A Celebration of 70 Years! – Dana Forbes, CEO PSIA-AASI

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” …

It has been six months to the day that we were closed for the season because of Covid-19. I do not think anyone reading this could have imagined that we would still be dealing with it today. I have to believe many of you reading this are feeling anxious about the season to come and the changes that you will be faced with. I am guessing many of you are concerned about your health and safety and that of your guests. While all very valid thoughts, I have had the opportunity to speak to most of the resorts within our division and every single one is committed to your safety.

When the lifts stopped spinning in March, PSIA-AASI RM offered free webinars and tech talks, as well as open committee meetings and town halls. Many members followed suit conducting similar online interactions with their local schools. We stayed connected and most importantly we continued to learn.

“We continued to learn”…I love the sound of that, since after all, education is our just cause.

In the March Newsletter I wrote about a resurrection fern and wondered if it could get us through this pandemic. In it, I discussed that motivation comes because of an event in your life, usually one that is traumatic, unexpected, and extremely uncomfortable. I think we can all agree that the last six months have presented us with all the above. My hope then, as is still today, is that when this community comes back together this Fall, we are more motivated than ever to do what we need to so this industry can survive. Your roll in that as educators is to continue to seek the answers and tools to make the guest experience extraordinary.

So what now? I am guessing many of you are wondering about the security of our organization and its ability to serve you with the continued uncertainty in the world. We can understand why you may have these concerns however we are here to assure you that we have weathered the storm and while we know it’s not over, we aren’t going anywhere. We are committed to remaining flexible and doing what is necessary to keep you all safe and healthy. Over the last six months, this community has come together to determine how we can continue to learn and stay inspired considering the obstacles and I am here to assure you that we have built it, all you need to do is come. Access to education will come in many forms this season and I assure you there will be options for everyone.  Our ask of you, is to embrace change and remain flexible, the last six months has taught us this.

On September 27th Rocky Mountain will celebrate 70 YEARS. This milestone signifies something vastly different to us than most would think. To us, it is 10,000 days that we met on snow with members to lead, teach and inspire their success. It represents over 50,000 classes spent with you, learning from one another the endless ways a person can find strength and courage to push themselves humbly to be better. It is tens of thousands of last runs together where we are inspired by all of you and your incredible love and commitment to this sport. And it is hundreds of thousands of hugs, high fives and friendships built between us all because we believe in one another, sometimes more than we do ourselves.

UBUNTU, a Xhosa culture word that simply means I AM BECAUSE WE ARE. We came out of the last six months more humble, hungry, and happier than before because we had one another. Let us carry that into the next six months.

I recall watching this video about a week after we closed and it made me think of our community. I knew then that our training both physically and mentally on the snow and in the classroom had  prepared us for the hardships we were about to face and I knew our connection to one another would help us all get through.

See you on the Slopes, or on the Zoom!

Always HUMBLE, HUNGRY AND HAPPY,

Dana Forbes

CEO PSIA-AASI Rocky Mountain

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