Rate this years ski show ( 1 )
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myrto
November 11, 2007
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
This is the worst ski show I think there has been yet. First they started losing the western resorts, then the Canadien resorts started dwindling. This year NO Canadien resorts, Only Two New england resorts, And the Wext virginia resorts are having second thoughts as to whether it makes sense to go next year.
I cannot see any improvements from last year and from my view it got much worse.
It needs to move back to the mall. It needs to attract people other than us Die hard skiers. We are already going to find information and spend money on the sport. You need new people. That was what the mall was for. Tysons Two would be good, they have space and always have plenty of room.
The only thing I see the organazation doing in regards to running this show is running it into the ground.

Either fix it or put it out of its' misery

On a scale of 1 - 10 I give it a 1.
dcmidnight
November 12, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
I agree wholeheartedly. I had to stop by the office yesterday which is out that way so I figured I would swing by and at least check out the WM movie. I had no interest in going to the show but I had some time to kill. It was packed. I still enjoy it but I think they are getting @ 15 minutes too long.

It's a joke to call it the National Ski and Snowboard expo though. I only saw one or two resorts from outside the DC area and a lot of the other places the guys were sitting around bored sort of half ready to leave or otherwise disinterested. Some people were great to talk to others not so much.

The swap again was a complete waste in my eye. Sorry that I missed the post about it being half as big as the ski center swap I would say thats generous. It probably didnt help Ski Chalet having their swap the same weekend but maybe SC learned their lesson about the expo. I still dont see how they can advertise a MEGA SKI SALE and a GIANT SKI SWAP. I didnt see any of these. There were no vendors to shop at or browse new product. A couple of shops but one of the ski shops seemed sold out of a lot of stuff and I'm certain they were not refilling their racks. Again, if they are barely going to have the show set up on a Friday afternoon and people have one foot out the door on Sunday early afternoon - whats the point? To pick up trail maps and enter some drawings? So sad.

I said last year I wouldnt go back and I went against my better judgement. I would rate this show a 2 and falling fast.
bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter
November 12, 2007
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
699 posts
It depends, of course, on your expectations and experiences. As I said in another thread , I had never been to a ski show before. I brought my teenaged son and three of his friends so they could see the skiing this region has to offer, check out some ski equipment, watch the WM movie, and get two lift passes. I agree that the equipment selection was so-so at best but at least on saturday morning most of the booth and shop people were friendly and interactive.

While I learned that this isn't the best place to pick up gear and equipment (although I saw plenty of purchases being made mid-day Saturday), I bet my son and his friends will be asking to go next year.

Given my experience and expectations, I'd rate the show a 7.

Woody
Aaron
November 12, 2007
Member since 01/12/2005 🔗
54 posts
I go every year for the 2 all season WISP tickets, and 2 early season snow time tickets (got lucky this year - they handed me two of the slips as I walked in to the movie), and 2 magazine subscriptions for $20. That's $5 a lift ticket guys, and free ski movie showing (the WM movie was better than last year, a little less product placement and more skiing, although definitely still a downwards trend).

I also picked up a pair for $25 gore-tex gloves which was pretty reasonable for a local buy.

Just set your expectations right and you'll have a fun time. If you're going for the lift tickets it's a pretty good deal.
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Jeremy
November 12, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
68 posts
Well, I got the WISP tickets I wanted for my group's trip in January. We also got plenty of magazine subs of course.

As for the swaps, there was definitely more stuff than last year, but the prices were CRAZY! My friend and I bought an old pair of shaped Dynstars at the pro-fit swap for $5 with bindings. We decided we didn't want them and took them with us. When we got there we found the same pair on the rack for $150!!! We put ours in for like $50 just to see if they would go.

Also...a funny story... we looked through the Willis ski area and on the way out they had a table of yellow bags (were like tarp material with handles that said ikea). They were huge bags and I figured I would grab one for the beach or something. Well, after walking around other areas of the expo with the bag, filling it with pens, etc, someone from Willis came up to me and told me that those bags were for shopping in the Willis area only and he would get me another plastic bag for my stuff. So I waited for a second and then wondered around, the guy then found me again and gave me the new bag. Just to be funny I asked him where THEY got the bags since they said Ikea on them. He was speechless and didn't know what to say. I asked "what if I got this bag at ikea and brought it with me?" and he said "you did?"...I just laughed and said no and gave him his bag.

I just thought it was funny that they thought people would need bags for skis and boots and that they didn't want people taking off with bags that it looked like they bought surplus or took from ikea \:\)

We skipped the movie, had other things to do and after hearing that the tickets for Liberty were early season then we were out of there.

Was disappointed that liberty wasn't doing snow blast cards this year (not that the deals for the cards last year were anything special)

I think the organizers really try, I think it's just the resorts and especially the ski stores not willing to part with time/product/cash to do proper marketing.

Anyway, I'll give it a 5 out of 10 because:

* It was what I expected
* More ski swaps than last year (although bad pricing)
* Got my WISP tickets
* Got my trail maps
* Got my mag subs
anon
November 12, 2007
Member since 11/17/2006 🔗
14 posts
4
If you are going to have the WM movie be a big attraction at least have a decent number of seats in the theater or multiple screens set up so you don't have to turn people away. I mean its not like they are using the entire hall space or anything.. Also running out of the free lift tickets an hour into the show is weak.

At least I got the opportunity to ask a Snowshoe rep. why they don't have a webcam. He said the weather is too much to handle and that they had one years ago but it only lasted a few months before it broke. I asked him why other resorts have webcams that work and he said its because they have their lodges at the base and not the top. I left it at that and just filled out my entry for their give-away. Obviously more than a few resorts have summit cams, etc. so this is all just rhetoric, but I thought it was interesting to share with you guys what the official company excuse was.
comprex
November 12, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

I did not go this year. Some thoughts though:

- the swap's always been premium priced since the move to the Dull Expo location.

- the Snowtime (Liberty/RT/Whitetail) tickets have always been good only through Christmas/NY week. I think I've gotten about a solid 50-60 hours of skiing from them by now.
Ullr
November 12, 2007
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
 Originally Posted By: anon
I asked him why other resorts have webcams that work and he said its because they have their lodges at the base and not the top.


Why not put one at the Boathouse and the other at Arbuckle's Cabin then?
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
 Originally Posted By: anon
4
If you are going to have the WM movie be a big attraction at least have a decent number of seats in the theater or multiple screens set up so you don't have to turn people away. I mean its not like they are using the entire hall space or anything.. Also running out of the free lift tickets an hour into the show is weak.

At least I got the opportunity to ask a Snowshoe rep. why they don't have a webcam. He said the weather is too much to handle and that they had one years ago but it only lasted a few months before it broke. I asked him why other resorts have webcams that work and he said its because they have their lodges at the base and not the top. I left it at that and just filled out my entry for their give-away. Obviously more than a few resorts have summit cams, etc. so this is all just rhetoric, but I thought it was interesting to share with you guys what the official company excuse was.




There are high-quality, wireless, heated webcams now that can handle any weather, and Snowshoe is one of the few resorts without a webcam these days. I asked Snowshoe about this a few years ago, and was told that they thought it was better to post high-resolution, daily photos from around the mountain than to have a static webcam view of questionable quality. There is some logic to this. Webcams don't always do a good job resolving the difference between rain, fog, or snow, and weather can change very quickly at Snowshoe. Snowshoe has been good at posting regular photos to their web site.
dcmidnight
November 12, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
 Originally Posted By: anon
4
If you are going to have the WM movie be a big attraction at least have a decent number of seats in the theater or multiple screens set up so you don't have to turn people away. I mean its not like they are using the entire hall space or anything.. Also running out of the free lift tickets an hour into the show is weak.

At least I got the opportunity to ask a Snowshoe rep. why they don't have a webcam. He said the weather is too much to handle and that they had one years ago but it only lasted a few months before it broke. I asked him why other resorts have webcams that work and he said its because they have their lodges at the base and not the top. I left it at that and just filled out my entry for their give-away. Obviously more than a few resorts have summit cams, etc. so this is all just rhetoric, but I thought it was interesting to share with you guys what the official company excuse was.


LOL, when were you there? When I stopped by they were talking about this and they were talking about having a lodge at the top. I interjected myself that I have no idea how that affects their ability to have a webcam. Whistler has webcams all over both their summits and multiple in-between stops on the mountain and they are in all sorts of horrible weather at altitudes of up to 8800' or so. They dont seem to have a problem keeping them up and running year round and you can easily tell between rain and snow. I was told they will be looking into it.
snowcone
November 12, 2007
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Actually there was a web cam up for the entire 2005-6 season; but it wasn't a Snowshoe cam. It was under the auspices of the construction company that was building Soaring Eagle and could be reached only thru the company's website. It took a grab about every 15 minutes and showed the good, bad and the soggy ugly that can sometimes be Snowshoe ... and that may be the real reason for not having any web cams; those days when SS is not a winter wonderland are hardly advertising bell ringers. If Wisp, Snowtime and the rest can admit to imperfection, why not Snowshoe?
JimK - DCSki Columnist
November 12, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,720 posts
About the Ski Show, this was the first I attended at the Dulles Expo, I attended the Ballston venue a number of times in past. Unfortunately, the Dulles Expo Center has the charm of a bomb shelter. If the current organizers don't conduct the show, what is the alternative? I suspect the answer is it doesn't happen. At least our local resorts were out in force and it was fun schmoozing with their reps. Is it the organizers fault that far flung ski area reps and ski manufacturers won't participate? Perhaps that is why it is no longer in Ballston Mall, without enough paying exhibitors, the organizer can't afford a nice shopping mall location?
myrto
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
The thing is, when it is done right it is win win situation. The resorts win because they get a captive audience that is generally young with disposable income that may not be thinking of skiing until they get wowed by a good display.

The mall gets the people who have an interest in skiing strolling thru, and I would have to believe (with the exception of most of us cheap powder whores that frequent this sight)that the typical demographics of a single skier or a skiing family would be something that the stores wpould like a shot at catering to.

So I don't buy that excuse. I think someone is trying to do it on the cheap and being pennywise pound foolish.
snosnugums
November 12, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
If they want to resusitate the ski show, it should be moved to a location halfway between Washington and Baltimore. That way they can draw from both markets. The drive to Dulles Expo center was a long one for me. Additionally, the location and building look like an abandoned K-Mart.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 13, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Anybody remember when the Washington Ski Show was at the DC Armory? tons of exhititors, a real ski exibition on mats, jumps,
etc.
By the way, when the show was at Ballston I think the Ski Chalet was a major sponsor...that is the "old" Wilbur-Freed Ski Chalet.
The Colonel \:\)
dcmidnight
November 13, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
Ski Chalet was a major sponsor and presence at the old shows. It says something to me that either they are not involved at all in the show anymore or they chose to have their Chantilly ski swap (less than a half mile from the expo) on the same weekend of the ski show and not be involved in any way, shape or form.

The expo in its current form really just provides me nothing. At all. I've never argued that you cant get $10 worth of "stuff" - be it lift passes or the movie or subscriptions - but if that's all that its come down to then they should just move on. A true "expo" to me involves having a lot of new product to put my hands on. If I can stay home and do everything online that I go to the expo for then I have to ask why they still bother. It cant be to attract new skiers otherwise they wouldnt have chosen the location they did. As someone pointed out Tysons would be a great place.
comprex
November 13, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Were Village Ski and Bike (the Dumfries shop) at this year's show?
comprex
November 13, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
 Originally Posted By: dcmidnight

The expo in its current form really just provides me nothing. At all. I've never argued that you cant get $10 worth of "stuff" - be it lift passes or the movie or subscriptions - but if that's all that its come down to then they should just move on. A true "expo" to me involves having a lot of new product to put my hands on. If I can stay home and do everything online that I go to the expo for then I have to ask why they still bother. It cant be to attract new skiers otherwise they wouldnt have chosen the location they did. As someone pointed out Tysons would be a great place.


DCmidnight, I'm sure, remembers the original Ski Show Begins Today thread, with respect to last year's show.

 Originally Posted By: comprex
5) How much would you pay for admission if you got everything that you wanted from the show?

Nothing. My enjoyment of the show hinges on free admission and the excitement of being part of a huge body of people (who may have no previous interest in skiing). Low upfront cost is therefore of indirect but paramount importance.

I am willing to pay as I go for value-added items I can watch (movies), participate in, or learn from.



I get the impression halon73 was a bit put off by the criticism in spite of what, IMHO, is actually a great deal of continuing good will towards the Expo, both on this board and from the skiers in the geographical area. I'll even bet that he could have gotten a response if he'd ask for more extensive help on a volunteer basis.

As to the prices and selection at the Expo swap, well, that too seems to continue the pattern of previous years:

 Originally Posted By: comprex
There is much less low-budget gear at the expo, and the sellers price their wares at top dollar for their value. I am not going to sell at the Expo, primarily because I only wish to drive out there once if that.
dcmidnight
November 13, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
Paul seemed to disappear as soon as it was clear people were pissed off about last years show. Its too bad really, this boards provided a ton of good feedback they could have used.

Wow, I was really bitter last year. Must have been the fact that my wife paid to go as well. No wonder she made me go alone this year \:\) At least I knew what I was getting into and I knew going in it probably wasnt going to have improved in the last 12 months.

This was my cost response to Paul last year and I will stick to it:

"5) How much would you pay for admission if you got everything that you wanted from the show?

$10 is the max. Again, if the golf expo can do all that for $9, thats the absolute gold standard.

And I know this will sound absurd but I dont care if I get $50 worth of "stuff" for my money - so people can say well you got $50 for $10 thats a good deal. Its not. I already get the magazines. I dont ski a lot locally so the passes dont affect me per se. I would rather get in to the show for free, have no magazine, no free lift tickets and pay $5 to see the movie. Charge me to see the movie and the simulator or whatever else you have."

And these were my closing remarks, again, I'll say they apply the same as they did last year when I wrote them:

"And in all seriousness, wanted to add one big pet peeve. Friday around 5pm it seemed like the place was only half setup. If you arent going to be setup by the time you start charging people, then charge half price. Or give them their money back when you can see that its not ready for people to come in. There were a half dozen of the booths that were barely setup, or unmanned, or flat empty with placeholder signs. I mean cripes, why not just wait until Saturday to open? For me this was the worst part, bein charged for the expo is one thing and we can debate what was there vs what wasnt, but to be charged full price and then have vendors that just didnt give a sh** enough to be there and be setup was just lousy."
Crush
November 13, 2007
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,010 posts
- man my comments were so caustic they got nix-d .. but true true true so anyway I give up - and they *still* need some sort of booze @ the event. Altho that grill-place next door held some promise.

anyway c u on the hill i'm sure i'll have my ticket cut at every single resort 4 excessive speed .. my bad so sad.
scootertig
November 13, 2007
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Did anyone see the snowboard demo, or whatever it was that they were setting up outside? I saw what looked like a 1/4 pipe setup with snow shavings or something similar, but didn't stick around long enough to figure out what that was all about...


aaron
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