February 28, 2018 Newsletter

CWSAA 50 Years_Colour

February 28, 2018 Newsletter

Spring Conference

Register for Operations Courses: Did you know that in addition to open sessions, there are many operations courses available at the Spring Conference, including Parkscapers, Gearbox inspections, Confined spaces, Fall protection and Lift 151, 152 & 153. The operations courses require pre-registration and have a specific number of spaces available. Please ensure you register ASAP for these courses as they may fill up, and if enough registrations aren’t received, some may be cancelled!

Check out a full description of the Operations Courses available at the Spring Conference HERE.

Small Areas Auction: Small Areas committee members may be calling you in the coming weeks for donations. These funds help support best practices and industry development at our small community ski areas across the west. Bring your wallet to support! The small areas auction will be set up during the 50th Celebration Dinner and the Awards Gala.

Alberta Energy Initiatives

The Alberta Utilities Commission regulatory environment continues to evolve.  Most recently the seasonal transmission tariff model that CWSAA successfully achieved in 2014 is under threat.  This could lead to substantially higher energy costs.  In conjunction with its consultant (Rick Cowburn), Canada West is commencing an advocacy initiative to maintain seasonal tariffs. More information will be sent directly to ski areas and presented at the Spring Conference.

Alberta WCB Consultation

The consultation period deadline for the Alberta’s Workers Compensation Board policy review is March 6th.  CWSAA has already made a submission and copied it to ski area general managers on February 22.   Ski Areas are encouraged to submit individual feedback and may use content from the CWSAA letter. The WCB policy and on-line consultation form can be found HERE.

Competitor Pass Athletes on World Stage

Many of Canada’s ski and snowboard athletes competing in Pyeongchang started their competitive careers at Western Canada’s community ski areas, and were former Canada West Competitor Passholders.  Cassie and Tess are two examples of deep connections with our Western Canadian Ski Areas:

Comox’s Golden Girl Cassie Sharpe brought home the GOLD in the Halfpipe last week, and not only was a CWSAA Competetor Passholder, but her father is Don Sharpe of Holiday Trails Resorts (parent company of Manning Park) and formerly of Mt.Washington.

Tess Critchlow competed in the women’s snowboard cross event last week.  She grew up attending the Big White Community School and as a member of the BC Snowboard Provincial team she also was a Canada West Passholder.

Cassie wearing her GOLD medal with dad Don Sharpe and their cheering squad.

Federal Budget

The federal budget was announced on Feb 27.  The budget and tourism-related highlights from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada are linked below.  The federal budget appears status quo for Destination Canada and tourism marketing budgets.  Small business tax reforms are noted below, and in the coming weeks, industry will monitor intentions for the $1.3 billion dollar allocation toward the expansion of national parks and protected areas.

Read details on the federal budget HERE   |   Read TIAC’s Highlights HERE.

BC Advocacy

In conjunction with last week’s budget, there have been numerous announcements that impact our industry.

Non-resident property owner tax, aka BC Speculation Tax 

The new so-called Speculation Tax was proposed on properties around Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Metro Vancouver – the tax is currently under development.  The announcement has created immediate fear in the investment community and negatively impacted proposed infrastructure investments at ski areas in the west.  CWSAA was in immediate contact with Ministers and senior government officials regarding the threat this tax poses to ski area investments, employment, and government revenues.  A CWSAA delegation is in Victoria this week calling for strong government communication that clarifies rural ski areas are outside of the scope of the tax.   Read More HERE.

BC Minimum Wage

The BC government will increase the minimum wage as of June 1, 2018, and it will rise each June to $15.20 in June 2021. CWSAA, alongside other industry groups, made submission to the Fair Wage Commission citing the impacts to ski areas, and at a minimum, argued that any change be gradual and predictable.   Read More HERE.

BC Family Day

The government recently announced that the BC Family Day will be moved in 2019 to the 3rd Monday of February. CWSAA and tourism industry had vehemently communicated and petitioned the new government on the benefits of the 2nd Monday of the month.  Further opportunities will be discussed at the spring conference.  Read More HERE.

Sharing Economy Accommodations Tax

Airbnb will now charge and collect the same accommodation taxes as existing accommodators.  Furthermore, the provincial budget announced other online accommodators are expected to follow.  This is a step in the right direction towards leveling the playing field between traditional (eg: hotel) and sharing economy nightly rental accommodation providers.  Read More HERE.

Ski Area Facts & Stats

The Canadian Ski Council 2016/17 Facts & Stats document is now available on the Member’s Only Section of the CWSAA website.  Please note you’ll need a CWSAA login to access this section, then look in the Industry Research & Stats page.

CWSAA Industry Classifieds

Looking to buy or sell some used equipment?  Did you know there is a classifieds section on the CWSAA website?

Currently members are selling used uniforms and equipment manuals, and a ski area is looking to purchase rental shop equipment.  Check out the classifieds HERE.

AEDARSA Workshop

AEDARSA will be hosting a FREE full-day workshop on March 27 in Calgary.
This workshop will provide  relevant updates to lift mechanics, maintenance supervisors and area management.  Please click HERE for details, and be sure to register before March 9!

Tourism HR Survey

Tourism HR Canada is conducting a survey to help shape their strategic plan and guide priorities.  This is important to CWSAA and ski industry advocacy efforts. All industry management is encouraged to take 10-15 minutes to complete HERE by March 9.

Places & Faces

Dave Kennedy from TechnoAlpin travelled to South Korea to cheer on his son Russell Kennedy.  Russell competed in the Nordic sprint classic race (50km), as well as the Canadian Men’s 4x10km Cross Country relay team.  Congratulations to the Kennedy family!

Western Canada’s Community Ski Areas have built many Olympic Champions like Mark McMorris who’s illustrious Snowboard career began at Mission Ridge.  There are so many amazing stories from this Olympics.  Congratulations to everyone in the industry, for creating the opportunities to learn to ski and ride!

HeliCat Canada is recruiting for a new Executive Director, following the announcement that Ian Tomm will be leaving the organization in the Spring.  Ian has been an exceptional colleague for CWSAA.  We are excited for his new opportunities but sad to see him leave our partner organization.  CWSAA will continue to work with Rob Rohn and the HCC Board and look forward to working with Ian’s replacement.  See announcement.

76 year old Dag Aabye is a living legend in the ski industry who lives off the grid somewhere in the mountains around SilverStar.  He is known by many as the founding father of freestyle skiing.  Check out this documentary: Never Die Easy: The Dag Aabye Story

Misery Mountain conducted a fun team building exercise, the #skiindustrymannequinchallenge.  Looks like they had a ton of fun putting this together.

What fun team building activities has your organization done?  We’d love to hear!  Check out the Misery video HERE.

Upcoming Events

    • April 18-20, 2018 – Mountain Planet International Mountain Development Fair, Grenoble France
    • April 24-26, 2018 – CWSAA 50th Spring Conference & Trade Show, Lake Louise AB
    • April 24 – 26, 2018 – PNSAA, Bend OR
    • April 30, 2018 – HeliCat Canada Spring Meeting, Penticton BC
    • May 3-6, 2018 – NSAA National Convention, Florida
    • May 7-10 , 2018 – RMLA, Grand Junction CO
    • Sept 26-27, 2018 – CWSAA ASM Fall Division Meeting, Canyon Ski Area, Red Deer, Alberta
    • Oct 1-2, 2018 – CWSAA BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting, Sun Peaks, BC
    • Oct 28-29, 2018 – SSAOA, Springhill Winter Park MB

The Canada West Way

Check out some of our latest blog posts:

Valentine’s Love
Big Olympic Send-off