NASJA Midwest News: January 31
by John R. LaPlante, regional secretary
Regional meeting report
We held our regional meeting at the Otsego Club, January 27-30. The club, which is just outside Gaylord, Michigan, is seeking to become a destination spot for freestylers, especially halfpipe riders. With its 22-foot halfpipe, the club remains unique in the eastern half of the U.S., and one of only a handful of resorts in the entire country with a pipe this size.
On February 5, it becomes the third stop on the six-stop TransWorld TransAm, a competitive snowpipe tour for up-and-coming amateurs. If you stop by the event, you’ll see some youngsters who may be performing at the Winter X Games or Winter Olympics someday.
Thanks go out to Kris Klay (general manager) and Kip Driver (director of snowsports), as well as the entire staff of the club. Klay, Driver, and NASJA members shared a delicious dinner on Saturday night. Thanks also to Mike Terrell (our VP of meetings) and Kevin Frisch (Fusion Media Strategies), both of whom helped get the word out to our members.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s time to think about memberships for the 2011-2012 season. Even though we don’t have any tote bags to use as incentives, it would be great to add to our membership, both corporate and press. Press members get the chance to see ski areas “up close and personal” (as I did when I got to visit with some of the snowmaking crew and inspect the pipe cutter) and share experiences and ideas with each other. Corporate members get access to our directory and the chance to interact with those of us who report the news and tell stories about life on the snow. The value of our chapter will increase as we add members. Some of you have worked hard to recruit new members, and as the person who reports the numbers to the national office, I appreciate that. Here’s hoping that some of our efforts will pay off.
Please head over to the NASJA website, log in, and vote for the award winners. We have …. Well, unfortunately, we have three categories to vote in, and there is but a single candidate for two of the three categories. I don’t know about you, but that makes me wish I had bothered to nominate someone. Any NASJA member can nominate an award recipient.
Are you a Twit and do you Skype?
Do you have a Twitter account? If so, please send your account name to me (graysontrays at gmail.com) for inclusion in a list of Twitter accounts held by members of our chapter. Do you have a Skype account? We might use Skype sometime for a conference call, since it’s difficult to get us all together for a meeting. Again, send me an e-mail if you’re interested.
Alaska: It’s more than a setting for reality shows
If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of “reality shows” on TV about Alaska these days. The national meeting is your chance to get off the couch and see the 49th state in person. At least report, registration for the meeting, set for March 2-5, is low. If you’re on the fence, I encourage you to attend. I’ll be there, looking for some great riding and a look at a small portion of the Last Frontier.
We may not have the tallest terrain around, but the Midwest is an important part of the snow scene, and we produce our share of elite skiers and riders. For example, Louie Vito, product of Mad River Glen, Ohio, took home the third at the Winter X Games competition in men’s superpipe. Nick Baumgartner from Iron River, Michigan, won the men’s boardercross, beating out both Nate Holland (five-time defending champion) and Seth Wescott (two-time Olympic gold medalist).
If you have any news that you’d like to share with our chapter, please send it to me.