Have you ever really needed your carpet professionally cleaned, or replaced all together, and kept putting it off? Only when Grandma and Grandpa finally come for graduation or Christmas do you find the motivation to get it done. Events are a key catalyst needed for resorts to justify the value in upgrades. This past March I spent spring break in Rjukan, Norway, for the FIS Telemark World Championships where they had spent the last two years preparing for the event by building a new lodge and two new surface lifts for the race hill. The ski center already offered great terrain and high speed lifts, but the additional T-bars allowed for real estate expansion at a new base and more skiable acres for their stats.
Snowbasin Resort in Ogden, Utah used the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics to build two spectacular gondolas, a high speed quad, and the Mt. Allen tram that accesses the top of the mens downhill start. Along side the great on slope addition in preparation for the Olympics, First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine thought the base lodge was in need of recognition and recently published an article arguing that Snowbasin may have the best bathrooms in the world, worthy of being voted into the hall of fame by bestroom.com.
The action sports world of the X Games, Grand Prix, and Dew Tour generates a list of events that has promoted snow making and grooming operations. Breckenridge and Aspen both have incredible terrain parks all season long due to the immense early season snow making efforts and the the incredible machines used to sculpt the mountain.
Already claiming stellar reputations, these mountains leveraged the coverage and high status of events as reason to stay ahead of the game. Let me know what you think of my take on the role events can play in resort upgrades, or any mountains that may have done so that I left out.