NSAA Honors Best in Ski Industry at Annual Awards Ceremony

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Association recognizes innovative strategies in sustainability, safety, growth and marketing

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) presented awards in sustainability, safety, growth, and marketing to members with the most innovative and successful programs in each category. The awards were presented at the association’s virtual awards ceremony on June 11.

NSAA annually calls for applications for awards in the following categories; follow the links to learn more about each finalist and see lists of previous winners:

  • Conversion Cup (growth)
  • Golden Eagle Awards (sustainability)
  • Sustainable Slopes Grants
  • Marketing Awards
  • Safety Awards

“This is a special award year. Not only did ski areas need to adapt to a COVID environment, but they continued to focus on some of the most important issues in our industry, like safety, sustainability and growth. We continue to be inspired by the creativity of our ski area staff members, and their innovative approach to constantly improving.”

– Kelly Pawlak, NSAA president and CEO

2021 NSAA Award Winners and Finalists (winners indicated in bold)

Golden Eagle Awards for Sustainability

Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence

  • Boyne Resorts, Michigan
  • Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
  • Wild Mountain, Minnesota

Innovation in Sustainability

  • Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado
  • Eldora Mountain Resort, Colorado
  • Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont

Climate Change Impact Award

  • Eldora Mountain Resort, Colorado [tie]
  • Sugarbush Resort, Vermont
  • Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico [tie]

Hero of Sustainability

  • Connor O’Sullivan, Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont
  • Greg Keyes, Bogus Basin, Idaho
  • Laura Schaffer, POWDR, Utah

Sustainable Slopes Grants

In addition to the Golden Eagle Awards, the NSAA and partner HKD Snowmakers awarded Sustainable Slopes Grants to four ski areas. Launched in 2009, this grant program provides cash and in-kind funding to support sustainability projects. To date, $671,220 in cash and in-kind funding has been awarded to ski areas seeking to reduce their footprint and increase their environmental stewardship.

NSAA thanks dedicated sponsor HKD Snowmakers for providing equipment to ski areas to make their snowmaking programs more efficient and sustainable. HKD Snowmakers offered grants to two ski areas with a combined value of $59,048.

“I’d like to congratulate Wild and Boyne for their terrific efforts focused on environmental sustainability, particularly regarding the energy efficiency of their snowmaking operations. We are pleased to award these two Grants of energy-efficient technology further reduce their environmental impact. As my father-in-law, Herman Dupre, would say: ‘It’s our obligation to leave the earth better than we found it.’ These resorts share this philosophy.”

– Charles Santry, President of HKD Snowmakers

Click here to see a video from HKD celebrating its grant recipients.

  • Copper Mountain Resort (CO) – native seed/plant education seminar
  • Sugarloaf Resort (ME) – diesel timers & no idling signs
  • Boyne Mountain (MI) – five HKD Impulse R5 snowguns
  • Wild Mountain (MN) – two HKD Volts with onboard air compressors

Safety Awards

Best Overall Safety Program (Over 500k skier visits)

  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, California
  • Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, California
  • Sun Valley Resort, Idaho

Best Overall Safety Program (Under 500k skier visits)

  • Alpine Valley Ski Area, Ohio
  • Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort, Ohio
  • Blue Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania
  • Wintergreen Resort, Virginia

Best Employee Safety Program

  • Killington Resort & Pico Mountain, Vermont
  • Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon
  • Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Best Guest Safety Program

  • Big SNOW American Dream, New Jersey
  • Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado
  • Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Safety Champion

  • Rich Bailey, Risk Manager and Ski Patrol Director, China Peak, California
  • Anna Laxague, Risk Manager, Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon
  • Michael Barber, Ski Patrol Director, Wintergreen Resort, Virginia

Conversion Cup

  • Big SNOW American Dream, New Jersey
  • Crystal Mountain, Michigan
  • Sky Tavern, Nevada

Marketing Awards

Best Overall Marketing Campaign

  • Blue Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania
  • Jay Peak Resort, Vermont
  • Wild Mountain, Minnesota

Most Unique Campaign

  • Boreal / Woodward, California
  • Jay Peak Resort, Vermont
  • McIntyre Ski Area, New Hampshire

Best Use of Mobile Technology

  • Purgatory Resort, Colorado
  • Snowbird, Utah
  • Wachusett, Massachusetts

Best Social Media Campaign

  • Shawnee Mountain, Pennsylvania
  • SilverStar Mountain Resort, British Columbia
  • Sunlight Mountain Resort, Colorado

Best Use of Video

  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, California
  • Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, Washington
  • Snowbird, Utah

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