The Ski Channel Announces The First Annual “SNOWBIZ 250”

The Top 250 Most Influential People In US Snowsports For The 2009/2010 Season

Denver, CO (January 28th, 2010) – Steve Bellamy, Chairman and CEO of The Ski Channel announced today at the SnowSports Industry Americas’ SIA Snow Show that the network has launched its first annual “SNOWBIZ 250.” It’s a list of the most influential people in snowsports for the 2009/2010 ski and snowboard season. The comprehensive list includes athletes, agents, resort owners and executives, retailers, manufacturing executives, doctors, coaches, mayors, governors, filmmakers, publishers, editors, writers, network executives, and numerous other influential figures in the snowsports industry.

This year, athletes scored high, as two tied for first place as the most influential people in the industry. Lindsey Vonn, the World Cup Champion gives America great hope to win Gold Medals in Vancouver and is an unmatched media darling right now. Shaun White is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, a tremendously decorated snowboard champion as well as a cottage industry by himself. Last place or #250 went to Soldier Mountain owner and actor Bruce Willis. You can view the list online by clicking

To build the “Snowbiz 250,” over 30 people in the industry contributed to research, writing bios, designing graphics, developing code, and ranking the list. To keep the results free from bias, no one who ultimately had a say in the actual ranking order was included on the list nor was anyone from The Ski Channel placed on the list.

The list was filled with obvious snowsport powerhouses as well as some not so obvious. Jon Huntsman, the Utah Governor who 12-folded their tourism budget and relaxed antiquated liquor laws made the list. Dr. Richard Stedman the prestigious knee surgeon from Vail, Colorado is on. Scott Keogh, the Audi Exec who masterminded the masterpiece documentary film – Truth In Motion made the list. Robert Redford made the list due to the impact of the Sundance Film Festival and his Sundance Ski Resort. There was one posthumous entry – the late, great Shane McConkey who passed this past year in a ski-base jumping accident in the Dolomites.

“We did this to recognize those who help grow the industry on a daily basis and to hopefully inspire others to be more innovative, impactful and influential this next year,” said Bellamy. “Although we made the process as democratic and scientific as possible, the list still relied on opinion and subjectivity and isn’t completely perfect. There had to be at least 100 people who were absolutely worthy, but just didn’t make it in the top 250. Also, there were likely a few completely deserved people who the entire group just missed.”

The list started out at over 700 people and was whittled down to 275 with over 30-industry experts’ opinions. The top 275 were scored by 5 experts in categories including candidates influence on money changing hands, facilitating media attention to the industry, their stature within the industry, respect within the industry, current relevancy, etc… Points were awarded in the various categories and then tallied by a formula designed to factor out bias.

“It was crystal clear that some raters had bias for their own industry discipline,” said Bellamy. “Athletes thought athletes were the most influential. Manufacturers thought manufacturers were the most influential. Members of the media thought their colleagues were the most influential. We did a good job of neutralizing bias by the way we did the final tally, and we have a reasonably accurate final product.”

The Ski Channel is an original, free, ad supported television network delivered on cable, satellite and IPTV services, web, wireless and other means of distribution. Its distribution partners include Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Cox, Cablevision, Dish Network, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Brighthouse and RCN. It is the only television network devoted to the wide variety of year round mountain activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing, etc, along with many off-slope activities. The Ski Channels’ content will inspire and inform audiences with magazine shows, movies, events, news, weather and programs that focus on destination travel, equipment, instruction and real estate.