Bob’s Bits for May 2023

Bob’s Bits for May 2023

What a beautiful stretch of weather we have had in Vermont this past week.  Even had three ski areas offering skiing the first weekend in May; two are the result of snowmaking and the third could stretch the natural snow phenomenon but snowmaking played a role. In the West on the other hand mother nature provided a very bountiful winter extending the season for many.  As I write this, I believe there are 20 ski areas open in North America – remarkable.

As we move into summer, many of you will begin the full days of tending to lifts and equipment for the next ski season, others will juggle your lift maintenance to accommodate mountain biking, scenic lift rides, and weddings.  Scheduling is always a challenge trying to balance the mentioned activities during the summer, vacations, and the schedule of vendors and parts.

I hope many of you attended or attend either RMLA or LMS, SAVMI, and yet-to-be-held LOME and Inter-Mountain.  All are great programs with the purpose of technical training.  Also, a shout-out to Steamboat and Colorado Mountain College for their first session of Ropeway Maintenance Technician Certification for Level I mechanics and Oregon State University as they work towards wrapping up their Lift Operators online training program.

It is a bit late for one of my posts, Strategy and Staff Alignment, but I feel it is really an important topic for ski areas across the country. This month’s issue of the Harvard Business Review has two very relevant articles for the ski industry, The High Cost of Neglecting Low-Wage Workers, and The Obstacles to Creating Good Jobs – both can help address the labor shortage many ski areas are facing.  I encourage you to seek them out or drop me a line and I can share them with you. I will also be promoting MountainOffice LITEfor mountain operations, both large and small ski areas as I have now seen how helpful it is to ski areas that have been working with it here in North America over the past several years. And I continue to share SmartMountain for ski areas that want the very best in their dispatch and ski patrol incident and workflow management.

Enjoy the summer but spend some time thinking about how to make the winter easier for you.