October 2019 Newsletter

October 18, 2019 Newsletter

Fall Meetings

Thank you to Snow Valley and SilverStar for hosting this year’s meetings.  The Safety & Risk Committee developed fantastic content – thank you to all the presenters and contributors to this year’s meetings.  Over 100 people attended each meeting.

A small area fundraiser was held during the fall meetings raising over $1000!

All of the presentations are available in the Member’s Only section of the CWSAA website.

Lift Maintenance Courses

Congratulations to the 9 participants in the 151/152 course in Edmonton.  17 more participants are registered to attend the course at Table Mountain in North Battleford Saskatchewan at the end October.

Seeking course facilitators!
Anyone interested in becoming an instructor/facilitator for future 151/152/153 courses, are invited to express their interest to CWSAA.  Qualified individuals will be selected to shadow the course in Whistler in April 2020.

Exclusion of Liability Program

All Ski Areas should have their new signage in place prior to opening this season, as well as a Safety & Risk Awareness webpage or link.  Please note waivers have not changed (e.g. season pass forms), and while Exclusion of Liability wording for passes and tickets have changed, ski areas may exhaust their existing stock.  Please speak to your Ski Area GM for more information – GMs can reference a CWSAA memo from September 18 for all details on the CWSAA Exclusion of Liability Program updates.

Partner Profile: Mark Grabas

Over the past year, the CWSAA Board identified a need for increased industry resources relating to occupational health & safety, claims, human resources, labour relations and employment matters.  This has been the driving force behind many CWSAA initiatives and conference sessions.  In addition, legal counsel relating to the topic was suggested.  CWSAA is pleased to announce that Mark Grabas has agreed to serve the industry in such a capacity.

View Mark’s bio here.  Notably, he has worked in multiple western provinces and on ski files.  Mark attended the ASM Fall Division meeting at Snow Valley and had the opportunity to meet our Chair, Directors, Risk Chair, and ASM Legal Counsel Todd Lee.

Similar to Robert Kennedy and Todd Lee’s legal guidance on risk management, Mark’s involvement will be seen at upcoming CWSAA events starting this winter.

CWSAA would like to welcome Mark to the industry, and look forward to working together in the years to come.

Employee Safety Spotlight

Set your team up for a great season with an ongoing training program.  Make it your goal, at least once per week, to hold a Safety Talk during your pre-shift meetings.  These meetings are intended to be about 10 minutes focusing on a specific safety topic each session.   During pre-season orientations, many of these safety talk items could also be included in your training program.  Check out go2hr.ca/skisafety for a list of current tools and resources.

Snow sports Injury Reduction

Skiing and snowboarding are a part of many ski industry jobs, but injury can occur while skiing or riding.  Being fit for duty, awareness of conditions and surroundings is critical to having a safe day on the slopes.  CWSAA and go2HR have developed a series of tools and resources to use to help reduce the snow sports injuries among staff.  The newest tool is a 2.5 minute video on snow sports injury reduction.

Find out about these resources on The Canada West Way.  Some of the resources include:

  • Safety Talks: Snow sports Injury Reduction and one specifically on Knee Injuries.  Discussion tools for Safety Talk Meetings.
  • Poster: Before you hit the slopes!  Print off this poster and post in staff areas.
  • Video: Snow sports injury reduction.  Share this video with staff and incorporate into your training.
  • Toolkit Meetings:  For managers facilitating the Safety Talks, these toolkits will help you prepare for your meetings.

Ski Industry Financial Analysis – Final call to participate!

The economic contribution of our industry is calculated annually and shared with government and stakeholders to help advance the ski sector.

It is very important to accurately document the current financial status of the ski industry in Western Canada.  A critical piece in this process is the CWSAA Financial Analysis done by Ecosign Mountain Planners.  This report compiles data confidentially and provides ski areas with their own comparative data set and industry benchmarking.  This valuable analysis report is provided to the participating ski areas at no cost. All CWSAA ski areas are encouraged to join the program.

Ecosign is currently receiving survey forms and verifying data.  Those areas that have not submitted their survey forms are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact Ecosign directly at 1-604-932-5976.

In Search of Doppelmayr Tbar gear box

WANTED: Canyon Ski Resort in Red Deer requires a gear box for their Doppelmayr Tbar (1967) and there is none available to purchase.  Its a Kissling Gear Box VKSO-260 or similar.   Please contact David Martel if you have the required Tbar parts.

Staff Offer from Kal Tire

All ski area staff and associate members of CWSAA are eligible to receive $100 off at Kal Tire.  Please feel free to circulate this offer with your staff. To redeem, print the voucher or present on your mobile device in-store at Kal Tire.

Download the coupon HERE!

Destination BC

CWSAA presented to the Destination BC Board of Directors at their meeting in Sun Peaks, BC this week.  The ski sector is the primary winter tourism driver and helps offset the imbalance between BC’s summer and winter seasonality.  The sector contributes $1.8 billion to the visitor economy with 35% of the total being spent outside of ski areas and benefiting the greater economy.  DBC Chair Dawn Black (left), Director Al Raine, and CEO Marsha Walden included visits to Quaaout Lodge, Sun Rivers, and a tourism industry reception at Monte Creek Winery during the Board’s visit to the Sun Peaks and Kamloops region.

Serving it Right

Serving It Right and Special Event Server are British Columbia’s mandatory responsible beverage service training programs that educate liquor licensees, permittees, managers and servers about the responsible sale and service of alcohol.

Certificates issued by the previous service provider are still valid until the expiry date. Please also note that effective September 15, 2020, those holding Serving It Right certificates with no expiry date must re-certify.

You can find more information on SIR and SES HERE.

Worker Training

Congratulations to Mt. Timothy.  General Manager Walter Bramsleven worked in collaboration with Work BC agent Anny Horton of Horton Ventures to develop an Adventure Tourism Worker training program.  In partnership with the federal and provincial government, the initiative is part of the response to address the many mill closures and displaced workers in the forest sector.  The innovation is a potential model for ski areas to leverage government funds and develop employees in local communities.

Notice – Scarpa boot recall

Staff using Scarpa 2017 Maesrtrale boots should be advised of the following recall: https://www.scarpa.com/product-recall

Stolen Radios

This summer, the chalet at the community ski area of Gwynne Valley near Wetaskiwin AB was broken into and their radios were stolen. These radios are used for communication between staff including ski patrol.   Anyone with compatible radios that could be offered to the ski area are asked to contact the CWSAA office.  Thank you.

Places & Faces

Mt. Washington opened its first two zip lines this summer, and is adding two additional phases for next summer.  CWSAA also thanks Dale Logan for stepping up to join the CWSAA Safety and Risk Management Committee.  Dale is the Risk, Employee Experience & O.H.S. Manager for the Vancouver Island resort.

At the CWSAA BCY Division meeting, many met Christine from Little Mac ski area.  CWSAA also enjoyed touring the ski area in Mackenzie BC with her colleague Stacey (pictured right).  The one surface lift ski area is run by the town and operates in four hour periods on weekend afternoons and select days during the week.  The area has one PistenBully for grooming.  Parking and a chalet is found at the top of the lift.

CWSAA met with Chad from Spring Lake ski area in north west Alberta following the ASM Division meeting.  He is one of the volunteer directors for the society run ski area.  During our visit, Chad explained that the lodge was rented to hunting groups in the fall as a fund raiser for the society.  The ski area is located beside the actual lake named Spring Lake which includes nearby trails and campground.  The ski slopes are one of the few Prairie ski areas that are located on hill, rather than a river valley.

Rob Bourgeois of Little Smoky Ski Area near Fahler Alberta, is one of the growing number of SROAM grads to lead our industry.  When CWSAA visited in late September, Rob was all over the new CWSAA Exclusion of Liability program wording, background, and rationale.  Robert Kennedy would be very proud.

Hart Highlands has added snowmaking and a conveyor over the summer.  Jess is the manager at the Hart, and travels to other northern ski areas to help with training which was previously part of her formal role as the CSIA’s Northern Coordinator.  Jess also runs an all-girls freestyle team.  Josh is the VP for the volunteer society and has served the Board for 4 years.  Many local children are indebted to all the volunteers and staff that keep the Hart thriving.

New at Mission Ridge this winter – a Tube Park and Building

The Tube Park is under construction. Multiple lanes will be serviced by a new 400 foot Magic Carpet being installed in late October on the east side of the ski area.

Mission Ridge purchased and has now installed the stadium end zone corporate box seats following the construction of the new home of the Roughriders in Regina.  The slopeside lodge features 5500 sq ft above ground and 1600 sq ft in the basement for washrooms, overflow seating, and future skier services.

Upcoming Events

  • Oct 21-22, 2019 – HeliCat Fall Meeting
  • Oct 27-28, 2019 – SSAOA, Table Mountain
  • 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 4-7, 2020 – NSAA, Amelia Island Florida
  • May 11-14, 2020 – RMLA, Grand Junction, CO
  • April 27-29, 2021 – CWSAA Spring Conference, Lake Louise Alberta

Check out the Industry Events Calendar HERE for more details.

The Canada West Way

Check out some of our latest blog posts:

Places & Faces: Little Smoky
Places & Faces: Nitehawk