Bend, OR – Out of concern for the health and wellbeing of ski area staff and communities surrounding the outbreak of the COVID-19 infection, the region’s ski area trade association will tentatively postpone their annual Spring Operations Conference and Tradeshow.
The Pacific Northwest Ski Areas’ Association will postpone their annual Spring Operations Conference and Trade Show out of an abundance of caution for the health and wellbeing of the ski area staff members and associate suppliers that were planning to attend this historic conference. Equal consideration for the dozens of local communities that its member ski areas are an integral part of was also a large part of the decision to postpone the event.
The PNSAA intended to hold their annual event April 21-23, 2020, in Wenatchee, Washington. The educational event normally draws over 400 attendees. Even though Wenatchee is not currently included in the three-county declaration that WA’s Governor Inslee made on March 10th, 2020, the PNSAA is dedicated to the wellbeing of each ski area community throughout the region. This year’s event will no longer take place in April.
“This was a difficult decision to make, but ultimately the right one”, says Jordan Elliott, president of the ski area trade association whose membership is spread across 6 states. “Our spring conference and trade show is an end of season tradition that spans decades and generations of ski area staff. Each year we come together to share best practices and learnings from the past winter season and to collaborate towards successful seasons to come.” The PNSAA Operations Conference and Trade Show will now be postponed, with a tentatively rescheduled date to possibly take place
“The potential for ski area staff members and staff members of the companies that supply the mountain resort industry to be invited to a neighboring county at the epicenter of the viral infection in Washington State, and then possibly become infected while sitting in an educational session or networking event with their peers, and to subsequentially take that infection back home to spread throughout their rural communities is too great a risk and is not in alignment with the values of our trade association”, Elliott states.
In anticipation that the current public health emergency will be subdued over the summer months, the association is tentatively optimistic that the event might be able to occur in the fall. The association is currently surveying its membership and the course presenters who were slated to provide education at the conference, to determine if the alternative dates will work for the various stakeholders.
Workforce training and development in the outdoor recreation economy is a priority for our region and the PNSAA remains dedicated to providing professional education and staff development for years to come.