evening happy hours greeted many of our skiers and provided additional time to reacquaint with old friends and meet new ones.

Regular programming began Monday morning with complimentary skiing and Rossignol demos at White Pine Touring in addition to eclipse viewing with fresh coffee and fresh cookies.

Monday, April 8
Snowmaking Workshop

The theme of this year’s snowmaking workshop was small and scalable systems.  Mike Hussey, formerly of HKD, presented a brief discussion on these systems that also included a description of the components of a system and the various snow gun options.

Sally Jones of Tahoe Donner, CA had recently installed a system and presented on that process including the decisions they made in terms of size and configuration.

Links to both of those presentation are below.

Grooming Workshop

Bill Pierce, Operations Director at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, shared with the group his grooming philosophy.  Solider Hollow is one of the many ski areas challenged by altitude lying just at the rain/snow line for many storms.  His feeling is it is better to prepare a short loop adjacent to the lodge that will last all season than to groom a longer loop that will likely wash out a few times during the season.  Concentrate on providing great skiing on that smaller loop that will last all winter and then expand when the natural snow comes.

He also shared that, although important, cross country ski revenue is not what keeps the operation liquid, it is tubing and large events.
Soldier Hollow Presentation

Rossi Welcome Reception

Following the snowmaking and grooming workshops, Rossignol Ski Company hosted a welcome reception with beer provided by PistenBully.  Great fun.

Tuesday, April 9

Tuesday morning began with skiing at White Pine and Groomer Demos at the Farm. 

The afternoon consisted of presentations, silent auction and the vendor expo.

Climate Discussion

Brian McInerney, a Hydrologic and Climate Change Consultant gave a very sobering presentation about our current climate situation and the possibilities of where we can go based on decisions the planet will make.  Hard to paraphrase here, but take a look at the presentation and feel free to contact me to discuss.
Climate Presentation.

Adopting Technology to Meet Your Guests Where They Are

Ryan Triffitt, Partner, Dirigo presented on technology and stressed that the website is not dead.  His presentation is below.  
Dirigo Presentation

CCSAA Insurance Program and Risk Assessment Workshop

Nathan Nicholas, Nicholas Hill Group, the CCSAA insurance agent of record, presented on the custom insurance product constructed with CCSAA and the underwriters to effectively cover our industry.  CCSAA is incredibly fortunate to have this product.  Details in the below presentation.
Nicholas Hill Insurance Presentation

The second part of this presentation included local attorney Adam Stachan leading the group through some injury scenarios followed by discussion of each.  That worksheet is included below:
Risk Assessment Worksheet

That concluded day two presentations.  The groups had a short break before the PistenBully happy hour leading into the dinner presentation on the UT 2034 Winter Olympics.  This was followed by the nightly Fireside Chat.

Wednesday, April 10

Wednesday morning also began with skiing at White Pine and Groomer Demos at the Farm.

Social Media Discussion and Hands On Workshop

Courtney Harkins, Marketing & Communications Director for US Ski & Snowboard shared with us best practices for integrating various social media platforms into our marketing and communications plan.
Social Media Presentation

Four Season Planning – A Changing Environment

Brett Rannow from CRO Planning and Design ran a four-season planning discussion for all ski areas of all types, especially the small and medium sized operations that cannot afford a master planner.  He guided the group through a planning exercise including live polling.  A copy of the presentation and exercise sheet is attached.
CRO 4-Season Presentation
Four Season Planning Exercise

Nordic Pulse Trail Reporting Platform with Workshop

Rob Mazenc, Club Outreach and Tech Support for Nordic Pulse gave the final presentation on their trail reporting platform and shared best practices.

The group again had a short break before the PistenBully happy hour leading into the final dinner presentation on the story of Bonanza Flats.  This was followed by the final Fireside Chat.