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The Ski Club of Washington DC’s SkiFest - A Firsthand Report 4
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

Who says baby boomers can’t have fun? We had a blast at the annual SkiFest of the Ski Club of Washington DC (SCWDC) at the Tyson’s Westpark Hotel. The music was hot, the buffet sumptuous, and the cool evening air whetted our appetites for the snow season to begin.

Several hundred people came to mingle, dance, eat, and learn about trips for the upcoming season. If you missed it, there is another meeting on October 2 but it will not have the same festive atmosphere. And, there are a lot of social and sports activities between now and then - check out the SCWDC’s web site at scwdc.org.

The greater Washington DC and Baltimore areas have a great number of ski and snowboard clubs, and you can find one to suit nearly every taste, affiliation, or age group. (View DCSki’s list of local ski clubs here.) Many, such as the SCWDC, are making major efforts to attract families and younger members - the “T and T’s,” or Twenties and Thirties. Their participation is crucial to keeping the clubs alive. It is true, you can find last minute trip bargains on the Internet. But, the clubs also have economical deals. And, you can’t beat the friendship and convenience that comes from traveling with a group.

The SCWDC is now guided by President Bill Johnston and a hard working group of volunteers. I don’t know how they have time to get any outside work done, but they say they do. At the SkiFest, there were volunteers explaining the upcoming trips to ski areas in the West, New England, and local areas. There are now about 2,200 members, so it is important to sign up for trips early. President Johnston told us, “younger members should think about making commitments early, and not just count on the internet for a last minute deal.”

Many of the trips are day trips, and can include ski lessons. SCWDC is one of the few that has its own qualified instructors, and they provide ski and snowboard lessons as part of the package. It also includes tickets and other extras. Unfortunately, local transportation is not included, but an effort is made to assist with car pooling.

Vendors made the event extremely worthwhile; they provided information and personal contacts. They also gave away fantastic raffle prizes. The meeting was sponsored by Vail Resorts, and its new North East Sales Manager Jill Canning. Vail Resorts now operates seven of the top snow areas in the country - I believe they have cornered the market on the most magnificent vistas, and best facilities. But, other resorts are swooping down the trails after them. Other companies present at SnowFest included the Snow Time Resorts (Roundtop, Whitetail, and Liberty), Canaan Valley, Encompass Tours, JTM Tours, Ski Chalet, Timberline, Snowshoe Mountain (which recently cut three new trails), Canadian Mountain Holidays (the Heli Skiers), SportTours, Seven Springs, Willi’s Ski Shop, Stowe Mountain, and a few others I might have missed. The Club also listed a number of web references to learn even more. It was a truly valuable evening, and shows how much variety and opportunity we have in this region. Now, if only the snow and cold cooperate!

About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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Reader Comments

The Colonel
September 18, 2007
Great article. However, based on Scott's recent posting about Snowshoe, I do not believe they have new owners. I think Intrawest still owns and operates Snowshoe. Intrawest itself was purchased by a large investment company, but they still control the Snowshoe operation.
Scott, can you chime in here?
The Colonel
September 18, 2007
Intrawest, the parent company of Snowshoe, was purchased by a private equity firm about a year ago, but most of the management at Snowshoe remains unchanged and the new ownership of Intrawest shouldn't cause any major changes at Snowshoe or Intrawest's other properties. Some homeowners at Snowshoe have expressed concern that private equity firms often sweep in and buy a business with the intent to sub-divide and sell it, but Intrawest's new owners haven't given any indication that's their intent. I think Connie was referring to the new ownership of Intrawest, but you're right that Snowshoe is still owned by Intrawest, so I'll edit her story to clarify that.
Connie Lawn
September 19, 2007
Thank you Scott and the Colonel. Whatever the situation, I do hope to visit Snowshoe, and all the other local areas, this year! Yours, Connie
October 10, 2009
We ski in Utah. It really is the greatest snow on earth!!! It's not as cold as Colorado or Montana nor as expensive. I am older - didn't start skiing until I was 50. I REALLY don't like ice! Even with the plane ticket it's better skiing and not crowded. If you want any hints or ideas - email me vhf@dejazzd.com.

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