New book - Snow Guns Before Sunrise: A Peek Behind the Veil of Ski Resort Operations

patrick_torsellpatrick_torsell intermediate
edited December 2017 in Operations/Management Posts: 25
I've just published a new book about ski resort operations which I think will be of interest to some of you. It's a behind-the-scenes look at how ski resorts really run, covering senior management, grooming, snowmaking, patrol, lift maintenance, basic metrics, and more. "Day-in-the-life" narratives combine with real-world anecdotes from industry pros to keep things lively. It's geared mainly toward passionate & curious skiers, and anyone thinking about a career in the industry. Though I hope it will provide an interesting perspective for folks in the industry as well.

Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981700773/ (ebook also available, but not linked with the paperback yet - see http://a.co/ctm1CPp )

It was a joy to write about my passion for the ski industry, so I hope it's also a joy to read!


From the "Back of the Book:"

Ever wonder what it's like to operate a snowcat, or even run the whole show as a ski resort General Manager? Snowguns Before Sunrise will let you in on the secrets as you walk,and ski, in the shoes of ski industry insiders to see what really goes on behind the scenes. Complete with job descriptions, "a-day-in-the-life-of"details, and anecdotes from industry professionals, you'll discover everything you wanted to know, and then some, about the inner workings of a ski resort. Get a glimpse of the complexity of the ski operation and its many moving parts, and explore the mystique of working in the mountains for the sake of skiing. Learn the metrics by which a ski area measures success, and read about the"unsung heroes" behind the scenes. Every other business venture is made boring in the shadow of the ski industry. Whether you're a curious skier,an industry professional, or you're thinking about a career in the ski industry, Snowguns Before Sunrise is your insider's guide.

Comments

  • bmwskierbmwskier expert
    Posts: 522
    I'll put it on the Xmas list, Pat. Thanks! What areas did you base  your book on? 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 2,245
    Wow $15 that's cheap enough, I'm in

    Just paid $35 for my Milepost
  • patrick_torsellpatrick_torsell intermediate
    Posts: 25
    bmwskier said:

    I'll put it on the Xmas list, Pat. Thanks! What areas did you base  your book on? 

    It's not based specifically on any particular ski area(s). Of course, it's "informed" by my own experiences, mostly at Sugarbush, VT, and Ski Cooper, CO. However, I also grew up in the industry, and unique perspective of having hung around with a ski area GM since before I could walk, plus studying ski area operations at CMC. So it's more a distillation from a variety of areas rather than being based on any particular area.
  • patrick_torsellpatrick_torsell intermediate
    Posts: 25
    ciscokid said:

    Wow $15 that's cheap enough, I'm in

    Just paid $35 for my Milepost

    Let me know what you think! And, of course, feel free to leave an honest review on Amazon. The more reviews the better, or so I'm told...
  • bmwskierbmwskier expert
    Posts: 522
    When were you at Sugarbush? I volly patrol there-- 8-43. 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • patrick_torsellpatrick_torsell intermediate
    Posts: 25
    bmwskier said:

    When were you at Sugarbush? I volly patrol there-- 8-43. 

    '07-'11. I worked in a bunch of departments, but my grooming number, 5-11, stuck
  • bmwskierbmwskier expert
    Posts: 522
    "5-11 on gate house to patrol-- I need an escort back to the barn.." 
    "North Lynx copies..." 

    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • patrick_torsellpatrick_torsell intermediate
    Posts: 25
    bmwskier said:

    "5-11 on gate house to patrol-- I need an escort back to the barn.." 

    "North Lynx copies..." 

    Indeed. Though, admittedly, at night we were a bit more relaxed with radio numbers. The conversations were more like: "Hey Larry, I'm gettin' out to hook up my winch. Oh, and did you see the Pats game last night?" ;)
  • bmwskierbmwskier expert
    Posts: 522
    I missed a chance to apply to drive the Lincoln Limo this year. That would've been fun, but Mrs. Bmwskier wasnt jazzed with the idea of me being up all hours of the night at the mountain. 

    I'll make sure to order the book. How was the college program you did in Colorado? I used to work in CTE here in Vermont and tried desperately for a school to have a concentration in SAM. Areas are losing skilled workers-- Sugarbush has been looking for a full time lift mechanic for years now but no one was interested in doing such a program. I guess they see ski areas as seasonal employees only. 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    edited December 2017 Posts: 2,245
    Wonder if anyone here on board working in the biz ever went to the ski area management college in Ironwood Mich?

    Many of us would enjoy second semester - ski lift design
    Who wants to go back to school?
    https://www.gogebic.edu/programs/skiareamanagement.html
  • patrick_torsellpatrick_torsell intermediate
    Posts: 25
    bmwskier said:

    I missed a chance to apply to drive the Lincoln Limo this year. That would've been fun, but Mrs. Bmwskier wasnt jazzed with the idea of me being up all hours of the night at the mountain. 


    I'll make sure to order the book. How was the college program you did in Colorado? I used to work in CTE here in Vermont and tried desperately for a school to have a concentration in SAM. Areas are losing skilled workers-- Sugarbush has been looking for a full time lift mechanic for years now but no one was interested in doing such a program. I guess they see ski areas as seasonal employees only. 
    The CMC program was very good, from an operations standpoint. It doesn't cover too much in the way of management/administration. But I'm very glad to have gone that route. As with most programs, you get out of it what you put into it. The professors are good, and if you make an effort and show a bit of initiative, you can get a lot from these programs.


    ciscokid said:

    Wonder if anyone here on board working in the biz ever went to the ski area management college in Ironwood Mich?

    Many of us would enjoy second semester - ski lift design
    Who wants to go back to school?
    https://www.gogebic.edu/programs/skiareamanagement.html

    One of the current professors at CMC, Jason Gusaas, is a Gogebic grad. He has a little cameo in the book with a story from his time in the U.P.
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