A crazy live concert by human beatbox Rahzel at Garibaldi’s bar and grill in the Whistler Village on Wednesday, April 9 keep a majority of the attendees of TransWorld SNOWboarding‘s Industry Conference up late into the evening. But, those who did get out of bed on Thursday morning hit bluebird skies and yet another great day of riding at both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
After a long day out on the hill, many people showed up in the Mallard Bar of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Après ski to join Kurt Hoy, editor of TransWorld SNOWboarding for a fireside chat on Resort Relationships. Topics discussed included liability and rising insurance costs, helmets and park liability, and terrain park sponsorship. Marketing, terrain park staff, instructors, and directors from Booth Creek Resorts, Whistler Blackcomb, Park City, Copper Mountain, and more were there to chat with Hoy and representatives from snowboard brands to help forge relationships and ideas between the two sides of the snowboard industry.
A few of the topics were excellent lead-ins for the workshop that followed the fireside chat just down the hall. Behind closed doors, Chris Gunnerson, owner of Snowpark Technologies and director of marketing at Booth Creek, moderated a panel entitled “Terrain Park Liability Revisited.” The workshop followed up on the many safety initiatives created during last year’s Industry Conference in Alyeska, Alaska. Joined by Mark Petrozzi, vp of risk management for Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc; Brian Leighton, safety manager at Whistler/Blackcomb; Moira C. Wong, barrister and solicitor at Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang law firm in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Shaun Cattanach of Burton Snowboards, the crew reviewed the importance of the Smart Style program that has been initiated in terrain parks across the U.S. as well as the impact of rising insurance costs on resorts and parks.
The final panel of the night, “Screen Time Snowboarding” took place shortly after dinner. Representative s from Fox, ESPN, and MTV talked about the future of snowboarding on TV. Panelist Chris Stiepok of ESPN explained that while the channel will continue to show snowboarding and other Action Sports though programming falling under the X-Games brand. Jason LaBeach Senior Director of Strategic Programming for MTV explained that while the channel will continue to showcase snowboarding and other sports it plans to include the athletes in its programs through personality driven shows like Cribs, Diary, and others. Fox Cable Networks Group, Vice President of Programming and Marketing CJ Olivares had a different approach. Fox is helping to launch new Action Sports channel altogether -Fuel will be available to Direct TV subscribers starting in July and will feature 22 hours of original programming seven days a week.
Overall, day two of the Industry Conference delivered yet another day of great seminar topics and amazing riding-two down and one more to go. Stay tuned for more coverage from Whistler.