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

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 28, 2004 - 8:00 PM GMT

When I feel the need to "duke it out" I just go to a town meeting. ...always something scrappy here in small town New England, though I log on here in hopes of a skiing escape...

Speaking of which, this ski club is now on the radar screen of several major ski area's. Our new group sales contact at Stowe brought this group up at their A.M. meeting after getting my e-mail query yesterday. The first response that their group person had to a virtual club was "cool idea".

The management powers that be there now want to see what form the N.E.V Ski Assoc. web site takes as a means of ensuring our validity and genuine intent. That means our web site needs doing asap!

As I said earlier, this is the time for fresh website ideas and inclusions. I'd like to see an initial home page up in a week or less, if reasonably possible, so we can start adding content as we progress. ...like a Participating Ski Area Page so the ski industry folks can get some added exposure too.

Doc

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salida
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Posted: May 29, 2004 - 8:32 PM GMT

Hey everyone,

Alright here are some of my ideas for the website. I am not sure how many of them are practically feasible at first but here it goes.

- I would like to see some kind of live chat, that would be open all the time, but each week or so we could have a ski club chat at a certain prearranged time.

- The forums will be very important as it will be our main way of communication and acting cohesively as a ski club. However, I think the forums should be slightly different. I think there should be some kind of weekly vote and award for some type of arbitrary idea. Possibly best post of the week, or best ski review of the week, best picture, just make the category change, and then have a poll, and then the winner gets some kind of distinction on their avatar for the next week. I think this would cause people, to not only get involved, but would be a friendly competition and raise comradery amongst the club members.

- I think eventually there should be some sort of section with an in-depth review (positive) of all of the ski areas in the club, preferably with member pictures and stories about their favorite times at the particular ski areas. It would be free publicity for the participating ski areas as well as something to read and enjoy about the other members best memories at a ski area.

- Again, I have no idea how feasible this is, but I think it would be awesome if we could have a place to upload our uncut digital movies and be able to watch other peoples ski movies through out the year. And at the end of the year, one of the members would take the highlights from all of the movies and create a sort of NEV ski season highlight real. I think that would be an awesome way to not only see a neat ski video but keep a chronicle of the ski clubs progress throughout time.

Last thought for this post. What do you guys think about trying to get shops in the major metropolitan areas and near our participating ski areas to give us discounts on gear and such? I think this would be another plus to being a NEV member if we could convince ski shops that this would be profitable for them.

Any other web format suggestions?


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gravitylover
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Posted: May 30, 2004 - 2:35 AM GMT

I've already offered discounts on ski and snowboard repairs. I'm thinking of adding discounts for HELMETS too, whaddaya think?

Bodies In Motion
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Posted: May 30, 2004 - 1:29 PM GMT

I like Salida's suggestions for a weekly or semi-weekly live chat and overviews of ski areas (along with member trip reports).

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 30, 2004 - 4:24 PM GMT

Just logged on between chores (busy weekend here.).

Thanks for the input! I think everyone has heard enough of me and now I need to hear from you all about what course that this association should follow. I've done enough race course war whooping to spur ideas here, and am going to give it a rest for a few. ...so it's up you folks!

Since the idea of a meeting place and/or chat forum has come up, I think we should bounce that off Chris first. It caught me that having a totally separate forum in a totally separate site might divert attention from SJ..., while also potentially alienating new viewers awareness of N.E.V. Ski to some degree by "compartmentalizing" it away from the attention of the SJ mainstream.

I'm concerned that we could [again, potentially,] impose a negative effect relating to the common interests of both sites, but I need a fresh, and more savvy, read on that. If so, as an alternative I was wondering if a N.E.V.Ski section could be inserted into the SJ forums with a directly returned FROM nevskiassoc.org For live chat a number of possibilities surely exist, MSN included.

But hey... These are almost fun challenges. Thanks again, and I'll go back and read all the previous content of the threads and mail in the next few days, as I'm sure I've missed some details and questions along the way. ...will be pretty busy 'til Tues./Weds. meanwhile.

Doc

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snowbasin
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Posted: May 30, 2004 - 4:31 PM GMT

Just logged on between chores (busy weekend here.).

Thanks for the input! I think everyone has heard enough of me and now I need to hear from you all about what course that this association should follow. I've done enough race course war whooping to spur ideas here, and am going to give it a rest for a few. ...so it's up you folks!

Since the idea of a meeting place and/or chat forum has come up, I think we should bounce that off Chris first. It caught me that having a totally separate forum in a totally separate site might divert attention from SJ..., while also potentially alienating new viewers awareness of N.E.V. Ski to some degree by "compartmentalizing" it away from the attention of the SJ mainstream. (hope that made sense!)

I'm concerned that we could possibly impose a negative effect to the common interests of both sites, but I need a fresh, and more savvy, read on that. If so, an alternative I wondered about is whether a N.E.V.Ski section could be inserted into the SJ forums with a direct return link FROM www.nevskiassoc.org. to a new SJ forum column. For live chat a number of possibilities surely exist, MSN included.

But hey... These are almost fun challenges. I'm also going to go back and read all the previous content of the threads and mail in the next few days, as I'm sure I've missed some details and questions along the way. ...will be pretty busy 'til Tues./Weds. meanwhile.

Doc

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MissDaEast
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Posted: May 31, 2004 - 12:33 AM GMT
Edited: May 31, 2004 - 12:37 AM GMT

I'm probably going to have to start ducking now, but here goes....
Live chats scare me. They seem like a good idea, but they have a tendency to go downhill faster than Tomba. If we have difficulty controlling the comments on this board, I have the feeling it would be ten times worse in a live chat room.
Okay, you can start throwing the snowballs now.
P.S. The weekly reports sound like a great idea.
salida
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Posted: May 31, 2004 - 1:49 AM GMT

To be totally honest, live chats can be a little un-nerving. However, I think that it is important that NEV is has a sense of togetherness and comradery. Yes, this can be done in forums but I think some sort of live communication would really create a ski club atmosphere. I am not sure if this is positively needed but I think if we our going to try to be a club in the true sense of the word than a chat or some kind of meeting would be preferable. If we are going to be more of an association with discounts and less member interaction than maybe we do not need a chat.

This brings up and interesting question I guess do we want to be more of a club (more member interaction) or an association (less member interaction)? I don't know the answer, what do you all think?



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astrotech
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Posted: May 31, 2004 - 1:52 AM GMT

Here are my couple of thoughts so far.
- Have a calender of who is skiing where, and when. Completely voluntary obviously. This could allow for club members to show up at places together, maybe do the carpool thing if so inclined. This would be something that would help add a bit of a real world aspect to the virtual side.

- The other would be for a way for people to share expertise or ask questions of an 'expert'. There are a ton of different facets to skiing, such as patrolling, instructing, ski maint. and repair, backcountry skiing, operations, etc. Having a way for people to post infomation pertaining to something they know about would be cool. It would provide a way for members to get answers to questions and just generally increase the skills of members, making us at least more knowledgable skiers if not better. The current thought is around something like a wiki and/or a forum to post questions or FAQs/HOWTOs. This came to mind as I am toying with the idea of learning how to instruct skiing and being able to find out info on how one goes about this would be neat. Also SnowTurxs questions from about BC gear from a previous thread would be answered by something like this.

Uhmmm, ... thats all I've got at the moment, at least of ideas that make sense.

Mike

BTW, the forum and chat ideas sound good.

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salida
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Posted: May 31, 2004 - 4:18 PM GMT

I think the calendar and the how to section would be a great addition. It would be something unique that other boards would not have. Therefore, it would attract people to the site. Hopefully, once people looked at the site they would want to join as well. Those are great ideas! Keep em coming.

porter

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Posted: Jun 01, 2004 - 5:33 PM GMT

Fresh over-the-long-weekend news...

I received a positive and welcoming reply from the President (Jay Pagluica) of the longest continuously operating ski area in the U.S. ....Blandford Ski Area, just miles from me here in W. MA.

Jay is actually the Pres. of the Springfield (MA) Ski Club that owns and operates Blandford, and he was great in offering the following advice:

"If I understand your note, you're looking to start an online (virtual) club that would get discounts by simply showing a membership ID at the ticket window.

We'd be happy to offer your members [a discount] off a lift ticket or learn to ski/ride package. No blackout dates. All we need is a sample of your club's ID card for our office file.

To answer a couple of other questions you asked:
- Fake ID's are prevelant. Mostly kids with a computer and lots of time on their hands. A paper ID (even with a picture) is easy to duplicate. A credit card type ID is much more secure. (see Alpha Card http://a-card.com/google.html for an example. Search "ski area id card" for more options) "


This follows right in line with my chat with Stowe last week who also stated that they would require a N.E.V. Ski secure I.D. card and that they may also be likely to offer their own Stoweflake group card for our membership's use at their ticket window in conjuction with our own.

Once again, I'll gladly welcome any and all added input on ways to conduct secure transactions with our membership from any of our ski resort managers/viewers at our new nevskiassoc@yahoo.com mail box.

I've taken note of the mentions of holding realtime active chatrooms, as well as the calender thoughts. My initial response is that the core site needs to get up and running as a given priority since I'm getting that query from a number of resort managers. First things first, and in this case, we need to have a door open to our virtual "home" to lend the needed initial credibility, although I think both ideas have a ton of near-future merit.

Right now I feel that we need to show the resort industry that we're going to offer them a reasonably fair degree of added web/marketing presence within the Snow Network of skiing sites that we'll be running in parallel with.

At present, I have in mind the need for a website homepage with mission statement, an N.E.V. Ski news page, a membership signup page w/ PayPal option, a participating ski area (w/direct site links) page, and a general skiing links page as a start. I forsee a lodging, dining, and ski shop offer/ links page as we open up these services to members. If you see any obvious and glaring initial oversights PLEASE bring it/them to my attention since I'll be speaking with Chris about these possibilities this week.

Thanks,

Doc

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snowbasin
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Posted: Jun 02, 2004 - 12:38 AM GMT

As of the evening e-mail I received a reply from the writer for Ski Mag's eastern news section and he likes the virtual concept and may be willing/able to run our pending news release in that section. ...more mutual ski area and club exposure if it happens.

Am also getting a quick lesson on I.D. card printers today. Lesson #1: basic imprinters not cheap! Advice gladly welcomed.

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Betsy
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Posted: Jun 02, 2004 - 12:48 AM GMT

Excellent work, Snowbasin. This is a GREAT idea and I am positive it will be successful. Count me in!

snowbasin
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Posted: Jun 02, 2004 - 4:08 PM GMT

Thanks Betsy.

At this point I'm thinking that past suggestions of doing a pre-membership pledge post and/or thread to better gauge our first year count is getting to be a good idea.

So far I've received some 20 + e-mails and SJ messages of firm membership interest and I'm coming to the point where it would be really helpful to have a rough number to be able to present to the ski area folks. (And given what I'm discovering about I.D. card printer cost I'd like an idea myself! I now know where part of the cost of a season ski pass is...)

Anyway, any suggestions on the best way to conduct a pre-membership pledge?

Doc

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astrotech
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Posted: Jun 02, 2004 - 5:47 PM GMT


I'd guess that using the nevskiassoc@yahoo.com e-mail would be the easiest. Have people send in an e-mail with the word 'pledge' in the subject line. Since this will be a virtual ski club most of the business and information dissemination will be done via e-mail anyway and this way the mailing lists can be compiled too. Plus a measure of confidentiality is maintained this way. If some people don't want their intent to join and/or their e-mail address posted on a public forum the e-mail pledge-in would avoid those issues as well.

For us potential members obviously use an e-mail address that you are comfortable getting NEV Ski Assoc. e-mails at.


Another website idea, once things get kicking maybe member profile pages could be added. A place for each memebr to add/share stuff they feel is important.


Mike



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salida
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Posted: Jun 02, 2004 - 11:50 PM GMT

I agree with Mike. I think using the e-mail address is the most appropriate way to get pledges, and for people to sign up. Especially as it is a virtual club.



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Posted: Jun 03, 2004 - 7:05 PM GMT

News du jour...

As of the moment we're on "Ascutney Vision" in that I've caught the positive attention of their marketing director and have also made initial contact with a couple of other New Eng. indy areas this week. (quite a few marketing and groups sales folks have been out this past holiday week, back in offices next week.)

Also, have managed to gain the response of SKI mag and just sent mail to Heather Burke who writes ski columns for a number of New Eng. papers. Chris and I also spoke today and he's starting to pull the core website together. ...all good stuff.

I also came up with a source that will generate plastic thermo-printed photo I.D. cards that will cost less, initially, then buying a printer outright..., although a printer could pay for itself in three years for any organization of 100 members in light of the fact that buying the pre-made cards costs $6 each per 100, and $7.50 for 51 to 99.

Basic card printers = $1,600.00 to $2,000 w/software and the plastic card blanks cost about 20 bucks for 500..., so $6 for finished cards is no great deal. But it still may be the first year way to go. This also means that an early head count and member commitment is even more important to us, as well as ski areas who may participate with us.

And I totally agree that the mailbox is the secure place for people to give us their initial info. I think we just need to know who/where they are, if they would pledge up to $29.00 to join a group that could save them that much in a couple of skiing days, and what their e-mail and phone is.

We could also query a couple of important things like what their fav. indy ski area's are, how many days they ski each season, do they have friends who's be into this, etc...

Thanks, more news as I have it.

Doc

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Posted: Jun 03, 2004 - 8:15 PM GMT

Glad to see that Ascutney might be on board. I've always used Ascutney as a nice way to break up trips between NYC and the Eastern Townships. You can't beat the location, just a few miles from I-91, and the mountain -- despite its propensity to develop ice -- has some fun runs, and it's never crowded.

That said, I usually only went on Connecticut Ski Council Days ($25), because I found their normal prices a bit too steep. I'd love to be able to ski there for a more reasonable price.


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Posted: Jun 04, 2004 - 5:38 AM GMT

Thanks James,

Glad that Ascutney holds appeal. Today was a contact push day. 13 ski areas (VT, MA, ME and NH) will have fresh mail of this group's formation and intent in their group sales mail boxes, on top of the 6 I've been in direct contact with. I'm hoping for a high 80% success rate of acceptance and we still have a few good alternates.

Chris also informed me earlier that JamesD, who has graciously offered to write some of our website text , is actually a professional writer who also helps with some of the SJ articles. As one whose grammar is as dubious as my own, I'll really appreciate his skill set in the near future as our new site is being developed.

Oh, and I'm leaning toward contacting three NY area's who offer good combined NY Thruway access and terrain variety in the next week, based on popular response to my past NY inclusion queries, though I don't want to risk diluting potential patronage from the primary focus on New England. (i.e, am only considering 3 NY areas max.)

Doc

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snowbasin
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Posted: Jun 05, 2004 - 3:46 AM GMT

Mike B., alias Astroman, is preparing a new advance membership pre-registration pledge post so we can gauge how many folks are interested in joining this new ski club. ...mailed with him this morning, though I got pulled out on a fire dept search for hours today and will be working in CT tomorrow.

Am just leaving this note so folks know to watch for the pledge post. Please sign up as per your interest so we can better negotiate terms with ski areas accordingly.

Thanks!

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N.E.V.Ski Association - The original virtual ski club

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