Big news from the CCSAA office - It has moved to a new location in downtown Keene, New Hampshire. The new mailing address is now: 88 S. Lincoln Street, Keene NH 03431.

The move took 3 weeks from move to setup. Chris and Jane did a ton of work purging the files that filled a garage and a storage area. They now have the records compiled to the Member files, 7 years of payroll and tax records, Financials, and Board and Annual Meeting files.

The office is set up and Chris is hard at work. She's got a lot of changes ahead, the new office, and selling her house. So with all that on her plate, I just want to send out a big "Thanks" to her for all her work.

Among other info, this Nordic Network issue includes an article about an idea catching on in the alpine ski resort business called Converting First Timers to Lifelong Customers.

JoJo Toeppner, CCSAA Chairman
Royal Gorge Cross Country, California 

P.S. from Chris Frado, Executive Director
I will continue to be in & out till mid-September attending to personal business. House purchasing details (exciting), packing up 30 years of belongings and downsizing (seems endless), several real estate transactions one of which involves five boundary line adjustments (I have a great neighbor who will be a wonderful steward of the trails John Frado built), a conference in Texas, and a quick overnight trip to Colorado (to surprise a friend for a milestone birthday) are all keeping me pretty busy these days. Yikes!!!
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industry news * announcements * research * helpful tips August/Sept. 2015
Cross Country Ski Areas Association
Sponsors & Advertisers
Convert First Timer to Lifelong Customers

Extended Lesson Program with Incentives

Killington Ski Resort won a national challenge to develop an outstanding program that converts first time skiers into lifelong enthusiasts. The program that Killington pioneered is an incentive which offered skiers and snowboarders their own pair of skis free of charge after they attend the 4 lesson program. In 2015, working with Elan and Burton, they gave away 500 skis, 200 snowboards and 200 youth snowboards.
Killington also embraced Terrain Based Learning (snow areas groomed in a way that make it easy for first timers to learn) and it stipulated a Max 5 policy that kid's classes did not exceed 5 participants to raise the bar on the beginner experience. Additionally, every Killington employee received two free learn-to-ski lesson packages, which they were encouraged to give to friends or family. These employees became active evangelists of the sport and have added to the overall trial and retention statistics at Killington.
The results showed 98% of participants completed the program and 96% said they are likely to continue to ski or ride. Graduates are also given incentives to get season passes and return for some days - 71% returned for additional ski days, while 94% purchased other equipment, clothing, or accessories (remember, they do not get boots or poles with the program offer).
Equally impressive is Killington's commitment to tracking and measuring the success of their programs. For six years in a row, Killington has seen an increase both in the number of participants in its beginner programs and in the return percentage. This commitment requires management support, planning, and resources. They've orchestrated a learn-to experience that is truly building lifelong skiers.
What does it mean for XC skiing? Are any of the product suppliers willing to get moving with this idea? Is there an area operator that will take the time to look at such a program? Can you net a profit when you provide such an incentive? How about selling last year's rental gear in this program? Would sales of future lessons, future trail passes, sales of food and beverage, retail sales or services, more regular customers justify investing the cost of a pair of skis with bindings?
Tahoe Cross Country Fund Raising Project

According to a story in the Tahoe Daily Tribune, the Tahoe Cross Country (XC) ski area in Tahoe City, CA has had four consecutive winters with low snow amounts and asked for the community's help to open its doors next season without incurring debt. The Tahoe City-based ski area launched an $80,000 fundraising campaign and by the end of July it was reported that $52,518.30 in community donations have been raised.
"We are extraordinarily grateful for the support of our skiers, program participants and the public who are contributing to our ongoing fundraising campaign," stated a Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association July 8 newsletter.
In the winter of 2010-11, Tahoe XC was open for 150 days of operation and in contrast, this past winter, the ski area was officially open for only four days due to lack of snow" said Rafe Miller, a board member with the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association.
To help cover fixed costs such as salaries, insurance and trail fees, the ski area has been dipping into reserve funds the past two years and the reserves are now "pretty much depleted," he said. Each of the 11 unpaid, volunteer board members has made a personal contribution of at least $1,000. Should $80,000 not be raised (the fundraising effort has no deadline), other potential revenue sources such as loans will be examined. "We are unsure what these (pass sales) will be as they have plummeted over the last few years," said Jim Robins, president of the Tahoe Cross Country Board of Directors. "We are unsure what these (pass sales) will be as they have plummeted over the last few years," Robins said. "We remain optimistic that our skiing public will also support us by buying an early season pass."
The nonprofit Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association's mission is to promote the sport of cross-country skiing through educational activities for children and adults. The ski area is located within a Tahoe City neighborhood and affords skiers with local skiing on snowcat-groomed XC ski trails. The operation has regular ski and snowshoe programs and services.

Great Glen Presents Salomon Fall Trail Running & Walking Series

Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center in Gorham, NH was recognized at the annual CCSAA Conference for its Cross Country Ski Race Series on snow and now it kicks off the Salomon Fall Trail Running and Walking Series beginning Thursday afternoon, September 3rd.  The weekly trail race series is for all ages and abilities, and will take place each Thursday for six weeks.

This series is for participants who want to have a regular race regimen where they can keep track of their time, compare to their group of friends, or not worry about their time and just do it to get outdoors or stay fit. 

Competitors can challenge themselves on a Mini (1 mile), Short (1.8 miles) or Long (3.2 miles) course in either the running or walking divisions. Placement prizes are awarded in each category, and the series wraps up with an awards party and prize raffle. Competitors that compete in 4 of the 6 weeks are qualified for the prize raffle. Racers can choose the running division, or walking division in either the long, short or mini courses between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Cost is set at $35 for 6 weeks for adults while it's just $10 for kids 17 and under. Single sessions are $9 for adults and $2 each for kids. Registration is available online or by calling 603.466.2333. One-race rates are only available for purchase on site on the date of your attendance.
Insurance for Fat Bikes

This month's Insurance Intelligence is about insurance for fat biking on your trails. For a full article click Fat Biking Insurance.

Tom Lawrence, Aurora Insurance 518-860-4456
Capital Watch - July edition

The July edition of the Capital Watch included info about government activity regarding ski area water rights, which is likely an issue for XC ski areas involved with snowmaking. Other topics include the Dept of Labor's proposed overtime eligibility rules for salaried employees who have been exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. For the complete information, click Capital Watch July edition.
Capital Watch - August edition

AThe August edition of the Capital Watch included info about Obama's Climate Action Plan, a draft proposal on paid sick leave for Federal contractors, new regulations on EPA underground storage tanks that started on July 15th, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation and other topics. For the complete info, click Capital Watch August edition.