Your intrepid sales staff at Tours de Sport has recently returned from a visit to beautiful Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana. Our visit served two purposes. One, it allowed all of us to familiarize ourselves with all of the exciting new developments at the resort, and also to attend the 2011 SkiTops University.
SkiTops, the official ski tour operators association, is an organization whose membership is comprised of the largest and best established ski tour operators in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1989, SkiTops has demanding criteria for membership to encourage professionalism and excellence.
At SkiTops University, which is held at a different ski resort each year in the late summer, the sales staffs from member tour operators gather for two days of meetings with ski resort personnel from all across North America. We get updated on what is new and exciting in all segments of the resort communities, from the ski areas to lodging properties to ground transportation providers.
One of the new highlights of the "university" experience is the addition of a keynote speaker to address the combined membership of tour operators and resort partners on the first morning of the conference. This year's speaker was Michael Berry, the president of the National Ski Areas Association. Mr. Berry's presentation was a light-hearted look at where we have been and where we are heading as an industry, and he got us all pumped up for a great 2011-2012 ski season!!