Spokane's "Ski the Northwest Rockies" Snow Show is a great event.

It brings together legions of local skiers and acts as a great kickoff

to the ski season. If offers a great place to go pick up your season

pass or just wander around looking for free swag. But that's not to say

it cannot be improved.

The one-day event only

showcases a small portion of the vast skiing and snowboarding industry.

Significantly, it never completely fills up with exhibitors. And it

takes place in one of the smaller Spokane Convention Center ballrooms

-- the smallest venue it has ever been located in. It may be a great

local show, but by no means does it compare to the SIA Snow Show in Las

Vegas (next year in Denver). But it will never be that size. But it is

a reasonable goal to shoot for a ski show the size of Seattle's

SkiFever Snow Show.

It's time to improve the

Spokane Snow Show for the greater Spokane region. We've got five great

ski resorts, including one world-class one -- Schweitzer, two

regional-class ones -- Silver and 49, and two smaller local ones -- Mt.

Spokane and Lookout. The Spokane region has roughly 80,000-120,000

unique skiers. However, a good ski show would draw skiers from as far

away as Seattle, Missoula and Boise -- but only if it promised to be

good enough.

In order to increase the amount

of exhibitors, we'll need to move the Snow Show into a new location.

The ideal choice would be the Spokane Convention Center downtown -- the

old one. This way it is close to the INB Performing Arts Center for

movie premieres. Plenty of space and room for growth.

The

second thing on the list would be to actually add exhibitors. In order

to reach the most potential skiers, you would have to include a wide

variety of exhibitors. For best results, INSA should focus on reaching

the following exhibitors:

LINE Skis

K2 Skis/Snowboard/Telemark

Armada Skis

4FRNT Skis

686

Atomic

Billabong USA

Bern Helmets

Bolle

Smith Optics

Bonfire Snowboarding

Burton

Marker

Salomon

Patagonia

O'Neill

Quiksilver

Ride Snowboards

Scott USA

Sessions

Skullcandy

Spy Optic

The North Face

While not all of these manufacturers will sign on, many will if the Snow Show is correctly marketed.

In

addition to ski/board manufacturers, INSA should also look at

attracting new resorts to the Snow Show. Resorts should be within the

immediate area -- Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, etc.

Whitefish Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort

Stevens Pass

Mt. Bachelor

White Pass Mountain Resort

Willamette Pass Mountain Resort

Tamarack Resort*

Big Sky

etc.

Now,

the final step will be to move the dates for the show back slightly.

For 2009, my recommendation would be to hold the show November 13-15.

Finally,

what do we charge people to get into the show? Considering factors such

as the venue, the potential exhibitors, etc., a cost of $20 would not

be unreasonable. Sponsorships (including title sponsorships) could

defray much of the cost and bring it down to roughly $10.

Of course, that's if it happens; this is simply a wishlist for an improved Spokane Snow Show.


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