This year, for the first time, I’ve come across the idea of “rules” for the “Race to Open.” Perhaps the origins are as recent as this article published in the wake of Sunday River’s opening day last year that claimed Loveland was the official winner because they were the first resort to open and stay open. Otherwise, the author postured, what’s the difference between a resort like Timberline that stays open weekends all summer and fall? I can think of two: no glacier and a boat load of media coverage.
Here’s the thing, the media doesn’t care about rules, they care about getting a story. The first resort that gets their lifts turning with skiers sliding giddily down their slopes is going to win in their eyes. That’s a story worthy of the front page. John Sellers, Loveland’s Marketing Director, said the PR from winning is worth more than a million dollars which begs the question, does it really matter what rules we make?
Wolf Creek in Colorado was *almost the first to open, reaping the rewards of a 3′ storm last week. Are they still open? No. Will they open for daily operations before Loveland or A-Basin? I don’t know. Either way, here is a small part of the coverage I found of their opening which doesn’t include over 500 shares on Facebook, thousands of tweets on Twitter, and countless water cooler conversations. Did they win? You be the judge.
*I say “almost” because Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort actually opened a couple hours before Wolf Creek. Unfortunately, the folks at LVSSR asked their PR & Marketing partners to not make any announcement about the opening until they were already open, missing the chance to snag the spotlight. Not sure of the reasons, but this is what they missed out on…
Planet Ski (Europe)
The Ski Channel
The Ski Channel
On the Snow
Colorado Ski Country USA
Grand Junction Sentinel
Out There Colorado
The list goes on and on…