January 2020 Newsletter

January 24, 2020 Newsletter

Conference Registration opens January 28

On Tuesday, January 28 at 9am PST, 2020 Spring Conference & Trade Show delegate and exhibitor registration will commence.

View the Conference website HERE for all the details on this year’s conference.


Trade Show

Exhibitors can find the current trade show floor plan (showing booths still available after sponsor allocations) HERE.  Many of the booths sell out during opening week, so mark your calendar for next Tuesday, January 28.  The floorplan will be regularly updated to show current availability.


Stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for as low as $166 (plus taxes) per night.  Rooms are over 60% sold out already (some nights nearly sold out) and sell out each year, so book now to guarantee your room.

Conference Agenda

Thank you to all the committees who have been developing content for the conference.  The draft agenda is now online HERE.  More details are being regularly added.

Thank you to our Sponsors

We truly value the support of all our event sponsors.  Your support helps to keep the costs down for all members and allows us to provide great content.  It’s not too late to sponsor the conference!  For more information on sponsorship click HERE.

Diamond Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors: HKD Snowmakers; Prinoth; Italian Trade Commision; Leitner-Poma; Gougeon Insurance; Newman Pearce.

Silver Sponsors: Inter-Mtn Enterprises, Mueller Lifts Services, Fluidseal Inc., Skytrac Services Inc., Summit Lift Co, TeksMed Services Inc., Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd., Axess Americas

Bronze Sponsors: Mearl’s Machine Works , Canada Ticket, Select Contracts, SMI Snow Makers

Employee Safety Spotlight: Working at heights

Safety of ski area workers is of the utmost priority for the industry.  It is very important to incorporate Safety Talks into your regular pre-shift and staff meetings.

This month’s industry focus is prevention of falls from height.   Serious injuries can occur from even the smallest height – so precautions must be taken while working on ladders, roofs, lift towers or any other elevated surface.

Read more in this months Safety Spotlight article HERE.

Exclusion of Liability Reminder

The CWSAA Exclusion of Liability program was updated this past summer and includes signage and ticket/pass wording, and reference to on-line safety awareness information.  The wording and design of the signs was updated with thanks to Robert Kennedy, and should be displayed at all Ski Areas.  CWSAA worked with industry partners to establish a new Safety & Risk Awareness webpage, and should be linked to ski area webpages if the area does not already have a similar section.  Please contact CWSAA for any details or past correspondence which explains the changes.

Driving Force

Over the past few weeks, Driving Force One (the CWSAA vehicle provided by Driving Force) has conquered some pretty wintery weather around Alberta and BC. CWSAA is particularly grateful for Driving Force’s attention to vehicle safety. This has enabled the hands-on sharing of best practices between CWSAA and ski areas, especially with the many community ski areas.

Driving Force was first introduced to CWSAA through Marmot Basin, who have been leasing vehicles through Driving Force for many years. Rental discounts are available to all CWSAA members and related ski clubs and events. Dan Clark is the recognizable face from CWSAA’s Spring Conference and Fall Meetings and should be contacted for lease options (tel: 780-641-1124).

Reduce the impact: respecting wildlife

As stewards of the land, CWSAA’s members take a serious responsibility to protect the biodiversity in each area, minimizing pollution and reducing their impact on the land, wildlife, air and water. Throughout the winter, we are highlighting leading examples from various resorts and the steps they are taking to reduce their impact on the environment – this month’s focus is wildlife.

Read about partnerships and programs that keep wildlife protection a top priority for ski areas and will for many years to come, in this month’s article: Reduce the impact: respecting wildlife.

Alberta 10-year Tourism Strategy

Travel Alberta, in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, is in the process of developing a 10-Year Tourism Strategy for the province. The primary goals of the strategy are to grow business and new destinations by attracting more private sector investment to create jobs and contribute to economic growth in the province. Thank you to all the ski areas that attended the strategy sessions earlier this month.  CWSAA has been heavily involved with the Ministry of Tourism and Travel Alberta, to ensure ski is well represented in the tourism strategy ahead.
There is still an opportunity to provide your input.  All ski areas are encouraged to complete the following survey by January 24.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/10YearTourismStrategy

BC Chamber – Board of Directors Nominations

The BC Chamber is looking for exceptional candidates with expertise in the area of Information Technology, Risk Management and Strategy, and to join their board.  The tourism industry is encouraging those from ski and tourism to consider applying. Candidates should align with the direction of the BC Chamber, and augment and accelerate the governance principles of the Board.

Thank you to Don Sharpe from Holiday Trails Resort (Manning Park) for putting forward his nomination.  CWSAA is asking all Chamber members to support Don, and any additional nominations will be accepted until January 29Click here for more info. Candidates will be interviewed (and there may be a shortlist process), then elections will take place March 16 – April 3, 2020.

Canada’s Largest Lesson

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Growing participation in skiing and snowboarding is one of the industry’s core objectives.  This Sunday, over 50 ski areas across Canada will come together for Canada’s Largest Lesson, with a special Never Ever Day event.  Whether your ski area is participating or not, this is a great day to share messaging on your social feeds related to the accessibility of learning to ski and fun of snowsports – using the hashtags #SnowProud and #CLL2020

For more on Canada’s Largest Lesson visit skicanada.org/canadas-largest-lesson/

To help promote participation in skiing and snowboarding, the Canadian Ski Council offers a number of great resources for ski areas.  Check them out HERE.

Membership Invoices

Heads Up!  2020/21 CWSAA Membership dues invoices will be emailed to all existing members the first week of February, paper copies will also be mailed.  Ski Areas dues are based on skier visits, and Associate dues are based on sales in Western Canadian Ski Industry over the past year. We value your partnership and thank all our members for their continued support and involvement in industry initiatives.

2020/21 Dues are due on March 31.  Invoices can be paid by cheque, EFT or online by credit card.

Diversity & Inclusion Training

CADS Alberta has partnered with AMPED2PLAY to offer a 4hour training program for ski area staff and leadership on increasing inclusivity at their organization.  20% of the course fee is being donated to CADS.  Find out more HERE.

Industry Research

Thank you to Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners for their work on the 2018/19 Financial Analysis of Canadian Ski Areas.  The report has now been completed and circulated to all participating ski areas.  All ski areas are welcome to participate in this study next year.  Note: only participating ski areas receive the report.

Next up is the Value of Ski Areas Economic Impact Study which is being completed by Align Consulting.  That research is underway and will be delivered at Spring Conference.


The Hart Ski Area is looking for replacement parts for its Sunkid (circa 2004) chain-style conveyor carpet lift, specifically the running surface material.  If you have any parts laying around a bone yard, can you contact Jess at [email protected].

Places & Faces

75 athletes from around the world attended the Ski Cross NorAm Cup & National Championships at Canyon Ski Resort (Red Deer Alberta) January 9-12.   Canyon has been growing as a competitive venue, hosting the Canada Winter Games last season, as well as adding new training facilities this year, like the ski jump.  This event drew national media attention, including this article in the Globe and Mail.

Thanks to Mt Seymour and GM Eddie Wood for hosting the CWSAA Board of Directors meeting this week.  The robust agenda included approvals of the Small Areas Assistance fund recipients.  Ski areas will be notified immediately and in time for the start of conference registration.

CWSAA visited with Merv, Guy and Jessica at Eastlink Park in December.  Merv beams with insane pride at what he and the community have been able to accomplish at Eastlink with more plans already in the works. One of many such examples is their effort to pitch ski as an add-on attraction for local hockey, figure skating, and snowmobile events as well as shopping excursions in the local market. There are also great ideas for parents…Eastlink has built a viewing platform for parents to watch their kids, and on windy days Eastlink cleverly built a firepit with snow walls to block the wind.

Congratulations to Manning Park on the opening of their new Bear Chair Quad.  The chair opened amid a pre-Christmas storm that dumped 150 cms of snow in a 48-hour period.  With so much snow, operations crews had their hands full even getting to the resort.  But the guests that made it for the opening were in for a treat.  Read the News Release.

Big White ski area is a champion of the Grade 4/5 SnowPass.  By simply asking their radio partners, they receive no cost Public Service Announcement (PSA) radio ads.  Their messaging promotes the accessibility of snowsports.  Listen now.

SROAM student Bryant Lozinski, comes from Mission Ridge (Saskatchewan) and is hoping to be an Avalanche forecaster.

Read more about other SROAM students and activities in the SROAM program in the January SROAM Newsletter HERE.

CWSAA has reached out with support to our Australian counterparts, in particular Selwyn ski resort, following the damage caused by the bush fires.  Thanks to the many Canadian ski areas that are hosting fundraisers.  Two examples of funds that ski areas are supporting are:  National Bushfire Disaster Appeal   https://www.communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/make-a-donation/national-bushfire-disaster-appeal/ and Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.  wires.org.au

Upcoming Events

  • April 21-24, 2020 – PNSAA, Wenatchee Washington
  • April 22-24, 2020 – Mountain Planet, Grenoble Alps France
  • April 28-30, 2020 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Whistler BC
  • May 4-5, 2020 – HeliCat Canada, Penticton
  • May 4-7, 2020 – NSAA, Amelia Island Florida
  • May 11-14, 2020 – RMLA, Grand Junction, CO
  • May 25-28, 2020 – Eastern Canada Ski Conference (OSRA, ASSQ, Atlantic), Mont Ste.Anne
  • October 4-9, 2020 – International Snow Science Workshop, Fernie BC
  • April 27-29, 2021 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Lake Louise Alberta

Check out the Industry Events Calendar HERE for more details.

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