Hi. My name’s Alex. You might know me.
I have a specific set of skills and experience that I’d like to offer on demand to any ski area operator. I’ve managed crisis communications situations throughout the internet age at large ski areas in 4 different states under 3 different ownership groups. Killington, Attitash, Sunday River, and Mt Bachelor. I’ve also spent many winters in I-70 ski towns and throughout other New England hot spots. I was promoted thrice within ASC from K to ATT to SR through 5 years. I also managed public communications through the ASC sell off and Boyne purchase period. I then accepted an ill-advised role in Oregon which concluded after 2 years. I’ve seen the best and worst of ASC, Boyne and Powdr through periods of rapid change and brought all of those messages to the market.
Who could benefit?
Throughout the year us industry nerds watch and dissect a regular line of snafus. Many of which are mishandled and could benefit from sound 3rd party advice. Even those that are deemed successful could benefit from a seasoned sounding board that doesn’t have a horse in the race. I’m not trying to make any real money from this, just find greater use for my uniquely brutal route/timing in ski area communications now that I’m in a different industry.
Any of these situations ring a bell?
- You’re about to end a highly popular legacy program (or many of them) that will rile your most passionate guests and hit staff morale.
- The locals lift needs to be shutdown midweek to help the bottom line.
- Some other company is about to, or is underway, in buying your ski area.
- Flash flooding has destroyed your base lodge.
- A plane has crashed into your ski area.
- You’re about to take on (or ban) the “uphill traffic” issue.
- Multiple skiers have died or been injured and the media is circling. Or staff..
- You’d like to move your terrain parks to a key cruiser trail.
- You’d like to overhaul your pricing model to something unheard of.
- You’re going to shorten the ski day and reduce services without a reduction in price.
- You’re struggling with getting seniors to pay an appropriate rate.
- Your infrastructure is failing repeatedly.
- A local group is gathering a following against your operation.
- A ticket vendor has gone bankrupt and thousands of guests have been shorted.
- A video is going viral that paints your staff in a poor light.
- You’re closing everyone’s favorite parking lot without notice on final day celebrations.
- You’re planning to cut ties with a longtime charitable partner.
- A lift evacuation has gone awry.
- You get the point…
I’ve lived all of the above as primary Information Officer across all channels.
There’s an even longer list of fun and fulfilling projects that I had the pleasure of managing, but that’s not really of use to you as an operator in this instance.
How is this even possible?
My current day job is in business development and marketing for an engineering and R & D company that has absolutely nothing to do with skiing. I also manage the editorial, social and sales for Ski The East, which never touches operational controversy (we’re culture and sarcasm). Here’s a piece I’ve written on Ski The East that conveys my even handed view on otherwise hot topics, and another here on my blog. I’ve also contributed numerous articles to TSIL and Slopefillers and have a number of ski industry pro pals that may step up to the plate and drop an endorsement on this post. You also see me quoted in the pages of SAM often.
I’m ready to sign your NDA and get on the phone when your situation pops up. Please plan to have two people on the call, not just your PR person. I can also work with ski areas that would like to have me “on call” for their communications department throughout the year. I love this stuff and am uniquely positioned to assist ya’ll when things get sticky or with any question you’ve got.
Your stuff goes in the vault. Not on twitter. Any case studies will not be produced until at least 30 days after the situation has died down and with full editorial approval from the ski area involved. In addition to the resorts where I’ve held PIO roles, I’ve also delivered communications projects for Mt. Abram, Magic Mountain, Jay Peak Resort, and the Mountain Riders Alliance.
Because if it was free you wouldn’t take it seriously and I need to make sure the time away from my wife and kid is worth something. I can help any and/or all of you in your times of need. We can run into less rocks while you navigate, or lessen the impact of rocks you must strike. It’s all about how you communicate. Take that part seriously. Is it really worth saving $50 to “go it alone” when you don’t have to?
Not sure if this will go places or not. But I am compelled to offer. I can and want to help ski area operators. If you’re watching your local mountain struggle with poor crisis communications, do them a solid and send them a link to this post. Click here for the contact info and other goodies.