NSAA Conversion Cookbook
Transforming new skiers and snowboarders into passionate lifelong participants is a top priority for the National Ski Areas Association and the entire mountain sports industry. There is no more important endeavor in our sport than beginner conversion. With participation rates at a plateau, changing demographics, time constraints, and low beginner conversion rates, these challenges point to the need to dramatically improve our level of engagement with beginners, and to help them become committed skiers and riders. Our collective attempts to get more people to participate in the sport have never been more relevant and urgent. It is up to us all—every ski area operator, manager, and employee; every industry partner and affiliate; and every manufacturer, retailer, and athlete—to find ways to help positively move the needle.
There will always be dynamics beyond our control: the weather, the economy, and the ever-changing customer base. But skiing and riding have never been better; today our ski areas are providing an exceptional overall experience for guests new to the sport. And that, as we know, has considerable influence on whether they decide to come back.
There is no magic solution to this conversion conundrum, no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all approach to reliably and consistently lure people into snowsports. Even so, it is hard to imagine another industry with the same level of innovation in lesson product offerings, instruction techniques, and technologically superior equipment, or the same passion for sharing the sport with others.
Many of these innovations and approaches are described in this update of NSAA’s Conversion Cookbook for the 2017-18 season (available for NSAA members only). Whether you incorporate any or all of the suggestions included here, we encourage you to take a fresh look at the beginner culture at your area, and continually look for ways to improve it. Please let us know about your successes; we may want to highlight them in the ongoing refinement of this document and in the NSAA Journal.
Topics covered include:
Calculating Your Resort's Beginner Conversion Rates
Instructor Staff and Training
Overall Training of Staff
Learn to Ski and Snowboard/Bring a Friend
Influencers and Partnerships
(available to NSAA Members only.)