THOMASTON, Connecticut ??вЂќ Win Smith, President and Co-owner of Sugarbush Resort in Warren Vermont, opened himself up to questions from the general skiing public recently by participating in the “AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge”. The AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge provides a method for Internet-savvy skiing enthusiasts to ask specific questions of Northeast ski area representatives.
The issues discussed included future lift and terrain expansion, the decision not to install permanent snowmaking on the legendary Castlerock area, and even a brief historical overview of Sugarbush’s parent company, Summit Ventures. The feedback on Smith’s responses has been very positive.
“Fantastic, detailed, on-point responses from Win,” posts one AlpineZone member. Another writes, “Win Smith’s answers where great. He took the time to go into detail, right to the point and no BS. I’m very impressed.”
Sugarbush management seemed to find value in the program as well.
“I found the questions relevant and informed, and it gives me a very good idea of what is on our guests’ mind and what perceptions they have of Sugarbush,” said Smith. “It also allows me to respond directly and to try to lay out both the facts as well as our reasons for doing things. Even if one does not agree with an answer, at least we can explain our rationale honestly.”
The AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge is in its third year and has been effective in dispelling the rumors and myths that plague the industry amongst its patrons, while giving consumers a sense of the challenges involved with ski area marketing and operations.
The complete Sugabush Q&A session can be found at skiing.alpinezone.com/articles/challenge/2006/response.htm?resort=sugarbush. All questions and responses posted to date may be viewed online at skiing.alpinezone.com/articles/challenge/. Other ski area challenges are currently underway. Anyone interested in submitting questions can do so by logging into the Northeast Skiing and Snowboarding forum at forums.alpinezone.com.