A Suggestion for Success in Getting COVID Ready for this Ski Season

A Suggestion for Success in Getting COVID Ready for this Ski Season

These uncertain times are challenging for all ski resorts and areas

Extensive press regarding the procedures being put in place to manage the sales of tickets and access to the mountains has been widespread. A form of reservation requirement exists at some ski areas, or season pass holders do not need reservations, and most ski areas require the advance purchase of day tickets. The smaller ski areas seem to be more flexible in their protocols, with most finding ways to manage capacity.

Complements to NSAA for putting together two versions of Ski Well Be Well, one version for governmental agencies, and one for the public. Getting the ski areas to agree to a set of standards is incredible and somewhat unbelievable. The collaboration happened due to the broad range of stakeholders involved in creating these documents. Great to see everyone working together.
There are still enormous challenges ahead. We know from dealing with past crises that there is a common rallying cry that brings everyone together in such environments. With what faces ski areas this winter, I suggest that each ski area develops its own rallying cry.
A rally cry is…..
  • Singular – the one thing that is most important even if there are other worthy goals under consideration
  • Qualitative – do not assign numbers to it; numbers set limits
  • Temporary – achieving the goal should be achievable in 3-6 months
  • Shared – everyone in the ski area must be contributing to this goal


The best way to identify this rallying cry is to answer the question, If we accomplish only one thing during the next 3-6 months, what would it be? This answer becomes the collective responsibility of the leadership team. This is true even if the goal does not directly involve the departments that some of the leaders manage.  Once your team has agreed on the rallying cry, the team needs to identify the critical objectives to achieve the goal successfully.
Leaders within the ski resort, mountain ops, finance, marketing, food & beverage, learn to ski, rental, and hospitality all need to do their day jobs and advance the rallying cry’s objectives.  It would be presumptive of me to say what your rallying cry should be, but in this time of COVID, I would not be short of suggestions. Getting the right procedures in place and training, the crew would all fall under the umbrella of a potent rallying cry.
Good luck. As I said, there are challenges ahead.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


Please click on the images to learn more

Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

Please click on the images to learn more.

Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

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The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

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  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.