While this year’s NSAA conference workshops, speakers, and trade show focused on resort growth through the ever-expanding youth and action-sports market, presenting partner TransWorld SNOWboarding took the message a step further by organizing daily tours of local skateparks.

The special feature available to this year’s NSAA conference attendees was a direct result of its San Diego location, which couldn’t have been better scripted to help spread the “evolve” message to the attending resorts. In two days, approximately 100 people rode on a double-decker bus to the Mission Valley YMCA Krause Family skatepark with representatives from TransWorld and tour sponsor Blue J. Rails.

Once there, Park Director Jamie Johnson and Director of Business Development Piper Hanes discussed design strategies, operational costs, dealing with a residential community, and the overall demographic of its attendants. Fran Richards of Modern World Consulting and former associate publisher and general manager of TransWorld helped to narrate the tour.

While Friday afternoon attendees were greeted with a nearly-empty weekday-afternoon park, on Saturday there was a healthy session going on at Mission Valley. Kids were out in droves, and fathers and sons were seen rolling the park as well as women and old-school skaters dropping through the concrete pool. The spectators were quite impressed, commenting not only on the vast demographic of skaters but on the park facility itself. “

The tour brought the conference to the front lines of the action-sports world. No longer was this just the marketable youth mentioned throughout every workshop and session, but it was an exciting real crowd of people of all ages who represented a lifestyle.

Special thanks to Jamie Johnson, Piper Hanes, Blue J. Rails, TransWorld Media, NSAA, and Fran Richards for making the tour happen.