Just spent most of the afternoon at the National Ski and Snowboard Expo at the Dulles Expo Center. I missed it last year, but I've been to quite a few in the past.
Rant: The $10 admission fee doesn't bother me as much as to get a free lift ticket for the local SnowTime resorts you have to watch the entire Warren Miller movie and pick up a voucher at the end. I didn't have the time to watch the movie (I spent 3+ hours at the expo without watching the movie) and I'm not the biggest fan of Warren. (Especially versus TGR and Greg Stump.) The whole set-up reminded me of the "free vacation for sitting through a time-share spiel."
Selected raves and comments:
- I was a bit surprised to see representative from at least two Canadian Heli-Ski operations, CMH and Peace Reach. I guess Washingtonians have a lot of diposable income. I've plunked down some coin on one-day heli trips in Canada before, but these trips were geared for an entire week. One day before I die or have my knees replaced (which ever comes sooner), I'll go heli-skiing for a week, but alas, not this year. The heli ski reps were definitely fun people to talk to.
- Got my Advantage Card for Whitetail/Liberty/Roundtop. Even though prices always go up on Oct 31, you can get the October prices at the Expo. Plus, you save yourself the hassle of having to pick up the card at the resort.
- The bargains on ski clothes didn't seem as good as they were in the past. Maybe because the new location requires greater fees for the exhibitors. The best prices were from some outfit based out of Mammoth Lakes, CA. I got a fairly-priced jacket/shell from them, plus plenty of advice as to what color pants will look horrible with the jacket. Turns out those colors comprise my entire wardrobe of ski pants. I guess the only action I'll be getting this winter on the slopes will be from fashion-impaired/color-blind women. What was the bio on Ski Mistress? But at least I now have a jacket with a working zipper.
- Talked with the reps from Blue Knob. See parallel thread.
- The Jay Peak booth had a really nice black and white poster of the top of the Tram. Worthy of framing.
- Talked with the rep from Stowe and found out where to leave the trails to find some stashes I was wondering about. (For Denis, I was wondering about Riverbed in particular.) Also got some ideas of where else on the mountain to poke around. Worth the price of admission.
- Bought a $50 pair of Volant skis to be used for rock skiing and glade exploration. Can't remember the name of the outfit. The skis have demo bindings, bases are pretty decent, and still enough edge left for an adventure or two. With some hot wax and a basic edge sharpening, they may be decent. Worth a shot for 50 bucks.
- There appeared to be a few less destination resorts represented and/or staffed than in years past. Maybe this is a result of reduced marketing budgets on the part of the resorts, or maybe it's just a coincidence. In particular, I didn't see booths for Whistler/Blackcomb, Sugarbush, Steamboat or Sugar Loaf. Maybe I missed their booths.
Overall, I'm pumped for the ski season. I should be catching some turns in less than two weeks.
I was there Saturday at opening so I also got the free Wisp ticket. I also managed to see Warren's new movie and enjoyed it - thought it was pretty much like his others. However, around 1:30 when I decided to leave, it sure seemed to be a lot less people there this year on Saturday than last. Last year I thought it was pretty crowded. Even the noon showing for Warren's movie only had a very small line of people waiting. Still had a good time and will be there again next year. Now where's the snow!
PS I'm also still enjoying my free magazine subscription from last year - wonder if they'll extend it another year for this year's free subscription.
Well, I breezed through on Friday night.
I think the new location is just a terrible, terrible waste of everyone's time and gas. What is more, it markets to a smaller crowd (the already interested rider). There is NO chance for someone not already interested in the sport to get excited about it.
If I had to pay for a booth there, I would hold the new setup to be a complete, total rip-off. All that flashy advertising material and no chance to get a casual mall visitor (nonski) interested. Squirrelled off into a concrete cave in the middle of nowhere with maybe 30 folks to talk to. Sheesh, how many heli-ski customers are remotely likely to subject themselves to that ridiculous drive and pay entry just to be exposed to advertising?
No more metro or bike access. No more sit-down restaurants, or pairing a visit with other activities. The swap is smaller, with things in it overpriced ($10 to pick it back up, you know!), the new and newish gear unspectacular.
Which brings me to the Warren Miller showing. Maybe I've been watching too many ski films recently, but Cold Fusion and Storm and Fifty and Ride were just way, way more exciting, more inspiring, more energizing to get to it, than *IMPACT*. In fact, if it hadn't been for the Snowmass and Chamonix (maybe half of Bansko) segments, the *IMPACT* would have been that of a wet mass of spaghetti. Snooz.
Maybe it is just the non-skiing segments, but the waterskiing bit was just a wet flop, certainly compared to that ridge-hugging skydive last year and even compared to the MTB tricks in 'Storm'. Oh, and can we please lose the concept that running film at Laurel and Hardy speed with silly music is remotely funny when he's already done it 300 times before and there's no comedic setup at all?
No, actually, it wasn't just the waterskiing bits. I could have screamed for more of Wrangell-St. Elias or more Mike Wiegele segments or more St. Anton, certainly more Chamonix, but, good my word, a reprise of a Bulgarian talk show????? Heeesh.
I am not going next year unless it is at a different, more accessible location. I no longer believe the (quite limited this year, did you notice?) hype.
comprex ... well dude the nat'l ski expo was alway my high-point when I was on the mid-atlantic .. interesting you dis ski movies where all the guys are doing it and living the life where as you are not. Hmmmm are you doing it to make yourself a "big man"? Maybe *you and JohnL* should book that heli-skiing trip and figure it out LOL. Yes you've both been looking @ too many ski movies.
Some good points about the accessibility of the expo for the random drop-in non-skier or seldom-skier. I always liked the central location of the expo when it was at the Ballston Mall. The ski and snowboarder industry certainly needs to expand it's base, and a pay-to-enter expo location in the distant burbs is not going to expand the base.
Believe it or not, you won't be seeing a JohnL and Comprex "two thumbs up or two thumbs down" review show of ski movies. But tell ya what, why don't you post your full name, telephone number, email address and snail mail address on this thread? We'll be sure to forward it to the next upcoming ski porn producer wannbe so we can dis your lame turns, lack of inspiration, and unoriginal lines.
As we have to pay to see you. And we expect you to not only stick your landings, but ski away from them.
Or someone else may be interested in your info.
Seriously dude, you've been living in the mountains a bit too long (not a bad thing) and don't realize how much marketing has taken over a lot of life in the big city. As I stated in my original post, there were some very good things about the expo, but there were some crass things also.
i was there on saturday too. and i didnt have to watch more than a few minutes of the flick to get my passes. we walked out early in the movie and traded in our coupons for vouchers at the whitetail/liberty booth. what made it even nicer was that they gave me vouchers for each of my kids (ages 6, 4, and 1) and i only paid for myself to get in. you should see alot of me at whitetail in december.
Call it nostalgia or whatever but I agree with John on the movies. As far as the movies go, there are not that many that seem to be doing anything new except showing more of the same. Sometimes I need a really good story to get into my porn.
I have gone backwards and started to pick up some old movies and make copies of my buddies old movies.
I was over there on Sunday afternoon. It deffinately seemed to be worth the price of admission, however I spent a little on a ski helm and a new pair of boots. The free ticket and Magazine subscription helped to even out the price. I am sure tha tif you ahve been to one ski convention you have been to them all.
For any cusious I go the Salomon Ellipse 9.0 Boots. They fit really well (even without the heat molding) and the price was very good. The guy I worked with at the Mammoth Ski shop (actually a patroller from Montage) was really cool and worked with me for over an hour. So it was pretty decent service in that respect.
The accessibility of the Expo Center is very bad if you're a Baltimorean. Even Balston Common was a drive, but the area has other things to offer. They could draw from a lot larger market if they could find a location somewhere between DC and Baltimore (say the Columbia area). I remember years ago when it was held in the Balto. Convention Center and it drew good crowds. The crowds dwindled over the years and they don't even have one in Balto. anymore. I guess this is more of symptom of the poor job the ski industry does marketing the sport. Skiers jumping off cliffs isn't going to get people into the ski expo. I always enjoyed the Ski Expo, but I didn't even know it was happening this year. Was it advertised?
I always enjoyed the Ski Expo, but I didn't even know it was happening this year. Was it advertised?
The publicity for the expo seemed to have been much less this year. I don't even recall an announcement here on DCSki (maybe I missed it.) I found out about the dates from a Google search to find the expo's website. I know from past experience that the expo is usually the first or second weekend in November. As in the past, the Washington Post mentioned the expo in last Friday's Weekend Section.
I guess if you weren't looking out for the expo, it would have been easy to miss this year.
Any of you going to Philly for the TGR 'Soul Purpose' showing at the Trocadero (11/20)?
No no no no nooooo... you don't get it. What I am saying is that look ok skiing is that thing you do that makes you happy. It is fun to see other people do it do, just like porn ... actually in my home we watch ski porn and adult porn and we are about the same for each ... laugh a little, go "whoo hoo!" a little and some "yeah, yeah, yeahs".
My only point is lighten up a little ... to me (and you are right I suck) skiing is all about not sticking the landing, crashing, getting out of control, scaring yourself, doing an amazing run, making a fool of yourself, wailing like there is no tomorrow, being the fastest, being the lamest, cranking turns under a blue sky, cranking turns in sh&t weather, cranking turns in powder, cranking turns on groomers, cranking turns in bumps, being scared, being bold, doing it under the chairs and have people go "oh yeah!", doing it under the chairs and have people laugh at you, getting the nod from boarders, getting dis'd by boarders, racing in a ski camp and finding that 1 second, racing in a ski camp and getting your clock cleaned by a ski pro ...etc .
Just like skiing you have your ups and downs. Sweet! And just because Warren Miller Productions puts out the 10,000th film that seems the same as all the other ones does not diminish the joy each and every one captures. Geez you should have seen the Park City showing I thought I was going to be killed on the spot when me and my crew left a tad early ... we left because we had our fill ... just like porn I can never watch more than a certain amount ... but that does not mean it ain't fun to watch.
So anybody making any film anywhere gets my two thumbs up ... from the most rank amateur to TGR to Miller to classics like the 1987 "Fire and Ice" that Leonard Maltin
Spend a little money, support the skiers, and embrace it all, my cousins!
PS .... >>firstname.lastname@example.org<< is my email address!
PPS There is no way I want to be in a ski movie
PPPS I would like to be in a regular movie, though
PPPPS Actually I have done some acting and modeling
PPPPPS Actually I would like to be a movie actor and have straight shins
... well I can always dream!
You're the man Crush. That was an absolutely f*&%ing beautiful encapsulation of skiing on the edge. Though I think you should seek some counseling at your earliest opportunity...