Thursday, October 12, 2017

Winter Welcome

Mt Bachelor, Oregon Sept 23
Temporary Terrain Park at Mt Bachelor
There's no better news in the Fall than ski resort openings! 

First teaser in North America this year was Mt Bachelor, Oregon which launched temporarily on September 23, following a 12-inch snowfall.  

A walk-up terrain park was set up in the base area as well as scenic snow-viewing chairlift rides.

Getting Palmer Express ready for opening on Oct 8 at Timberline Ski Area
First to open for early season weekend skiing was Timberline Lodge & Ski Area, Mt Hood, Oregon on Oct 8. The Palmer Express was their first lift to open, providing terrain for advanced skiing/riding only. Typically Timberline, near the top of the Mt Hood volcano, opens in early November until Labor Day. 

With 1425 acres, 41 trails and nine lifts, the resort boasts the longest vertical in the Pacific Northwest - 3,690 ft down to base from the top of the Palmer chair. A passenger snowcat expands the resort further for advanced and expert skiers. Marketing manager, Emily Stoller-Smith is anticipating great skiing this weekend: "On the heels of two feet of snowfall, it's going to be a bluebird weekend!"

October Snowmaking at A-Basin
Next in line is Arapahoe Basin, Colorado which opens tomorrow (Oct 13) with the Black Mountain Express lift accessing the intermediate terrain on High Noon Trail. Only one run, maybe, but the beginning of a six-month season of downhill delights. A-Basin is often among the first ski areas to open in North America and also keeps open longer than most. As weather permits, mountain operations will continue to make snow with the goal of opening additional terrain. “Mother Nature has been kind to the Basin,” said Alan Henceroth, Arapahoe Basin Chief Operating Officer. “It’s exciting to kick off the ski season earlier than usual, and welcome winter back to Colorado.” 
A-Basin Oct 4 2017
Looking for Linda:
Anyone called Linda reading this? Leading British ski tour operator Inghams is looking for guests called Linda to fill their new winter chalet - called Chalet Linda - in the Austrian resort of Kitzbühel. A special discount of £125 per person is on offer if Lindas book their ski holiday before Thursday 30 Nov. For more info, visit or follow @InghamsSki. It'll be amusing to find out how many Lindas actually take up this offer and how much confusion it causes in the chalet when everyone answers to the same name!

Marketing for Tourism, Hospitality and Events

Framed within basic marketing principles, Marketing for Tourism, Hospitality & Events, by Louise and Simon Hudson, highlights the global shift in tourism demographics today, placing a particular emphasis on the role of digital technology and its impact on travel products and services.
Covering developments across a broad range of topics such as contemporary tourism marketing, understanding today's consumer, and the importance of public relations and personal selling, key industry changes are captured throughout the text. 'Lessons from a Marketing Guru' feature personal insights from real world practitioners, and 'Digital Spotlights' highlight the ways in which social media and the Internet have transformed tourism, hospitality and events the world over.
These features are further enhanced by 'Marketing in Action' case-studies in each chapter that highlight the international realities of tourism, hospitality and events marketing in practice. These include:
  • Spiritual Tourism in Tamil Nadu, India
  • Social media listening at Marriott’s headquarters in Hong Kong
  • The Deer Hunt Festival in Winneba, Ghana
  • Music-themed hotels in Prague, Amsterdam, Berlin and Mexico
  • The promotion of Hawaii through film and television
  • Dark Tourism in Vietnam
The book is complemented by a companion website featuring a range of tools and resources for lecturers and students, including PowerPoint slides, an instructor manual, a test bank of multiple choice questions and author-curated video links to make the examples in each chapter come vividly to life.
Tourism Industry Excellence:

Discount of 15% for direct orders via - simply enter the code CUSTSERV17 at checkout (valid until 12 Nov 2017).

October 2017; ISBN: 9781911396468 Paperback; 304 pgs; Price: £34.99 €45.00 USD$55.00
A fully revised and updated new edition of this bestselling, unique text that explains not only the theory behind the importance of customer service, but also acts as a guidebook for industry practitioners. New material covers issues such as:
·  The impact of the sharing economy and how hotels can compete;
·  Virtual Reality and use of robots;
·  New demographic and cultural shifts;
·  New market trends - including emerging markets and the luxury family market.
Sample files of all chapters are available. See sample pages here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Future of Skiing

Courtesy of Style Altitude
I needed a crystal snowball for this assignment! What a challenging task: To put together forecasts and prognostications about as many aspects of the ski industry as possible in order to speculate about the future of wintersports for Style Altitude magazine! The mammoth project took me over a week to research and write and you can see the outcome at: . If you have anything to add on this subject, please send me your ideas at:

Wearing their logo on their sleeve: Courtesy of Aspen Skiing Company
It was actually a great, early start to ski season writing and blogging for me and a reminder of all the wintry fun ahead. Really got me back into mountain mode, especially when my son, who is living in Canmore, near Banff at the moment, told me they just had their first September snow!

Elaine Deed, Shreditor of Style Altitude
Look out for more articles from me for Style Altitude over the season - I'm one of the team now and you can see my bio at: . The magazine is all online, specializing in unique concepts and original commentary from an eclectic team of snow-mad editors and writers who all ski or snowboard. Some of them are even ski/ride swingers, including Shreditor, Elaine Deed who is a former fashion editor and director for the British Evening Standard newspaper, W Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Tatler. Follow her on Twitter at @Stylister. Elaine is also a fashion stylist - so if we ever meet, I think we will get on really well .... until I ransack her wardrobe, that is! The magazine is based in the French Alps for most of the year with contributors from all over the mountains. "Style Altitude is for all riders, aimed at both skiers and snowboarders," says Elaine. "And for cyclists in the mountains during the summer." It also spans every generation from 18-year-old Seasonaires (which I used to be) to 80-year-young Geezonaires (which I hope to become). As well as featuring piste, park, pipe, touring, slack, sidecountry and backcountry, Style Altitude focuses on gear that has both function and fashionable flair. 

First tracks at Telluride
I'm trip planning at the moment, kicking off with a mountain month in Canada starting mid December, when I hope to ski Lake Louise, Sunshine, Mt Norquay and Nakiska and also venture into British Columbia to the Powder Highway and maybe even further to Whistler Blackcomb. After that I'm traveling to tantalizing Telluride for the first time ever at the end of January, followed in Feb by a nostalgia trip to Tahoe, which I will be revisiting after a 26 year absence! I hope to ski a variety of resorts including Northstar, Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Diamond Peak, Homewood and also stay at Clear Creek

Waldorf Astoria Park City - suites are bigger than an apartment and there's a private gondola up to Canyons Village!
Hotel Jackson, Jackson Hole - modern, boutique luxury
In March, it's back to Utah when the wonderful Waldorf Astoria Park City is hopefully on the agenda, with great skiing from Canyons Village all around Park City and, just up the road, at Deer Valley and then on to Solitude. Next, it's the Hotel Jackson at Jackson Hole where I first went to do the incredible Elevate women-only ski camp - I'm taking hubby, Dr Simon Hudson, this time. He has never skied there and was totally jealous when I went last time! No idea where I will ski in April yet but I definitely intend to get some sensational spring skiing in. 

Me, in head-to-toe rental ski outfit at Nozawa Onsen - I know, I look like a boy! Now you can see why I favour fur hoods and belted jackets!
By the way, I forgot to mention this article which was published right at the end of last season in Eat Drink Travel mag, all about my Japanese skiing experience with Scout Ski. You can read it here: Word of warning: book early for Japan, it gets booked up a long time in advance!

As usual I am in the process of identifying new trends in the wintersport industry to pitch to various editors in the hope of some sizzling assignments. If you have any fun stories or anecdotes about people, places or products in the ski/board industry, drop me a line at: Also, please join me on social media in spreading the ski buzz: 

I've been working on articles for Calgary's Child and The Dallas Morning News, so look out for links to those as the season starts to kick off - you never know, your favourite resort could be featured. 

For planning your first tracks of the season, here are the latest proposed ski resort openings (if somewhere you love to ski isn't included, send me the date):

Oct 15 - Loveland
Oct 20 - Araphahoe Basin
Oct 27 - Mt Rose Tahoe
Oct 28 - Killington
Nov 3 - Wolf CreekMonarch
Nov 4 - Nakiska
Nov 8 - Mammoth
Nov 11 - Sipapu

Bring on the snow!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Countdown to Ski Season!

Waiting for Winter, Ski Utah
I don't usually write any ski blogs in August - or publish resort press releases - but Ski Utah's mountain motivation video amused me enough to make an exception. I had such a great time there in March that I can literally still feel the rush of hitting those record-breaking snow conditions! Ski Utah's clever carrot campaign has reached around 40K Facebook fans and over 10K on Instagram - and counting. “This project was meant to get people excited that the ski season was only about 100 days out and to get people to start thinking about pre-purchasing their season passes and/or lift tickets while the deals are hot," explains Director of Communications, Paul Marshall. "The ski industry always gets tossed into the category of being ’too expensive’ but that is for those who don’t plan and while this music video can be seen as a little corky and off-the-beaten path, it catches your attention and hopefully helps get the ball moving on planning this winters ski trip…preferably to Utah." 

Over the next couple of months I'll be working on ski article research, for all the magazines and newspapers I work for, for the 2017-18 season as well as creating my upcoming ski blog series which will launch in November and go on until the end of April. If you have any great ideas or tips about people or places, trends or techniques in skiing or wintersports tourism, please drop me a line at: 

First exciting news for the season is that I will be writing for Style Altitude, a ski and style online magazine based in the UK. And I have six articles scheduled in The Dallas Morning News this winter. And I am currently working on a family focus for Calgary's Child magazine.

Also, to tantalize your tastebuds, I'm starting to make up a list of projected Ski Resort Openings, so do let me know when your fave hill is scheduled to launch - here are the first few I have been sent:

Oct 15 - Loveland
Oct 20 - Araphahoe Basin
Oct 27 - Mt Rose Tahoe
Oct 28 - Killington
Nov 2 - Sunshine Village Banff
Nov 3 - Wolf Creek, Monarch
Nov 8 - Mammoth
Nov 11 - Sipapu

And here's the press release that caught my attention from Ski Utah:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (August 24, 2017) – When your morning commute becomes a little longer because the local school 'slow signs' have been turned back on, we assume you are just like us and automatically think—SKI SEASON IS 100 DAYS AWAY! To offset the next three months of anxiety, driven by powder skiing dreams, we recommend planning your ski vacation. And, once you pick the location (preferably Utah) it is best to pre-purchase a season pass and/or lift tickets while the deals are still available. We know that process can be hard so we thought we could help by supplying you with some information about Utah passes.

Also, since we feel your pain, we went out and produced our own music video to help calm your skiing nerves. Phil Collin’s 1982 hit song You Can’t Hurry Love says: “ . . . no you just have to wait, which reminds us that we can’t hurry our love — Winter. So enjoy the video and join Utah in #WaitingForWinter.

Season Pass Information:
Much of what makes Utah's skiing so fantastic is the close proximity of its 14 resorts and the unique qualities that can be experienced at each. Skiers and snowboarders who truly appreciate the variety each resort has to offer should take advantage of the below passes.
Ski Utah Silver Pass ($3,150) – With purchase of the Ski Utah Silver Pass you receive 30 days at EACH Utah resort except Park City, where the pass is valid for 60 days of skiing. Limited quantity available.

Ski Utah Yeti Pass ($649) - This pass is valid for one day of skiing at each of Utah’s 14 ski resorts. That’s just $46 per day. A perfect pass for parents with kids rocking the Ski Utah Passport.
Ski Utah Passport ($35) - This is the pass of all passes for any 5th or 6th Grader in the world. The Passport offers 5th Graders three days of skiing and 6th graders one day of skiing to shred all 14 Utah resorts. 
Ski City Super Pass (amount varies) - Looking for flexibility? The Ski City Super Pass allows unrestricted skiing at AltaSnowbirdBrighton or Solitude. The pass can be purchased anywhere for a range of three to 10 days of skiing. Also, with purchase of this pass the UTA ski bus is free to and from the resort. Price varies depending upon number of days purchased.
Ski3 Pass ($157) - This new, fully loaded pass includes a full day of skiing at SnowbasinPowder Mountain plus a full day and night skiing at Nordic Valley with the purchase of two or more nights at participating hotels in Ogden.
Wasatch Benefit Pass - Qualified AltaDeer ValleySnowbird and Solitude pass holders enjoy two free days of skiing at each of the other three resorts. 
There are more ski pass options than ever before. Welcome to the new age of flexible, perk-filled passes. This collection of season passes not only grants you skiing and riding access to Utah's resorts but skiing privileges across the country as well.
Epic Pass ($859) - Vail Resorts owns and operates 15 ski resorts throughout the world and this pass offers unrestricted access to all of them—including Utah’s Park City. For even more affordable rates with a few restrictions, there are the Epic Local Pass, Epic 7-Day Pass and Epic 4-Day Pass, Park City Youth Pass, and Park City 4-Pack. 
Mountain Collective Pass ($469) - This pass offers you two days at each of The Collective destinations for a total of 16 unrestricted days at some of the best resorts in the world, including Utah’s AltaSnowbird, and new this year, Snowbasin. It also includes up to 35 percent off lodging and 50 percent off additional tickets. 
M.A.X. Pass ($679) - With 44 mountains across North America offering five days each, the M.A.X. Pass has max appeal. If you have this pass, you’re in luck, as local favorite Brighton Resort and Solitude are participating Utah resorts.
To highlight a few other noteworthy season pass/daily deals please see below:
Brighton Resort continues to offer kids 10 and under ski or ride FREE with a paying adult and has expanded their age-base pricing breakout to include a ‘Millennial’ pass at $650 (before Sept. 27) for adults between the age of 26-30.
Deer Valley offers unbelievable benefits. Eligible pass holders can receive up to six buddy passes, four day passes at Solitude, two day passes at Alta, Snowbird and Brighton Resort, on-mountain discounts, summer mountain biking and three complimentary day tickets to Steamboat Ski Resort.
Eagle Point Resort can be 100% rented out Tuesday through Thursday through the ‘As You Wish’ program. 
Powder Mountain is capping their season pass to 3,000 and day passes to 1,500 this season to keep the ratio of 1 skier per 3 acres of skiable terrain.  
Snowbasin Resort has a season long Learn & Earn program that supplies any first-timer three lift tickets, three lessons and rentals for $499. Upon completion you receive a seasons pass.
Snowbird offers a ‘Ten-2 Share Card,’ which you can ski or ride Snowbird for about $55 a day. Receive 10 days of unlimited access to that is transferable between friends and family with no blackout dates.  
Solitude offers the ‘Ultimate Family Pass’ which includes two Adult and two Junior passes (age 7-17) for $1,999 (price increases after September 4, 2017).
For all of Utah’s 14-resort season pass pricing, benefits and links to purchase please revert to