Snowtopia 99: Opening Night

Approximately 300 snowboard industry executives gathered at the Chateau Whistler to kick off TransWorld Media’s 10th Annual Snowboard Industry Conference and Powder Quest. Conference attendees were greeted with fifteen inches of fresh powder and more storms on the way. For those who arrived early, things were looking good. “The top of Whistler looked like the top of Everest,” said Tom Sims, founder of Sims Snowboards. “It was nothing but blue sky and a huge plum of white blowing off the top of the mountain from the winds.”

Although Whistler’s Peak Chair has been closed since the last major storm, it’s anticipated that the resort will be able to open the lift tomorrow giving industry powder questers more than three feet of fresh powder.

Over the next four days conference attendees will ride, meet, ride, drink, ride, and schmooze, with almost all emphasis on riding. This is the snowboard industry after all. The opening night consisted of a cocktail hour, photo shoot, and opening comments from TransWorld Snowboarding’s General Manager Tim Wrisley. He also showed a short video listing ten ways snowboard companies could be successful: all the tips were taken from the classic movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. The final tip: Learn how to have fun, which was exhibited by the scene when Jeff Spiccoli says, “All I need is some good bud and gnarly waves.”

The conference continues through December 19, 1999. Stay tuned for continuing coverage.