To the Ski Industry Workforce in the Northwest

Posted on February 1st, 2022

This is an ALL CALL.  Ears on, Mountain Crew.  Your ski area operations conference has been 10-7 for two years now.  It is time to clear your stops.  Reset.  And Run!


If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we are a versatile bunch.  Your ski area has pivoted and adapted. It’s time for your ski area conference to do the same.  Let’s start off with the mouthful of a name. 12 words or a questionable acronym: “The Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association’s Annual Spring Operations Conference and Tradeshow”. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?  Scrap it. Replace it.  Come up with something shorter, for starters, and something that brings together more of the jobs that need doing to make your ski area happen.  Your conference is now called: Mountain Works. 

Next up, and in the words of your favorite body piercing artist, “What else can we tweak?”

If you’ve attended our previous conferences, you know this is an action-packed three-day event that includes a huge tradeshow. This year we are going bigger than ever with the invitation to our front-line and seasonal staff and mountain crews who may be much earlier in their career path than those who have attended in prior years.  Everyone is invited. On the middle day this year, crews from over 40 operators across 5 states will spend the day together at the first-ever, Mountain Works Assembly. It’s like the general session of years past, only bigger, with more experts on stage, but probably still with about the same amount of diesel fumes coming off of some of you. This one-day event has a cheaper ticket than the full 3-day rate, and we will close the night out with the biggest end-of-season staff party that the industry has ever seen.

It’s a conference within a conference. Nestled right in between day 1 and 3 like the long-lost wool sock you’ve been missing from last season that you just found behind the dryer, there will be a gathering like never before. The Mountain Works Assembly will bring together all levels of the ski area roster to have conversations that include everyone – in the same room.  The Great Hall at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend, Oregon, on April 27th, to be exact.  We are talking about owners and general managers, division and department leaders, new supervisors, up and coming leaders, machine technicians and operators, patrollers and risk managers, marketers, instructors, human resources and trainers, F&B, rental squads, and anyone else who makes your ski area happen.  Feed your brain.

Mountain Crew, Assemble!  Together, we will be talking about the region’s cultural legacy currently being inherited by a new generation. We will be talking about the region’s workforce and the socioeconomic impact of what you are doing. As you already know, we have partnered with Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy – they will be on the stage. Other cool people will be too.  We will be talking about our public lands. And stewardship. And mentorship. And snow. And the Pacific Ocean. And global weirding.  The Business. And more.  Oh, and we’ll also be spring skiing at Mt. Bachelor.

Seriously, this is going to be huge.  So huge, we are going to have to start off registration with a cap of 200 people for the 1-day ticket to The Mountain Works Assembly. That is because there are more ski area staff members than the convention center can hold.  We’ll find a good mix between the 3-day Full Conference registration, and the new 1-Day Mountain Works Assembly.  You do the registration part.  We will balance the numbers in real-time so that we have a full room, Covid allowing of course.  At this point, it’s yes until it’s no.

Below is a breakdown of the different registration fees for ski area staff members

Mountain WorksFull 3-Day Conference and Tradeshow – April 26-28, 2022.

This is usually an employer-sponsored ticket. You probably work at a ski area and your boss is paying your way. But you might be on your own. We don’t know.  Hit the drop-down to let us know. All-access to 3 days of workforce education.  Day 1 and 3 are just as you remember from the before times.  A buffet of technical, leadership, and risk management sessions, a couple of breakfasts, the Tuesday welcome reception and tradeshow, and the Wednesday luncheon and tradeshow. This ticket also includes the first-ever Mountain Works Assembly, a lift ticket for spring skiing at Mt. Bachelor good through the weekend, and the end-of-season party at 10 Barrel Brewing. Honestly, it should cost more than it does.

Early BirdAfter April 12th
PNSAA Members$150$175
Non – PNSAA Members $265$290

The Mountain Works Assembly 1-day Event  – April 27th, 2022.

This can be an employer-sponsored ticket, or, maybe you are done working for the season and want to pay your own way on your own time by coming to THE end-of-season party in Bend while also feeding your brain. This steal of a deal gets you into The Mountain Works Assembly, the Wednesday Luncheon and Tradeshow, a lift ticket for spring skiing at Mt. Bachelor good through the weekend, and the end-of-season party at 10 Barrel Brewing. Whaaat! We know.  Oh, we know. Just check out this lineup.

Early BirdAfter April 12th
1 – Day Admission to The Mountain Works Assembly$85$110