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N.E.V.Ski Assoc. News & NEEDS from you!

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 25, 2004 - 6:34 PM GMT

If you're checking this thread for the first time, there are two previous threads that put a wave behind the idea to launch a virtual ski club. Please see "Forming a virtual New Eng. ski club?" found in "the Pit' " and "New England Virtual Ski Assoc. comes to Life" under NELSAP Discussion for more background discussion/ideas/etc..

Many initial questions may be answered in those threads, but the idea to start a web based ski assoc. can share in discounted lift ticket rates, participate in shared activities/outing and numerous other possibilities was started here within the Snowjournal.com forum board. Additional input from you is what's NEEDed.

As they say "First the news..."

The really good news is that a virtual home is in the making! Snowjournal admin. guru and site moderator Chris Bradford is onboard and willing to help launch "nevskiassoc.org" as a new member of his "Snow Family" of websites that include nelsap.org and skimaps.com.

If you're new to this the full title is New England Virtual Ski Association, or "N.E.V. Ski", for short! I secured the domain name last weekend and also set up a new mailbox under nevskiassoc@yahoo.com (...the "yahoo" tag seeming all to appropos for SJ skiers!)

Next, Two SJ participants, both ski area marketing/management folks are lending me an assist in coming up to speed on what their respective area's can do for us and what they need to see from this group in order to offer discounted skiing. The two area's that are helping me with details are Cannon Mt. (Rob) and Berkshire East (Jeremy), both popular SJ area's

The process is more involved then my early hopes of using a membership card along with an I.D., but I'm working to develop a means of making ticket purchasing secure for the ski area's while being easy for members.
Rob and Jeremy are becoming savvy, supportative, and patient, allies. (My background includes X-C operations a la "10 bucks full day - $7.50 half day" sans group/special rates, etc., so I'm on a new learning curve.)

Alpine pricing and marketing is clearly more involved! If you're a ski industry management person reading this and have ANY comments or suggestions please send them in confidence to the yahoo mailbox. I'll also be actively polling a number of ski area's in the VERY near future which brings me to:

Independant vs. conglomerated ski areas! Many folks had previous comments about trying to work with "indie" ski areas. After a recent dialogue with someone who works with a ski resort group, it seems that indie's, and our fledgling association, may indeed offer the most suitable win-win future for each other. (I know. You're all heartbroken!)

It seems that smaller groups don't have as much to offer to our ski facility group or corp. neighbors, though that may hopefully change in time. Larger areas are leaning toward having us buy bulk blocks of tickets to qualify for discounts. I'm just not sure we'd be able to make such an initial commitment, while remaining with the original goal of having freedom to ski at different areas. We'll see what happens in time and I'm hoping for some easier, more versatile, method.

OK, now the NEEDS;

There are three areas I need help with to make this YOUR .org .

First, I still need a little help with how, and where, we want this association to have it's business filing done. The question of having a true not-for-profit section 501-C3 registration came up early on. That's kinda' excessive since we're generating our only operating revenue from membership dues (anticipated at $20 bucks a year, or even less.).

My thought is to file as a Civic/Sports/?? Association and to keep accounting at a needed minimum, but I need feedback from others out here who may belong to ski clubs and similar groups. (Again, thanks!)

And I still need to hear about the old issue of whether to try to include a few N.Y State ski areas, or to keep this New England only. So please give me some larger favorite indie ski area's in MA, NH, VT, ME and/or NY that we might target.

I'm really attempting to launch this as a democratic group, and need your input to do so.

Thanks Again for Past Input! ...pretty great start for two weeks of effort!

Doc

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marcski
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Posted: May 25, 2004 - 7:08 PM GMT

Why not include some NY State areas? I mean I understand that NY is not technically in NE but it is right there? There also seems to be a number of areas (plattekill, gore, etc) that seem to be popular with SJ'ers. And, don't forget there is a NY sectoin on NELSAP
jamesdeluxe
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Posted: May 25, 2004 - 8:46 PM GMT

Bobcat, Hickory, Hunter, Windham, West Mountain, Whiteface, Gore, Belleayre, Plattekill

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MissDaEast
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Posted: May 25, 2004 - 10:03 PM GMT

Perhaps I did a bad job of typing or something, but I couldn't get through to your new site. All I got was a Yahoo main page. What am I doing wrong???
salida
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Posted: May 25, 2004 - 11:21 PM GMT

Well,

I'm not really sure about the business fillings because I do not have a lot of experience in that arena. Sorry. I would however go with the most barebones structure that is possible to start out with.

Now on to the skiing! I think that it would be good to include NY because even though it changes our demographics a bit, it enhances our coverage and adds some credibility to NEV. As for the areas my post in the other thread is still what I believe.

Quote:
Posted: May 13, 2004 - 6:21 PM EST

Here are just a few areas that I would like to see in the mix.

VT - Stowe, Jay, and Smuggs (MRG and Bruke are less expensive as it is)

NH - Cannon, Wildcat, and Ragged

ME - Sugarloaf, Shawnee, and Sunday River

Quebec (If it happens) - Sutton and Orford

Thanks, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

porter


At this time I'd also like to add waterville to the NH side of things. I'm not really sure of any of the areas in NY or MA as I have never skied there so.... Thats up to someone else.



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snowbasin
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Posted: May 25, 2004 - 11:52 PM GMT

I've held back on adding the following good words that are reprinted with permission:

Snowbasin,

I wanted to commend you on your efforts to create a group devoted to getting skiers out en masse to make some turns together. As an industry rep (Telluride Ski Resort) it is refreshing to see some forward thinking in an area of the industry that is stagnant at best. Your virtual model is definitely the future of groups in general, not just skiing. Just look at the way singles sites have taken off. As sad as it may be, people just don't have the time to meet in person anymore. I wish you luck in getting this concept off the ground, and I am more than willing to answer questions or provide feedback. As I said earlier, the traditional ski club model is fading fast (members are getting beyond their skiing years), so this concept will hopefully catch on and breath light to fading segment of the market. I know at first this would be focused towards the New England resorts, but if you could gather up enough people to escape the eastern ice (I grew up skiing the Poconos), I'd be happy to work on getting the group to our corner of Colorado (I apologize for the shameless plug!!). Good luck again, and I am at your disposal for any help that you may need.

That came to me a week ago and was the added boost, along with the great SJ support to date, that helped to inspire me to move this concept forward.

- Doc

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salida
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Posted: May 26, 2004 - 1:14 AM GMT

I would just have to say, totally off topic, that I skied Telluride for the first time this winter. It exceeded my expectations, greatly. I always thought of the mountain as a place where the rich roam on groomers. Boy was I wrong. With gold hill and prospect basin being some of the best terrain I have ever skied. All sorts of cliff bands, powder, and such to ski through. I have skied many other powder filled resorts in Colorado and Wolf Creek and Telluride top my list. One of the nicest things even though I don't need it was being able to ride a four minute lift to access almost 1800 feet of vertical in Gold Hill. It was awesome.

Just as an aside, my avatar is from telluride.

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 26, 2004 - 4:20 AM GMT

MissDaEast,

Au contrare, sir, I'm the one who's a bad typist and I prove it daily!

That url was just registered to secure it. The actual site needs to be developed and designed, which raises more things that I'll need future input on, insofar as content, a separate N.E.V. Ski forum, etc..

Sorry for better lack of clarity. I've been putting in some long hours on three fronts during the past week and in juggling this too, I realize that I've been a little too general sometimes and compensating with too much at others... Things should calm a bit by winter '04/'05.

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astrotech
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Posted: May 26, 2004 - 1:17 PM GMT



Doc,

Just a thought on a way to solve the geographic question of which ski areas to focus on for deals as well as maybe take care of one or two other issues as well. The thought is to have a questionnaire/pledge form. Basically we, the potential members, could shoot an e-mail to you saying yes we will definitely join NEV SKI when it starts. We could also include with it a list of the three ski areas or regions we frequent. This way you get an approximate count of how many people would initially join up, and with the info of desired ski areas the quest for cheap tickets can become more focused.

So I'll kick it off.

- Again, I'm in.

I live in the Boston area so my desires are as follows:
- Any NH ski areas along 93, mainly Canon, Ragged or Waterville. (These are my weekend day trips.)
- Eastern Mass. ski areas, being Wachusetts, Nashoba, Blue Hills. (These are the after work, busy weekend times)
- Mid/Southern VT, MRG, Okemo, Killi (for when I need a change).

Ultimately I'll be happy with anything though. Cheap snow always makes my weekend.

Ohhh, this just hit me, maybe discounts could also be negotiated by time. For instance, when the person skis, meaning weekends or weekdays or at nights (for those places that have night skiing). I try and hit Nashoba once or twice a week after work, maybe some sort of discounted evening skier only tickets or passes. Not sure how much that would complicate the matters.


M.




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katbennett
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Posted: May 26, 2004 - 1:51 PM GMT

I skiied Telluride for the first time this winter and was also blown away by it all, especially Prospect Bowl. If I ever see clear for a week off in-season I would definitely go back there. The town of Telluride is also a lot of fun.
snowbasin
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Posted: May 26, 2004 - 5:35 PM GMT

Thanks for the N.Y. feedback. Gore and Plattekill seem to get common reference. Anyone familiar with Thunder Ridge in N.Y., as I'm not and Gravitylover has made mention along with a ski shop offer on that area.

As an aside, if you were ever called to spill the beans in some big criminal case, tell the FBI agent that you want into the Victim Witness Program and that you'll only talk if they set you up with a new life in Telluride, Colorado. ...most beautiful place I've been to in the lower 48. ...property as expensive as Hawaii, so be sure they toss in a chalet. Amazingly large ski area surrounded by 14,000+ ft. peaks.

I hope that Telluride skiing may become an adjunct offer that's available to N.E.V.Ski members. The note I received certainly sounds that way!

...Will respond to Astroman's good thoughts once I've had a chance to think on how to best employ his member query/pledge. That's exactly the sort of ideas I need in turn, so thanks!

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marcski
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Posted: May 26, 2004 - 7:25 PM GMT

Thunder Ridge used to be known as Big Birch. While good for being in suburbia, it is really quite tiny. Not much going on there except its a good place for small kids and close to the nyc area. Seems like they do a fairly large biz of season passes for local kids after school and i believe they have night skiing. I don't think that it will be challenging enough for the SJ hardcores. But why not add an extra hill to NEVSKI?
snowbasin
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Posted: May 27, 2004 - 4:04 AM GMT

A fresh piece of news taken from the Blandford (MA) Ski Club website seems to lend fresh credibility to some questions on the approach of using an I.D. and membership card at ticket window in order to gain a club discount As follows at:

http://www.skiblandford.org/membership-Benefits.htm

Although I knew club membership cards had been used as a means to transact club discounts in the past I hadn't had a good current example until now, about fifteen miles away as it turns out. I'm putting an e-mail in to their president to see if we can learn a bit more. Meanwhile, I think their benefits page really cites how different terms and conditions may apply at various ski areas.

Doc

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Posted: May 27, 2004 - 4:13 AM GMT

Go50.org

The person in charge of that has the inside track with many ski areas, but that program is certainly one to be desired in the case of this program trying to be commenced

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 27, 2004 - 5:23 AM GMT

Thanks a ton Jeremy! You just torpedo'd the following reply I'd recieved in a (to be left un-identified) response to a query I made on how well club membership cards would, or wouldn't, work out. As follows:

* Unless it is a big opportunity or promotion, it doesn't justify adding it to the already unweildy list of promotions in the point of sale system. We are dealing with seasonal employees who are paid minimally - making the system more complicated without good reason just isn't worth it.

* Fraud is rampant. If it's just a code or a card with an unverified membership list and no way to audit it, it's just a way for us to lose (more) money.

* Ski areas are absolutely overrun with requests for discounts, charity donations, free passes, press passes, you name it. Again, the opportunity would have to be large (especially with the larger resorts) to make it worth my time. Not being snotty or anything - there are just so many hours in the day and those of us in marketing are totally beseiged and generally understaffed.

* It's hard to justify all of the above when there are already two ways to go through the existing system and address all these concerns (i.e. the group day scenario and the consignment ticket program).

So the go50 info was perfectly timed. I was put off by the above to the point where I was almost tempted to forward it back to one of the Corp. V.P.'s/G.M. a couple of days ago..., but "I didn't want to be snotty or anything", and there's no real point in matching negatives with equally bad workplace vibes.

Besides, you just really made my day! The reply I'd gotten above had me more then a little concerned that I was way off, but a good number of the VT area's I'm persuing are on that go50 list, as are you guys at the B'east.

This just gets more promising... Thanks again.

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Posted: May 27, 2004 - 12:16 PM GMT

My thoughts are like this: It's close, open at night 6 days a week and it's close. I figure actually going skiing is better than just thinking about it.
snowbasin
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Posted: May 27, 2004 - 5:03 PM GMT

As of this A.M. I've put in some ski area queries to marketing directors about working with us, as well as a ski club background info request to the President of the Springfield (MA) Ski Club, since they also run Blandford Ski Area.

I hope that we may be able to gain a little insight from that organization especially since they're the only group I know of that has the perspective of both club and ski area under one roof.

I still need website content and NY state participation thoughts, so please help me keep this thread going with fresh input.

I've also been asked about exchanging site links at the new mail box (nevskiassoc@yahoo.com) and so far I forsee needing a website home page with a clearly stated mission, our own forum column, a participating ski area and businesses page, a links list and...... What else do you folks want to see??

Thanks!

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 27, 2004 - 8:35 PM GMT

Quick update:

Today was N.E.V.Ski Vermont day. I've made phone and/or e-mail contact with group sales managers at: Bromley, Magic, Bolton Valley, Stowe, and Jay Peak. A call is also into Ascutney's group contact person, and I had sent mail up to Mad River Glen late yesterday.

Of the folks I've actually spoken with there was initial, and novel, intruige with the virtual club theme and I, of course, hope that the info-e-mail and query that I followed up with will yield some positive results.

-Doc

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 28, 2004 - 1:08 PM GMT

Also:

As of a late e-mail reply yesterday it appears that N.E.V. Ski may have it's first virtual staffer. This will likely entail keeping stats on skier visits and acting as a liason to ticket managers, and other tasks to help make this virtual club model become easy to deal with and more appealing to host ski areas. ...more as that's finalized.

We also have an offer from JamesDeluxe to help write/compile material for the website, so please read back through the end paragraphs of my recent posts which include the thoughts and ideas needed to help launch the site. ...nice to see a good, steady, off-season momentum continuing.

Once again, Chris Bradford, SnowJournal host, has reserved server space for us and the new site will be grouped within his existing Snow Family sites.

Thanks,

Doc

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Posted: May 28, 2004 - 1:38 PM GMT

If there is a ski club forming, I want in. When I stumbled upon nelsap.org last year, it was great. I like to ski with real skiiers, and there are no skiiers in the world better than Northeast skiiers. Where else can you hit 10 different snow conditions all within 1500 vertical feet? Instead of arguing which mountain is better on this board, we can duke it out in person while we argue about topics such as descency, bbq joints and gay marriages.


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