I Seriously Need to Learn to Ski
As I previously blogged, I am the world’s worst skier. At the Mountain Travel Symposium, a gathering of 1,100 ski tour operators and mountain resort employees that took place in Lake Tahoe this week, I tried to keep this fact a secret—because this a crowd that really, really loves hitting the slopes.
Case in point: On the shuttle bus from the Village at Squaw, where I was staying, to the Resort at Squaw Creek, where the conference took place, I saw more than one attendee sitting with their skis or snowboard cradled in their arms. During a workshop, a woman in the audience still had snow goggles strapped to the top of her head. And when I asked people how long they’d been skiing or snowboarding, quite a few answered “since I was a kid,” “forever” or some variation of that.
This genuine passion is what makes people who work in the ski business so wonderful to work with. These aren’t employees selling a product because it pays the bills; these are people selling a product because they are completely in love with that product, and they want to integrate it in their lives, and share it with others, as much as they possibly can.
The special appeal of the slopes is also what makes mountain meetings so popular. During a general session on online travel sites, Travelocity CEO Carl Sparks talked about how particularly intimate and personal ski trips are, recounting how vividly his own family can recount their many mountain vacations.
Sadly, this isn’t a passion I can personally attest to. Just don’t tell anyone in the ski industry I told you that.
Image: A much more talented skier at the Resort at Squaw Creek