“Our goal is to be positive about winter,” says summit co-organizer Roger Lohr, long-time NASJA member and publisher of XCSkiResorts.com. “Getting outside, it’s beautiful, healthy, fun. When it is 15 degrees, we don’t want people to say it’s too cold. We’ve all got closets full of clothes for that. Five degrees? Get those handwarmers out, rather than say, no way, too cold, not going out today.”
NASJA hopes to draw meteorologists from throughout the East to help create consistent communication between the winter sports community and meteorologists presenting the ski industry as a resource for speaking to the public about winter recreation.
Meteorologists, journalists, resort associates, state ski area reps, and varied ski industry businesses are also invited to attend.
“Our message is to get out and have fun,” he says. To that effect, organizers have emphasized hands-on activities: the science of snowmaking, riding in a Prinoth cabin snowcat groomer, and how to dress for cold temperatures. In addition, O’Neil Driving School will give demonstrations and tips on handling adverse driving conditions.
“The backdrop for members of the snowsports media is what to do when it’s cold, what the roads are like, how to dress for cold temps. Not a lot of us are writing about hand and boot warmers, wicking underwear, or driving in adverse conditions. It’s great for NASJA to ring that bell. Generic topics such as these are good for pre-season columns and also during cold snaps,” Lohr says.
Back inside the lodge, topics will range from the evolution of modern snowmaking capabilities to the changes in today’s weather reporting techniques. Various resorts will present programs on sustainability and how it helps with business. Charging stations, snowgun upgrades, wind turbines anyone? Live weather reports and on-site feeds will be possible.
Lodging and lifts are available at attractive rates for NASJA members, plus an opening reception and keynote presentations.
An advisory group including ski area marketing people started the concept of holding a weather summit several years ago. Now it has taken a flying launch, thanks to NASJA’s lead.
Lohr has been busy rounding up weather reporters. He called on legendary meteorologist Brad Field’s 35 years of experience in the field to find those who might want to attend. In addition, the Pennsylvania ski areas association is also reaching out to local meteorologists.
The elephant in the ski locker room of course is how the issue of climate change affects our winters, but Lohr notes, “Weather is today, this weekend, which is what meteorologists are talking about. Climate change is a long-term trend. This is a different approach.”
Meanwhile, don’t pray for snow that weekend. The meteorologists might not be able to get there.
For more information and to register, go to newinterweathersummit.org.