Seasonal Shift: Associations Partner to Promote Year-Round Mountain Recreation

The Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors has teamed up with the International Mountain Bicycling Association in an effort to engage their community of outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year.

Ski slopes don’t need to be covered with that white, fluffy substance to provide countless hours of entertainment to resort goers and outdoor adventurists. Since the passage of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act in 2011, more and more resorts are keeping their lifts open as winter turns to summer.

The measure revised a 1986 law that pertained to the operation of ski areas on national forests, clarifying that the U.S. Forest Service could authorize year-round recreational activities where appropriate. In short, it enabled lovers of the great outdoors to trade in their skis and snowboards for mountain bikes.

That presented a unique opportunity for the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). The two associations announced last week that they will partner up to promote year-round outdoor recreation.

One result of the mountain biking boom at ski resorts—aside from awesome videos like the one below—has been an increase in the number of employment opportunities for seasonal workers at resorts, including instructors for skiing, snowboarding, and now mountain biking.

“This is great news for outdoor industry professionals—especially those who teach mountain biking and skiing and snowboarding,” Mark Dorsey, FASAE, CAE, executive director and CEO of PSIA-AASI, said in a statement. “Our two associations share the same goals, many of the same members, and have a singular focus on safely and effectively growing participation in mountain-based outdoor sports.”

Through the partnership, PSIA-AASI and IMBA will exchange information and share content to learn from one another and improve training programs. Initially, the groups plan to identify ways to cross-promote their respective instructor certification programs and engage the broader community of instructors.

“By partnering with PSIA-AASI, we can continue to enhance how we train and certify mountain bike instructors, and look at new ways our associations can speak to outdoor recreationalists year-round,” Rich Cook, director of development at IMBA, said in the statement.

The partnership will also allow the associations to share published survey data, connect their leaders, and identify instructors common to both PSIA-AASI and IMBA. The groups will publish and share relevant media and survey members to see where potential overlaps exist in certification, instruction, and ongoing education.

There's room for both biking and snowboarding on this mountain. (Purestock/Thinkstock)

Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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