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After discussing how Copper Mountain has been able to become a leader in the ski racing community, it is now time to talk about Copper’s role in the freestyle world. Many of the same features that make Copper great to racers applies to freestylers as well such as the incredible early season man made snow that annually permits the first super pipe in North America. This alone attracts numerous pros like Tanner Hall and TJ Schiller. To me their leverage in acquiring the title of ski epicenter also lies in the numerous events they have hosted throughout the years. They have held the US Freeskiing Open, OLN’s Gravity Games, the opening stop of the Grand Prix, and USASA Nationals which draws over 1,200 competitors and their families.

In more recent news, Woodward at Copper has been a hit. The Barn, complete with a foam pit, trampolines, and a skate bowl is where Woodward’s indoor progression sessions take place. Just a short walk away from the main base, their program has attracted a stream of visiting pros including Colby West, Bobby Brown, Steve Fisher, Louie Vito, Gretchen Bleiler, even Shaun White. The talent out on the slopes of Copper Mountain should quickly become apparent to locals and visitors alike as it stretches from ripping youngsters to Olympic athletes. Copper is lucky to be in such a wonderful location and have the unique ability to watch snow sports advance right before their eyes.



Back in the early 2000’s when I first joined Team Summit, I had no idea how forward thinking then head alpine director Rob Worrell was or how much support we had from Copper Mountain. With help from former mountain manager Jim Spenst, Team Summit had permission to drive their vans to the top of the mountain in June and hike a decent amount of snow for a slalom camp. Fast forward to the next June and Copper actually ran the lifts for our training that rivaled Mt. Hood’s Timberline glacier. The very next October marked the first time (to my knowledge) that Copper allowed Team Summit and other teams willing to make the trek to Colorado early season training weeks before opening day. An instant success drawing teams from around Colorado, Utah, California, Minnesota, and Michigan, Copper was able to give great rates on food and lodging in what would have otherwise been a ghost town at that time of year. Before long, Copper’s early season cold temps and hard man made snow drew attendance from the US Ski Team and other national teams looking to capitalize on some North American training before world cups in Aspen, Beaver Creek, and Lake Louise, Canada.

Then came the proposal from the US Ski Team to invest in snow making and have Copper as their official early season training location. Sadly, that year Copper turned them down and neighboring Keystone was able to gain that title and all the publicity that came with it. Keystone took advantage of their new title and the massive amount of racers training in the county  and hosted some NorAms that year, but thats it. By the next year, all the best training had shifted back to Copper.

This year, in a brilliant business move surly aided by Powdr. Corp CEO  and Vice Chair for the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) John Cumming, Copper has finally been named the official Speed Center for the US Ski Team. Revamping snowmaking and moving a steeper side of the mountain, Copper can confidently boast the BEST early season speed training in the world. The ski racing community is tight knit one, and Copper is at the heart of the early season scene with teams from across the country coming to train. As an epicenter of ski racing, Copper Mountain is fostering a culture of progressive skiing and increased community.

Check back tomorrow and hear about how Copper has addressed the freestyle side of it all. As always, please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

The competition is fierce in the ski industry. There are numerous mountains to choose from and even more brands  that help make the skiing/riding experience all the better. Just in the last few weeks, several ski companies have made changes in their marketing teams in hopes of edging out the competition and making effective use of social business. Here is a list of some big new hires:

Yakima named Bobbie Parisi as its new Global Marketing Director on July 26th. Boasting a resume that includes footwear goliath Nike, and outdoor footwear company Keen, her new position will involve “digital marketing, retailer communications, branding integration, public relations, grass root events and strategic partnerships” as stated by

Hestra Gloves is outsourcing their communications and public relations efforts to 8150 Consulting out of Vail, CO lead by Beth Jahnigen Pappas and Jamie Wilson Gunion. Hestra also hired Nick Moscia from Denver, CO as an independent consultant to oversee their online marketing.

Scarpa, my only choice for telemark boots, has hired Colleen Nipkow as their new marketing manager. Coming from Black Diamond, Nipkow has a solid understanding of the outdoor industry; coupled with Verde PR, Scarpa is sure to remain in spotlight for delivering high quality products.

Finally, Vail Resorts has hired Kirsten Lynch as their new chief marketing officer. This massive position will include brand marketing, advertising, customer relations management, market research, pricing, e-commerce, online marketing and strategic alliances. Formerly of PepsiCO and Kraft Foods, her vision can only propel Vail Resorts farther as a both a brand and resort operator.

Already equipped with sterling reputations in the world of outdoor retail and resort operations, I am excited to see how these additions will effect our beloved skiing community. Please leave a comment and let me know your hopes and fears.

One of the most common ways of driving business to ski resorts is by hosting events. These events may range from competitions, conferences, to concerts. The goal is to bring in new people who may have otherwise given their business to another resort or skipped out on the experience all together. Events help deliver value not only to the guests in attendance through creating memories, but to the resort as well in the form of positive word-of-mouth advertising. When real value is delivered to the consumer that is where repeat business will be generated.
Hopefully when people head to an event they turn it into a vacation when they spend the night and their money on food and drinks. Aside from just spending their money on the necessities of food and shelter, those in the retail industry hope that the guests take a stroll through the shops and purchase new trendy items. In the case of a resort hosting competitions, it brings the  best athletes all to one place and gives an opportunity for the tourists to see how those invested in the ski industry are spending their money allowing them to make informed decisions. Even better, competitors are the easiest demographic to convert into life long skiers and riders for returned business to the resort and the outdoor retail industry in general. Copper Mountain is in the midst of a ten year contract with United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) Nationals that brings in around 1,200 competitors every year. There is no question in my mind that of all those athletes, 90% of them will be life long snow sport enthusiasts. 

Welcome to Drew Hauser’s Blog. This is a place where information on the many facets of the outdoor retail and resort industries will be compiled. Please subscribe to my blog and check out the blogs that I follow to stay up to date on new trends and industry news.

Drew Hauser

Raised in the Colorado Rockies, I use my passion as a skier to expand on knowledge of the industry seeking a career in outdoor retail or resort operations.

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