Alta States 

Action from Mondial du Ski 2005

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Indeed. It’s comments like these that make the Mondial such an interesting spectacle. For some of the more fascinating aspects of the Mondial — particularly for a North American observer — were the various forums and presentations offered between the parties and celebrations and film premieres. From discussions on new youth initiatives (yes, skiing is considered too expensive for kids in France too) to environmental issues (snowmaking and global warming are particularly sensitive subjects in the Alps); from the latest trends in skiing (manufacturers have finally discovered that “females” make up half the population) to the increasing need for four-season amenities (note: Whistler is held up as a leading luminary in this regard) — a variety of very relevant issues were debated and discussed and argued and dissected during the three-day party…

More importantly, the Mondial has found a way to address what most of us in the mountain tourism business still struggle with: how to get more positive media coverage at the beginning of the season. “Mainstream media is interested in skiing for about two months of the year,” says Les 2 Alpes’ director of communication, Helena Hospital. “If we can help them out between Nov. 1 and Jan. 1 — if we can deliver on all the news and the personal stories and the leading edge trends of the sport in a timely matter — then we all win.” Which is why the Mondial gets such positive coverage. Everything is done to cater to the country’s TV, radio and newspaper outlets’ needs.

Which brings us back to Whistler and what we can learn from the Mondial du Ski. Like Whistler, Les 2 Alpes is celebrating its 40 th birthday. And like Whistler, this great Oisan resort is seen as one of the more progressive in the business. So why shouldn’t Whistler develop its own version of the Mondial?

Imagine a week-long event in early December where media, industry and consumers — insiders and outsiders — gather at Whistler to discover and debate all the latest ski and snowboard trends. Imagine a festival that combines a little of the WSSF chutzpah with a media-friendly set-up that features film premieres, person-to-person interviews, on-snow gear tests and product unveilings that really celebrate all that’s exciting and vibrant about snowports. And why not?

Given Whistler’s leadership role in the North American mountain tourism business, an early winter event here only makes sense. From ski stars to ski photographers, from on-mountain initiatives to new marketing trends — not to mention the coming of the 2010 Games — this place is home to some of the most interesting elements in today’s fast-changing snowsport landscape. Doesn’t it sound reasonable to highlight all these elements? Particularly at a time when the resort is relatively quiet? Sure it does. And make no mistake: if we don’t do it, somebody else surely will…

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