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