Just one post this week, I’m pretty dang busy in final preparations for Inntopia’s user group in a few weeks (speaking of which, if you’d like to come, let me know, the agenda has really shaped up nicely and it looks like we might end up with a couple extra tickets).
But even with just a few minutes to shape I wanted to chat about something that I noticed last week and have been noodling on ever since: Tremblant’s new summer ski hill.
To be clear, this is not the first summer ski hill.
Liberty University has had their Snowflex hill for a while and Buck Hill put one in back in 2016 I believe. But what it’s interesting to me about this is who it’s for. Liberty has big jumps and rails for summer training, Buck Hill seemed to be catering to a more core group with theirs, but Tremblant’s is not only one of the first I’ve heard of at a four-season destination resort…
…it’s also exclusively for beginners.
How many discussions have I been part of over the years where folks waffle about whether January is the right time for Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month. Yes, it makes sense for a lot of simple reasons, but January is also cold and snowy. March, has great weather, but come spring folks are ready to get outside again. There are dozens more sides to the debate, but the point I’m getting at is simply that nobody every talks about summer as an option.
At first summer feels like an odd time to teach people to ski, but think about it. There are no kids bombing past them on the way to the terrain park, visibility isn’t going to be an issue, there’s no special way to have to dress to fit in, there’s no way to be stuck at the top of the mountain, there’s no soggy clothes if you dress poorly. And if it doesn’t work out? Summer is full of so many other options that their trip – if summer skiing factored into their decision – that it’s not much of loss because they can take off their ski boots, head out on a hike, grab a mountain bike, play some golf, or whatever in no time.
Oh and the cost? Just $37 which includes rentals.
Listen, I have no idea if this will work, but I love the idea. Give non-skiers a simple, affordable, low-risk, warm-weather, non-intimidating way to try the sport. And when it comes to growing skiing, I really think we need to try more new stuff. Off the wall stuff. Different stuff. Throw 50 creative ideas against the wall and just see what sticks.
This is one of those ideas and I’m very curious to see how it goes.
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