January 16, 2018 Newsletter

January 16, 2018 Newsletter

Registration opens in One Week!

Keep your eyes open for an invite to register for the 50th CWSAA Spring Conference on Tuesday Jan 23.

It is highly recommended to get a jump start and book your accommodations soon, especially if you have a preference for rooms with two beds.  Many room types will quickly sell out, so book now to have your choice!

SnowPass: Tips for Ski Areas

The Grade 4/5 Snowpass is an excellent opportunity to introduce youth to snowsports.  Big White Ski Resort has done an excellent job promoting this product and Katie Balkwill, Regional Sales Manager shared some tips with us:

  • I would say the biggest thing is to talk to mom’s and dad’s.  Those that don’t know about the program are typically non-skiers, so keep messaging as simple and clear as possible, yet still create a sense of urgency.
  • We also promote to our core of season passholders. They are really our ambassadors! So while their children have season passes, they help tell their friends and family and encourage them take advantage of this great program and get them on the slopes.
  • Big White also feature the pass on our website, serve digital ads, include in eBlasts, social media, handouts at events and click here to listen to our current radio ad.

An easy way to promote the Grade 4/5 Snowpass and Never Ever Days, is to use the FREE downloadable CSC digital resources HERE.

Impacts of Minimum Wage

The Bank of Canada has release a report on projected economic impacts of minimum wage changes across the country, including impacts to GDP, CPI and employment rates.  Read more.

Ski School Instructor Recruitment Survey

CWSAA, the Ontario and Quebec ski area operator associations, and Canadian Ski Council will be sending an email survey to ski area ski schools in the coming days.  The questions probe ski and snowboard instructor recruitment and new training delivery opportunities.

Ski areas are requested to ensure their ski school managers receive and submit the brief survey.

Ski areas may contact the CWSAA office if they need information or a link to the survey.

World Snow Day is January 21

World Snow Day is January 21! 14 ski areas in Western Canada will be welcoming first-timers to our sport on World Snow Day by hosting Never Ever Days events.

Nationally ski areas will be using the hashtag #SnowProud to encourage new skiers and snowboarders to share their experiences all season!

PS – Feel free to click on this image to download it & use for social media promotion!

Mailbox: Kudos to Castle Never Ever Days

Hi there!

I just had the best day EVER at Castle mountain thru one of your Never-Ever promotions. I just wanted to write and thank you so much. I had tried down hill a few times- a lesson or 2 a year during my high school years, in the 80s, but I’ve always been petrified and not felt like I’d ever gained enough skill that I’d ever wanted or thought I’d be able to take it up. Well, after today, I really feel like it’s a realistic goal! I went with 2 friends and we’re all scheming on how and when we will go again!

It was so well organized, and everyone was super helpful, kind, enthusiastic encouraging and FUN! We had the most amazing instructor, Amanda, and are hoping to go back and continue having some group lessons with her. She was so patient and did an excellent job of building our confidence and skills. She was fun and easy going, but super knowledgeable about skiing, body mechanics and was a natural teacher. All three of us left with grins on our faces, noodley legs and new confidence.

I am very grateful for the AWESOME opportunity you afforded us! Thank you!


Sandy D.

Oh! The pictures! The slideshow was a wonderful way to end the day, and the pint was delicious lol

Ski Industry Financial Analysis

The annual CWSAA financial analysis has been sent out to participating ski areas.  Appreciation goes to Ecosign Mountain Planners for their expertise and ongoing contribution to industry with this project.  Ecosign has facilitated this invaluable industry research for 30 years and helped improve ski area performance.

The results are confidential (and free) to those ski areas that participated in the project.

The cost of participation is free.  All ski areas are actively encouraged to participate in the survey, with the results offering them comparative data to industry benchmarks.  For more information on future participation, please contact the CWSAA office.

Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board

Workers’ Compensation Board Alberta recently announced a consultation period on proposed policy changes.  Highlights were communicated by CWSAA to Alberta ski areas in a January 9th email.  The draft policies may be viewed here.

Ski Resort Risk Management – Online Course

The next Selkirk College online course begins on February 13 and runs for 12 weeks.

Learn to assess and manage the risks ski areas face on a day-to-day basis using actual case studies and  online discussions about current industry issues and solutions with  students in other resorts across the country. Learn more.

Alberta Slide & Ride

Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) Alberta will be offering FREE 1-day Slide & Ride try-it events at 7 ski areas across Alberta. Their goal is to encourage people with disabilities to try adaptive skiing or snowboarding as participants, and to create opportunities for involvement as participants or volunteers.  Congratulations to CADS and the participating ski areas for this great program.  Read More.


We are pleased to have Clearwater Ski Area join CWSAA.  Clearwater is located in the North Thompson River Valley of BC and offers a TBar, rope tow and lodge.

Our first new Associate Member of 2018 is Santasalo Gears Ltd, specializing in gearbox design and manufacturing.

Places & Faces

Fort McMurray-born Shannon-Ogbani Abeda who learned to ski at Vista Ridge, will be the first-ever athlete to represent Eritrea (East Africa) at the Winter Olympics next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  He will compete in Alpine Skiing slalom and giant slalom. Read More.

Thank you to the many friends that attended the Celebration of Life for Fred Bosinger at Mt Norquay on January 15.  Learn more about Fred’s contribution to the ski industry in the Canada West Way.

Kudos to Sunshine Village for contributing $50,000 to the Ski Resort Operations & Management Program at Selkirk College in Fred’s name.  The funds will provide scholarships to students who are working towards a career in the ski industry.

The NSAA has named Michael Lane as NSAA’s new director of technical services, a position primarily focused on lift safety, education, operations and maintenance. Lane, is currently the National Ropeway Engineer for the USDA Forest Service, and he will replace Sid Roslund, who has held this position for 27 years.

In the Fall, the NSAA named Kelly Pawlak as NSAA’s new president and CEO. Pawlak, was most recently VP and GM at Mount Snow Resort, Vt for the past 12 years.

Anders Hestdalen, BC Alpine General Manager, is on a tour of ski clubs through the province.  He joined Damion Applegath, Sun Peaks Alpine Racers President, for the kick off to the Nancy Greene Ski League season.

On a recent visit with Shawn Whitty, James Shalman and Mike Duggan at Apex Mountain, we ran into Amber and Reg from the BC Mountain Resorts Branch.

Congratulations to Wayne Ragland of SMI Snow Makers on a tremendous 43-year career in the ski industry.  Wayne is set to retire this March.  Read More.

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
  • Oct 28-29, 2018 – SSAOA, Springhill Winter Park MB