2011- How good a season was it?

Recently I attended a meeting of the Metro New York Ski Council. Of the over 75 ski clubs that are members, about 20 we represented that night. Pretty much every single club lamented on how little skiing they did this season. There was just no snow. As most members agreed that night, it was just “crappy.”

Well, Spring is finally here—and, the 2011/12 “Season That Wasn't” has come to an end. Sure we didn't get as much skiing in this year as we wanted. Mother Nature just didn't have it in the stars for us.

But it was a key season for Westchester Skiers & Riders as a club. We did three big things that we had never done in our seven year history.

First of all, as you know, we launched this very website—leaving our original online home of Meetup.com and establishing ourselves as a true independent ski club. Westchesterskiers.org is probably the most technologically advanced social club website of its kind in the New York Metro area. Not only is off-slope participation possible completely through the website alone, but later in the season we added a  Live Chat function that will, going forward, allow every member to participate in our plans from the comfort of their very own chair.

The second thing we did was (finally!) get our official WSR Membership cards. These are unlike the ordinary cards  most ski clubs use—printed paper cards that get wet, wrinkled, and aged. We once again exemplified the quality Westchester County club that we want to be—with plastic credit card style membership cards adorned with our logo and coated in a “snow” frosted finish. (If you haven't gotten yours yet, do it soon… and remember, these cards are for bona fide, fully paid WSR members only.)

Probably the biggest thing we've done this season—albeit at the close of March, was related to our WSR membership cards. More specifically, the sticker that will be going on them every season going forward. This past month, we were able to begin our membership with the Metro NY Ski Council. The MNYSC opens up a whole new world to us and was a huge step. We are now a bona fide member club(!) and will be able to take advantage of more trips, resort Appreciation Days, industry discounts and specials, and better planning options. With membership in the Council, we'll be part of a fraternity of scores of ski clubs around the Northeast where we'll be able to participate, learn, and take advantage of some fantastic skiing discounts that the power of numbers bring.

I guess you can add an extra “bonus” item or two to our list of achievements for this season:

This month, we also had representation at a ski industry trade show, PRW. This is exclusively for established ski clubs and is an exhibition by every major resort. It's a unique chance to meet the reps that we work with throughout the season, get special show pricing on trip packages, attend trip planning seminars with the industry's top reps, and find out about great options for our trip calendars. It was a blast and we'll be there again next year.

Plus, this year we decided to expand our leadership beyond just an Organizer. I was proud to name trusted members Rachel Goldstein and Rich Mead as part of an Advisory Board of our organization going forward. Rich will help in trip planning and advice (he's a long time member of several ski clubs from here to Vermont!), And Rachel will be coordinating some fun summer events. Both are great people, avid snowsports lovers, and I look forward to working more closely with them as we get set for 2012/13.

What will next season bring? Lots of new things, and lots of excitement. Plans for an Alaskan adventure. More new members, and more organizational growth as we establish ourselves as THE preeminent snowsports club for our beloved area.

As always, you know WSR for being a ski club that evolves every year. And we thank you for being part of our growth with that. Sometimes it takes patience. Sometimes it takes getting out your skis and getting on the slopes.

I'm sure we'll able to do more of the latter this coming season!

Tony P

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