Feb. 11-12, 2020 – Ski Vermont Media Day –
On a recent media tour hosted by Ski Vermont and the National Snowsports Journalists Association, a group of 16 media visited Bolton Valley Resort and Trapp Family Lodge in northwestern Vermont.
Here’s a behind-the-curtain look at how some ski resorts promote themselves using the age-old “media fam tour.”
The first day of the media tour was dedicated to backcountry skiing at Bolton Valley where there is a growing program on thousands of acres of backcountry terrain with trails and powder laden gladed mountainsides. Adam and Lindsay DesLauriers, who are the children of Ralph DesLauriers, the original developer of Bolton Valley, are now in charge of the resort operation, and they led the group on the tour.
Bolton had about two feet of fresh snow on the ground despite the fact that this year the snowstorms
that have been consistently mixed with rain. When it comes to snow the 2,000 foot elevation at the base of Bolton Valley is an advantage that the resort has over other destinations in New England. Some of the media folks were experienced backcountry aficionados so they set off on an alpine touring trek while other media were equipped with backcountry gear and given an introductory clinic.
Later in the afternoon, some of the media folks hit the lifts and enjoyed the slopes at Bolton Valley and afterward the group met in the lodge and talked about their backcountry skiing experience. A reception was held and the media listened to representatives from Bolton Valley and a few other ski areas who talked about their respective resorts.
The following day, some of the hardier members of the media group set out at 6:30 in the morning with guides to ski the backcountry trek from Bolton to Stowe. The rest of the media met at Trapp Family Lodge to gear up for a tour of the trails guided by Sam and Kristina von Trapp, who are the grandchildren of Maria and Captain von Trapp (featured in the movie The Sound of Music). Sam and Kristina run the Trapp Family Lodge operation, which features the lodge, villas, the Outdoor Center and the von Trapp Brewery.
The cross country ski tour at Trapp’s started at the Outdoor Center as the group was led up to the
Slayton Pasture Cabin, which is a destination on the upper trails at the ski area. This rustic and cozy log cabin is the perfect rendezvous spot for lunch with family and friends to enjoy a seat by the fireplace or savor homemade soups, snacks, and sandwiches.
On the way back from the cabin (mostly downhill, which was a bit challenging for some of the media skiers), the group made its way to the Bierhall where everyone was treated to a selection of von Trapp beers and lunch. Johannes von Trapp, (Sam and Kristina’s father), who is the last remaining child of Maria and the Captain (they had three additional children after they escaped Europe with the original seven kids) stopped by the Brewery to meet and chat with the media.
It was a busy and tiring two days in Vermont but the fresh snow and camaraderie were well worth the visit to Bolton Valley and Trapp Family Lodge to collect story ideas and memories.
Clips from Ski Vermont Media Day
Snowsports Media Visit Bolton Valley And Trapp Family Lodge by Roger Lohr
Topnotch At Stowe: Ski, Relax, Recharge by Tamsin Venn
What you Need to Know About Trying Backcountry Skiing by Nicole Feliciano
Alpine Backcountry Touring Primer In Bolton Valley by Tamsin Venn
Trapp Family Lodge: Some Favorite Nordic Things by Tamsin Venn
Meeting Video by Don Burch
Jan. 31, 2020 – NASJA Meet & Greet During Outdoor Retailer Snow Show – NASJA members and their guests meet for libations at the Denver Press Club on the closing day of the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show in late January. Founded in 1867, the DPC is the oldest press club in the U.S. and displays autographed photos from almost every president since then, along with historic front pages and vintage typewriters. The organization’s fundraising banquets have honored such Fourth Estate legends as Tom Brokaw, Ted Turner, and George Will.
Jan. 26-31, 2020 – NASJA Western Winter Summit –
Clips from the 2020 Western Winter Summit
A New Yorker Discovers New Mexico Resorts, by Mike Roth
Meeting recap video, by Peter Hines
Exploring Willamette’s widespread wonders, by Lee Jullerat
Enchanted skiing in New Mexico, by Bob Cox
Ski Santa Fe – #SKIBEUNO, by Peter Hines
Eastern Skiing vs Western Skiing, by Mike Roth
A Magical Tour of New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle, by Dan Giesin
Jan. 12, 2020 – Windham Mountain Resort –
Clips form the Windham Mountain Resort Meeting
NASJA Meeting in Boston November 15, 2019
Boston Meeting Includes Professional Development Session on Pitching Editors
Eric Wilbur says editors want big, original story ideas. (Photo by Martin Griff)
The Nov. 15 meeting during the Boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo was well attended by members from predominantly New England and Middle Atlantic states. The session included pitch tips from broadcast journalism teacher and Boston Globe sportswriter Eric Wilbur. He is also newly appointed digital editor of the New England Ski Journal.
Wilbur polled several Boston area ski editors for tips on snowsports stories they are looking for. Wilbur has solid New England credentials: He grew up skiing at Black Mountain, a place that is still largely unchanged from when he learned how to ski 35 years ago. What do editors want? Eric explained:
Follow Eric at: www.facebook.com/GlobeEricWilbur/
Northeast Winter Weather Summit – December 2-3, 2018 – Stratton Mountain Resort
Winter Weather Summit – Making the Best of Winter
By Roger Lohr
In a story posted by TSIL, the Northeast Winter Weather Summit, organized by the North American Snowsports Journalist Association (NASJA) with support from 19 other companies and organizations, saw meteorologists, ski resorts and media gather at Stratton Mountain, VT, Dec. 2-3 for the first of what many hope will be a continuing conversation between the various groups to provide information on making the best of winter.
Pictured above left: Keynote speakers Ian Bailey and Adam Gil (Mount Washington Observatory) share a glimpse into severe weather conditions atop Mount Washington.
The meeting brought together some groups and topics that don’t normally occur at industry meetings and some lively discussions ensued. There were 70 people registered; roughly half of them meteorologists/media. New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Quebec, and Pennsylvania ski areas were among the states represented. The Weather Summit was supported by Mountain Travel Symposium, MountainGuard, Prinoth, HKD Snowmakers, BEWI Sports, Dion Snowshoes, and VFC (The North Face). The attending meteorologists were from Boston, Mt. Washington Observatory, Hartford, Albany, Altoona (PA), Skywatch, and WeatherNation to name a few.
On Sunday Dec. 2, the opening seminar about “How To Dress for Winter Weather” by The North Face corporate rep Stan Kosmider was a big hit, with multiple questions from the audience about smart layering and technological advancements in snow sports apparel. Next, the Welcome Reception started with short introductions from NASJA President Iseult Devlin and welcome remarks from Stratton President Bill Nupp. The keynote presentation featured observers from the Mt. Washington Observatory, who gave a vivid picture of life on top of Mt. Washington, which claims the worst weather on earth (i.e., 231 MPH winds!). Did you know you can use a frozen banana as a hammer?
Eight lucky attendees joined Tim O’Neil, founder of the Team O’Neil Rally School at a Sun Bowl parking lot for some tips on driving in winter. O’Neil stated that his favorite position for driving was sideways, and demonstrated with some hot laps around the icy, slushy parking lot. Then participants got their turn, although not at quite the same velocity. On another part of the mountain, Vermont Lt. Governor David Zuckerman made an appearance to demo Vermont manufactured Dion Snowshoes and take a ride in the Prinoth snowcat. Zuckerman also addressed the group at lunch thanking them for coming to enjoy the incredible opportunities Vermont has to offer. He invited meteorologists to “be educators on how to tell people to dress for winter.”
Clips from Northeast Winter Weather Summit – December 2-3, 2018 – Stratton Mountain Resort
Iseult Devlin, Crowds hit new snow at Stratton Mountain for Great December start, North Jersey.com
Martha Wilson, New Snow Bowl Lift Headlines Stratton Improvements, SnowCountry.com
Iseult Devlin, How to dress for volatile winter weather, North Jersey.com
Martha Wilson, How Skiers And Riders Dress For Winter Weather, SnowCountry.com
Janet Franz, Weird Weather: Rethinking Ski Clothes For A Fickle Climate, SeniorSking.com
Nicole Feliciano, Dressing for Cold WeatherMom, Trends.com
Phil Johnson, Northeast Winter Weather Summit review, Daily Gazette
Dave Meeker, Inaugural Northeast Winter Weather Summit, Ski Area Management
Roger Lohr, Winter Weather Summit – Making the Best of Winter, NASJA Newsletter
Martha Wilson, Tips For Safe Winter Driving, Snowcountry.com
Michael Maginn, Winter Driving: Where’s Your Car’s TC Button? Senior Skiing
Lillian Eden, Sustainable Practices at Local Ski Areas, Green Energy Times
Ski Area Management Podcast Episode: https://saminfo.podbean.com/e/ep8-northeast-winter-weather-summit/
NASJA White Mountain Summit: North Conway, New Hampshire, March 4, 2019
Members of NASJA (North American Snowsports Journalists Association) had the White Mountain Summit in New Hampshire in early March attracting 21 participants. Trip coordinator Roger Lohr commented, “It was a different type of NASJA meeting but it was exactly like my family ski trips where we enjoy different activities throughout weekend.”
Activities ranged from a ride up the Mt. Washington Auto Road via a “SnowCoach” to a great day of skiing at Bretton Woods. NASJA organized different options to offer its writers a variety of potential stories. On the opening night, the group attended a reception at the newly opened New England Ski Museum’s Eastern Slope Branch showcasing memorabilia ranging from antique skis to vintage ski pins. On Friday March 1, attendees visited The Glen House, a new hotel at the base of Mt. Washington. During a delicious lunch, the group listened to presentations about new cross-country ski technology and details on the new hotel’s sustainability practices. Then it was time to hit the trails at the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center cross country skiing with Olympian Sue Wemyss giving tips on how to be a better Nordic skier. Some participants tried snowshoeing and fat-biking.
On Saturday, The Hannes Schneider Meister Cup race was hosted by the New England Ski Museum and Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway. An opening ceremony included Bavarian music as local legends spoke briefly about the importance of the annual event, now in its 23rd year. Cranmore’s spokesperson Becca Deschenes referred to the Hannes Schneider event as “her favorite weekend of the winter!”
Many NASJA members raced in the main event and while not being a very competitive thing for NASJA participants, the incredible camaraderie between racers was very apparent. Roger Lohr won the 2019 Hannes Schneider Meister Cup 1st Place Snowboard. NASJA president Iseult Devlin had the fastest time among the members and BEWI Sports president Bernie Weichsel posted the most improved time between the two runs.
On Sunday March 3, NASJA member and author Jeremy Davis talked about his latest book, The Lost Ski Areas of the Berkshires. The morning stroll through ski history provided a great foundation for the final destination of the NASJA meeting on a short trip through the scenic Crawford Notch to Bretton Woods Resort. Once there, they got the lowdown on the construction projects already underway including the first 8-person gondola in N.H. and a new mountain top restaurant. The ski conditions were simply superb and enjoyed by all.
White Mountain Summit Media Coverage
@XCSkiTravel Twitter feed on New England Ski Museum-https://twitter.com/XCSkiTravel/status/1101819113805090816/photo/1
@XCSkiTravel Twitter feed on SnowCoach –https://twitter.com/XCSkiTravel/status/1101843753369767937/photo/1
XCSkiResorts.com Hot Topics- http://www.xcskiresorts.com/hot-topics
SeniorsSkiing by Mike Maginn on Fat Biking- https://www.seniorsskiing.com/mike-on-a-fat-bike-on-snow/
SnoCountry.com by Roger Lohr on Bretton Woods Resort- https://www.snocountry.com/news/entry/bretton-woods-resort-projects-update
XCSkiResorts.com on March 26, 2019 by Roger Lohr on XC Skin Skis- http://www.xcskiresorts.com/new-blog/2019/3/26/cross-country-skin-skis-will-improve-the-recreational-experience
SeniorsSkiing by Tamsin Venn on Great Glen visit- https://www.seniorsskiing.com/at-great-glen-trails-nordic-skiing-and-activities-for-everyone/
Video on the White Mountain Summit by Don Burch- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHYLVfwmvVU
Release on VisitWhiteMountains.com- https://www.visitwhitemountains.com/press/white-mountain-summit-nasja-greets-mt-washington
SeniorsSkiing by Don Burch on Cranmore Mountain Resort-https://www.seniorsskiing.com/seniors-visit-cranmore-bring-grandchildren/
Social media content included Twitter postings from Great Glen, SeniorsSkiing and
Facebook postings from XCSkiResorts, NASJA (one boosted), Karen Cummings, and Learn to Ski Month.