Welcome to 2022!
When one tries to catch one's breath after a sprint within a race, there is often little time to reflect as the next challenge lies ahead. However, the ski industry is deserving of a celebratory bow following the holiday period. There were many challenges, and many examples of our teams rising to the task and delivering memorable experiences. Collectively, these efforts are the foundation of a ski industry culture that prioritizes safety and delivers an offering that remains iconic around the globe.
The common industry question at this time of year is ‘how was Christmas week.’ As is often the case, the answer varies by region. Generally the quality and quantity of snow has been good, and in some regions epic. Ski areas have seen strong demand from local markets similar to last year. This provides opportunity to maintain momentum of introducing skiing and snowboarding to new participants.
In many regions however, the opportunities above were tempered, often dramatically, by extreme cold and access issues. The weather resulted in many ski area closures on the coldest days. Catastrophic highway closures and continued highway restrictions also greatly impacted visitation at both ski areas and their dependent surrounding communities. Fortunately there is optimism that industry will be able to recapture some of the lost volume as the high demand for outdoor activity remains, and incremental bookings shift into the next part of the season.
Compounding factors like the weather has been the worker shortage. Staffing was at critical levels going into the season, and with the rapid transmission of the Omicron variant, ski areas and every other business in the country have been adjusting rapidly to ensure the safety of team members and guests, and adherence to all health protocols. CWSAA’s chair Andy Cohen is often quoted as saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ This has been a mantra from the past two years, and will perhaps be one of the legacies created from this period. It has forced industry to consider what operations are most important, and alternative methods to delivering core services.
Behind the scenes, CWSAA continues to stay very close to various regulators in multiple jurisdictions. Each has different orders and timelines. The ongoing work remains all-consuming, and includes proactively working with authorities on industry safety protocols, responding to new orders, and gaining clarity when required. The objective is to ensure guest and staff safety, and maintain the support for ski area operations that officials have expressed because of ski industry protocols. The physical and emotional well-being of residents is increasingly a consideration in public health discussions, and officials have repeatedly cited the importance of outdoor activity. Ski area operators have taken this social responsibility seriously - as a service provider and an employer. While exhausting, this due diligence to our industry safety protocols continues to be of the highest importance and enables our ski sector to continue serving our communities.
The above are all discussions and topics on the table for the next industry gathering. Currently, the in-person event is scheduled at the Chateau Lake Louise on April 26 – 28. As always, safety will be at the forefront of any such consideration. It goes without saying that the environment is fluid and we do not yet know what the pandemic will look like in the coming weeks and months. The CWSAA team continues to work with members and the host venue on delivery options. It is clear that any spring gathering will not be the same as past. Even the event name may likely be changed to something other than spring conference. CWSAA will update membership as clarity evolves in the coming weeks, and similar to last year an in-person and a virtual contingency is being planned.
As always, the CWSAA team is here to serve the membership. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
– Christopher Nicolson
Notice something new?
Our refreshed website is now live! The update was important to provide more functionality and resources for our members, and improve website security. Thank you to Strong Coffee Marketing out of Edmonton for their expertise in building this new site. Strong Coffee has been a partner of CWSAA on the Go Ski Alberta program for many years and has worked with many ski areas on marketing programs.
Member Login: If you had a member login on the old website, it should still work on this website. If you can't remember your password, it can be easily reset. Logins are recommended for management of CWSAA Members. Those not in senior management will requirement management approval.
Navigation: The new website displays content based on the user-level. General public will see basic information, and a logged-in member will have more options and information available. For instance under the “Members” menu, once logged in, the "Documents & Resources" area will appear and you'll be able to find important industry documents & resources.
Go to our homepage to check out the new website >> HERE.
The 2022 CWSAA Awards Nominations are now open.
In addition to the Jim Marshall Leadership Award and Lars Fossberg Excellence Award, the CWSAA Board of Director's is pleased to introduce a new award category this year - The CWSAA Peak Performance Award.
Nominations must be submitted by February 7, 2022. Download the Awards nominations packages below:
- Jim Marshall Leadership Award - 2022 Nomination Form
- Lars Fossberg Excellence Award - 2022 Nomination Form
- CWSAA Peak Performance Award - 2022 Nomination Form
Please note, the Jimmie Spencer Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a recipient identified by the Board of Directors. It may or may not be presented annually.
About the new CWSAA Peak Performance Award
The CWSAA Peak Performance Award is a new award launching in 2022 to recognize incredible people that have served the ski industry. The award recognizes individuals whose contribution, concept, or innovation have provided value to their employer and benefits the entire industry. The recipients will have demonstrated commitment and passion to their career and embody The Canada West Way.
Each year the Board will determine how many recipients will receive this award (generally more than 1 and less than 5).
Canada Summer Jobs 2022: Application open until January 25.
The program aims to create jobs for up to 100,000 young people full-time this summer. Not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers, and private sector employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees can apply online for funding now until January 25, 2022, to hire young Canadians for the summer of 2022.
Federal Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (Bill C-2)
On December 16, the senate passed Bill C-2. This $3B support package will deliver targeted subsidies to hard-hit businesses through:
- The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP), wage and rent subsidies to hotels, with a subsidy rate of up to 75%. See below of technical overview. *
- The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through wage and rent subsidies to other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50%.
- A Local Lockdown Program, which would provide businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns up to the maximum amount available through the wage and rent subsidy programs.
- An extension of the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10% and increase the subsidy rate to 50%.
Read the Government of Canada's News Release HERE.
*Notice of calculation error in THRP spreadsheet: Some recent applicants for the THRP have been affected by an error in the calculation spreadsheet for wage and hiring support, which erroneously showed they were ineligible for the THRP when they may have been eligible. Click here to see whom this error affected and the steps to resolve it.
View these and other grants & funding sources available in various jurisdictions HERE.
On May 19th 2020, Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park, suffered a catastrophic landslide that significantly affected their chairlift, leaving it inoperable, as well as some of their ski runs.
Read this month's Places & Faces feature on the team at Nitehawk and how their fundraising, creative programming and community support has kept them moving forward. The team has been working through adverse conditions to install a new TBar that is expected to open in February. The Tbar install will mark a major milestone in the rebuilding efforts.
To help understand the complete ecosystem of support services available across the country, Tourism HR is asking tourism businesses to complete an eight-minute survey. This survey asks you, or another member of your organization, to identify the government programs and industry support services available in your region and any innovative practices tourism businesses are undertaking to mitigate workforce shortages.
This survey will inform a workforce recovery toolkit that tourism stakeholders can use. The survey can be completed HERE.
The current intake of Lift Courses with Selkirk College is now open through April.
These three courses (Lift 151, Lift 152 and Lift 153) are developed to give maintenance and operational staff in the ski industry a close up look at, and a comprehensive understanding of, regulations contained in Z98 Code Book, “Passenger Ropeways & Passenger Conveyors.”
Learn More & Register HERE.
Plus, don't forget to check out the latest articles in Tales of SROAM Success.
DRIVING FORCE Getting to the slopes made EASY!
DRIVING FORCE can provide a convenient way to travel – socially distanced but still social! Create a team bonding experience while still being safe.
Now taking reservations for the fall and winter seasons. All Wheel Drive (AWD) currently available – Call now before they’re gone!EASY RESERVATIONS: www.drivingforce.ca
CONTACT: 780-483-9559 or [email protected]
RECEIVE 10% OFF Promo Code: CWSAA
Staff Offer from Kal Tire: Download the Coupon
Thanks to the partnership with Kal Tire, all ski area staff and associate members of CWSAA are eligible to receive $80 off at Kal Tire. Please feel free to circulate this offer with your staff.
To redeem, click on the image to the left, and print the voucher or present on your mobile device in-store at Kal Tire.
The CWSAA family was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Mark West. Mark, aged 53, is well known to ski areas large and small. From snowmaking installations to slope stabilization projects, he was a great contributor to our industry and his work has been integral to ski operations all over the west.
Close friend and colleague Jurgen Grau had this to say about Mark. “A giant of a man both physically and in spirit. His contributions to the ski industry reach across the continent. If you ski or board you will likely have crossed terrain that his innovative spirit and expertise helped to create. There are few who carry as many tools in their belt as Mark and fewer yet who could use them with such skill. Forever helpful and gracious he was there to lend a hand. He was always a friend.”
In support of the family, Val Grau has volunteered to put a photo book together of all the ski areas that Mark worked at. It is to be shared with Mark’s wife Nichole and their sons. Please email Val a picture, and description and year of the ski area project to [email protected].
A celebration of life will be scheduled later in the spring. On behalf of industry, our sincere condolences have been expressed to Nichole and family.
Shannon Johnson of Asessippi (Manitoba), shows their beautiful and successful wedding venue.
Weddings are part of their shoulder-season operations that provide diversity in their business, employing more staff year-round.
CWSAA was delighted to receive a special package from Troll Resort - our very own copies of The Little Troll's of Norway.
The children's book is the story of the Fossberg family's journey to Canada and creation of Troll Resort. It is beautifully written and illustrated by locals and now available for purchase through Amazon.