Greetings from Mt Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, NY! We are patiently or maybe impatiently waiting the first significant snowfall of the season, while trying not to be too jealous of our counterparts in the west who are enjoying great early snow.

At Mt Van Hoevenberg, we are putting the finishing touches on a full summer of projects including Josie's Cabin, our new ski and snowshoe destination. This retreat features two fire pits, a small lodge, delicious waffles and a full season of naturalist programming.
In addition, we are thrilled to be hosting a USSA Super Tour event this winter that will bring hundreds of young competitive skiers to MVH for a great weekend of racing in January.

It was great to see so many members at the Eastern Meeting this year in Waterville Valley, NH and I would like to thank Leah and her team for providing an excellent atmosphere in which to share ideas (see the meeting recap in this newsletter). As a member of the CCSAA Board of Directors, I was excited to be part of the team that created the program for the meeting. We hope attendees found it informative and thought-provoking and we welcome your feedback on any or all of the topics covered...and ideas for future topics.

I am particularly passionate about the strategic planning process that CCSAA began at the annual meeting last April. We feel the plan provides a strong framework to make CCSAA a healthy organization for the next 40 years and we're excited to share it with members. If you were not at the meeting, you can review the strategic plan presentation on the CCSAA website. We will also spend some time talking with members about the strategic plan at the Annual Meeting at Snow Mountain Ranch in April.

I hope your final preparations for the winter are going well and I wish everyone a safe and successful ski season.

Happy Holidays,


 
Rebecca Dayton, CCSAA Board Member


P.S. from Chris

These past two weeks have been a brutal final struggle with QuickBooks Online and the CCSAA finances. Together with me, the Executive Committee, and the accounting firm chose to give up on the new Online program which certainly doesn't mirror the desktop version which so many of you are familiar. Months and months of what at first appeared to be a learning curve have been deemed to be functionality issues with the online program. So, the company file has now been migrated to the desktop version of the program and reconciliation of the the accounts is underway. I almost had to laugh and scream at the same time when an email appeared from Ron Bergin of Cross Country Skier Magazine asking how I liked QB Online. Word to the wise: stick with the desktop version until they work out the online kinks. 

What a pleasure it will be to get back to more pleasant duties next week such as the On Track with CCSAA bulletins, sign ups for the national programs, and the Nature Valley Granola Bar shipments. The bars will be late arriving this season. Those who receive the bulk shipments by truck should see bars Christmas week and those used to receiving a couple boxes can expect a UPS package delivery between the 17th-22nd of this month. Your assistance in the distribution and sampling of the Nature Valley Granola Bars in the United States is greatly appreciated. The financial support from the sampling program is a significant contribution to the CCSAA budget and helps us hold your dues at the same rate they've been for years.

Cheers,
Chris signature
Chris Frado, CCSAA Executive Director

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Nordic Network newsletter : Nov./Dec. 2015 : editor/contributor Roger Lohr
Did You Know?
Snowsports Stats

Cross country ski trails in the mountains of Norway.
From a recent SIA presentation:
 
There are 11.7 million alpine skiers, 7.6 million snowboarders, 4 million cross country skiers and 3.6 million snowshoers. There are also 13 million sledders and 10 million people who consider themselves skiers but did not go skiing last year!
 
The industry has $4.5 billion in retail sales, $3 billion in wholesale sales, $7 billion spent at resorts/accommodations. An alpine skier burns 500 calories per hour and a snowboarder burns 450 calories per hour (apparently the ski poles are the difference) while cross country skiing burns 750 calories per hour.
 
American Ski Club 2015-16 Destinations
 
Colorado                                 38%
Utah                                      11%
Other Western resorts               18%
Eastern resorts                          7%
Canadian                                 15%
Europe                                    14%
 
Ski club statistics compiled by National Ski Club Newsletter. The total is higher than 100% because ski clubs annually go to more than one destination.

CCSAA NEWS
Recap of the 2015 CCSAA Eastern Meeting

The annual Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) Eastern Meeting was held in early November at Waterville Valley, NH with about 60 attendees who were there to network, get industry info, and discuss the topic of XC ski racing. There were 29 ski areas and 10 product/service venders represented at the meeting and participating in the Trade Expo. This event was planned and run by ski area personnel for ski area personnel (see more on this point later).
 
Strategic Plan
The CCSAA Strategic Plan was unveiled to the members publicly for the first time. The org was founded in 1977 and one of the motivations for the CCSAA Board to embark on the strategic plan is that CCSAA executive director Chris Frado has been at the helm for most of the org's existence. The Board is looking forward and wants to lay the foundation for the org to devise a plan for succession of the org leadership and maintenance.
 
Currently, CCSAA has 167 ski area members (70 east, 10 central, 60 west and 27 Canadian). The org also has product/service provider and retail membership categories. The goals of the CCSAA Strategic Plan include increasing CCSAA's relevance in the snow sports industry, becoming a hub offering tangible value by identifying areas of focus, growing the membership, running industry events, and creating new industry-wide marketing channels.
 
Rebecca Dayton of the Olympics Sports Complex in Lake Placid conducted the Strategic Plan presentation laying out the specifics of the plan objectives. Members of the CCSAA Board are fully engaged in many aspects of CCSAA and there is a need for the members to begin weighing in on the dialogue about CCSAA directions. Surveying members and reporting in the monthly newsletter are ways that CCSAA has been informing members about the plan.
 
A discussion about the plan centered on the proposed CCSAA on-line ski ticket portal that is under consideration. Many ski areas are struggling to keep up with the times such as electronic trail pass availability and the Internet-oriented mobile focus of the younger generation. There was a question about whether XC skiers will even use such a portal or if lessons have been learned about on-line advance ticket sales from alpine ski areas.
 
The Nature Valley granola bar sponsorship has been a CCSAA partnership that has lasted many years, and the org feels that it could soon come to an end. If the sponsorship is sun-setted, new sponsorships will be sought to replace it. The Board is also looking at group buying of fat bikes, which are becoming popular as an alternative activity at XC ski areas.
 
Program Announcements
There were some new and changed CCSAA programs announced at the meeting. The new Crystal Pass Program is a fundraiser for the US Nordic Ski Team. It will be made available to as many as 400 nationwide season pass holders who will have free access to all participating XC ski areas. CCSAA is signing up the ski areas and it appears that most of the org's American area members will open their doors to the Crystal Pass holders, who will pay $2,500 each to acquire the privilege for nationwide trail access.
 
There will be radical changes on the 21-year old Winter Trails program this year. The program garners awareness of, and introduces people to, snowshoeing and XC skiing. Formerly, Winter Trails was publicized as one day in January and now it will become a month-long program to align with the alpine/snowboard learn-to-ski month. The Winter Trails program will no longer be marketed as a FREE introduction, so participating ski areas can run different programs all month long or for part of the month and charge a nominal fee for people to try the sports. There is hope that the ski areas offer a return incentive to Winter Trails participants.
 
Nordic Trends
Ed Wray of SIA presented slides on the State of the Nordic Market that reviewed various statistics and an overview of trends. The info was generally informative but not very useable. For example it was mentioned that an SIA downhill study provided details about how to tailor messages to people in the X, Y, and Z generations and that would've been of great value at the CCSAA meeting. The presentation gave information such as the female XC ski participation peaked in 2011-12, most XC skiers are casual participants, and the top state with XC skiing populations was Massachusetts, while the fifth highest state was Arizona. With regard to the Skier Visit Survey conducted by SIA, it was reported that there were 85 ski area responses that represented one million skier visits. The average ski area visitation reported was 12,400 and this brought some groans from the audience.
 
Building a Nordic Culture
Kris Cheney-Seymour, a speaker from Lake Placid gave an informed presentation of what a highly motivated community organizer can do to build a Nordic ski culture in a community. He has coached and worked at a number of ski areas and organizations where he saw the creation of the XC ski culture in Park City with the Utah Nordic Ski Alliance, in Maine at the Maine Winter Sports Center, and in New York at Dewey Mountain Recreation Center. The presentation was well received and it made one feel that Kris is well suited to offer his experience for hire in more ski area communities.
 
XC Ski Racing
The director of the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) Zach Stegeman spoke about the 3,400 member org that sanctions races, youth ski programs, and grassroots development. NENSA also maintains an overall calendar of competitions, sanctions and conducts recreational events, educational programs, coach training, and has an adaptive Nordic ski program. Stegeman wanted to emphasize that NENSA is not only for the "snot and lycra" crowd; but the organization does mostly cater to XC ski racing.
 
Following the NENSA presentation, a panel about ski racing programs made opening remarks and then the meeting attendees asked questions. The most significant topics included how NENSA can help and advertise to the racing community; the value and practices of hosting the Bill Koch Youth Festival with 600 kids and their families; how to address late race registration concerns; and how to minimize impacts of holding a race on weekend recreational business at the ski area.
 
Good ideas included offering racers a specially priced season pass and using NENSA coaching clinics to help increase the number of people to become XC ski coaches to address the current coach shortage.
 
Working Board
The CCSAA Eastern Meeting was planned and run by CCSAA Board members in an effort to alleviate CCSAA executive Chris Frado of some responsibilities and it should be deemed a success as a first effort using that formula. CCSAA Board members Reese Brown, Rebecca Dayton and Nate Harvey handled the particulars of planning and organizing the event with Leah Wilson, director of the Nordic Center at Waterville Valley.
 
The CCSAA Board will do the same for the CCSAA Conference to be held at Snow Mountain Ranch in CO on April 5-6, 2016. Next year's CCSAA Eastern Meeting is slated to be held at Eastman Cross Country in Grantham, NH next November.

DATES TO REMEMBER
CCSAA Conference  April 5-6, 2016

The CCSAA Annual Conference will be held at Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado on April 5-6 , 2016. This meeting will provide a great opportunity for networking with your peers in the business and professional development for your ski area staff on grooming and snowmaking with clinics, workshops, and on-snow opportunities. There will also be a presentation about the CCSAA Strategic Plan and speakers from the US Ski Team.

SIA Snow Show & Nordic Demo

The snowsports industry meets for the 2016 SIA Snow Show at the Denver Colorado Convention Center on Jan 28-31 and the 2-day On-Snow Nordic Demo (Feb. 1-2) at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The XC ski brands will have 2016-17 models of skis, boots, poles, and accessories for buyers and media to compare side-by-side on the snow. Hit the trails, test gear, be with friends on-snow after the 2016 SIA Snow Show.   

PARTNER NEWS
Capital Watch

The November Capital Watch has info about drones, avalanches, and the American Disabilities Act. Thanks to NSAA for sharing the Capital Watch. To read the full article click here. On December 15, Congress reached a deal to fund the government through 2016.

Insurance Intelligence

Do you take credit card and other personal information over the phone or through your website?
 
Cyber and identity theft incidents are on the rise. You can be held responsible for losses incurred by the victim. Your insurance may or may not cover the exposures you face. Federal law now says that you must notify all people and entities affected by any breach of your cyber security system.
 
Cyber Security Liability insurance will pay for the cost to notify affected parties. It will also pay, up to the limits of the policy, losses incurred by those affected. Some cyber liability policies will pay for your business reputation repair.
 
Cyber liability can become part of your CCSAA endorsed insurance policy. Let me know if you have any questions about this unique insurance coverage.
 
Tom Lawrence, PSIA  
Aurora Insurance
518-860-4456
MEMBER NEWS
Waterville Valley To Establish New Club

The Waterville Valley Nordic Center is developing a community club for kids, families, recreational skiers, and athletes who want to share their love of classic, skate and backcountry skiing with others.
 
WVNC membership will provide promotions and support to meet others who are excited about Nordic skiing. Club members will receive a "Waterville Valley Nordic Club" beanie and discounts to all Nordic Center events and races, p romotional pricing on ski rentals, "Members only" wax clinics, ski clinics and group skis. Also there'll be dryland training, support, and activities for skiers interested in higher performance skiing and racing.
 
The club fees are $35 Individual and $55 Family with an option to get a NENSA membership for an additional cost. Fees do not include the cost of a trail pass, required to use the Waterville Valley trail system.
 
There will be an Open House in early January to meet and greet members and potential members providing hot drinks and a ski tune/wax to get you ready for the rest of the season. Work on your skis while you're here, or leave them for a complimentary "Wax of the Day." Club members can join the group and/or get on the email list.
 
Each Monday is a Ski-With-a-Buddy Day where members can bring a friend and get one trail pass at half price. Other planned events include a Full Moon Ski where members will meet at the Nordic Center for a group ski followed by dinner and Weekly Ski Groups.

OUR INITIATIVES
2015-16 SEASON
  1. Office Efficiency
  2. Online Portal
  3. Leveraged Buying
  4. Educational Resources
  5. Grooming & Hospitality Certification
  6. 1K Website Visits
CLASSIFIEDS
SNOWMOBILES FOR SALE 
  • 2004 Bearcat 660cc. Additional cooling fan installed and had primary clutches and ski carbides replaced two years ago. Secondary clutches rebuilt with only about 50 miles on these...$2,300
  • 2007 Yamaha Pro 973cc. Good condition. Well maintained. Parked indoors...$3,800

Both are in good condition, well maintained, and parked indoors. Rigged to pull with electronics to rear, breakaway heavy duty rear hitch, and gooseneck ball farther up machine with deck reinforcement.  Included are extra oil filters and belts for both machines. Reason for sale: upgraded to 1100 Bearcats and need the room.

Contact: Chip Chase, White Grass Touring in West Virginia 304-866-4114 chip@whitegrass.com 

 

Cross Country Ski Areas Association is a non-profit organization representing member ski service providers. The Association's purpose is to promote the growth and improve the quality of cross country ski operations in North America.