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Q&A with Colorado Ski Country’s Jennifer Rudolph


By: Stefen Lovelace
January 24, 2012

For the winter sports fan, this year Christmas came a month late. This week two of the biggest events of the Winter Sports season take place, and those fans that love the snow won’t be disappointed. From Jan. 26 – 29, the annual Winter X Gamestake place in Aspen, Colo.

Coinciding with those games is the largest winter sports trade show in the world, the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show. The Snow Show is from Jan. 26 – 29 in Denver, and brings together the latest trends, innovations, product lines and styles from the most popular winter sports brands in the world.

Colorado Ski Country USA is one of the sponsors of the Snow Show and represents 22 resorts. IMRESportsIQ spoke with Colorado Ski Country USA Communications Director Jennifer Rudolph about the show, the behaviors of the winter sports fan, engaging with fans socially, and more.

SL – The SIA Snow Show is this week and I know Colorado Ski Country will have a major presence at the show. Talk about your partnership with the trade show and why is this show important for winter sports and your company in specific?

JR – We work with SIA and VISIT DENVER to host the thousands of winter sport industry reps and enthusiasts who come to Colorado for the Snow Show. It’s a partnership where we help promote the show and generate buzz around it.

The SIA show is the one time a year when the majority of ski, snowboard, and winter equipment and apparel companies come together with retailers, and they conduct their sales for the season ahead. There’s a lot of buying and selling and business being conducted. For a long time, the SIA tradeshow, which is officially called the Snow Show, was held in Las Vegas. It was time for the show to move somewhere else and Colorado Ski Country and VISIT DENVER, worked together to pitch SIA to come to Colorado. This will be the third year that the Snow Show will be in Denver with the on-snow demo at Winter Park and Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

It’s important to Colorado Ski Country to have the show here because it further underscores that Colorado is the epicenter for the ski industry. It’s a natural fit to have such a prestigious winter-focused trade show in Colorado as well. When the SIA show is happening in Denver, it coincides with the X Games in Aspen, one of our member resorts. This week is the convergence of all things snow-related happening in Colorado making it the apex of winter sports.

SL – With the lack of true winter conditions thus far this year, what are you doing from a marketing standpoint to increase participation amongst winter sports fans at your resorts?

JR – It’s definitely been a challenge this season to get the word out about the conditions. We want to remain realistic, but we also need to dispel some of the negativity about the conditions at our resorts. We’ve been working a lot on our social media channels and with the national media to get the message out to various different audiences that Colorado is open for skiing and riding, that our resorts have better conditions than most of the country, and our guests are able to enjoy themselves.

On a national level, for the most part it’s been good. We’ve talked to every national reporter that we had an opportunity to and tried to be a part of the story, to use it as a platform for our messages. One example of what we did was during the NFL playoffs, when the Denver Broncos were in the Wild Card game (on Jan. 8), we worked with one of our member resorts, Loveland, to get some skiing footage to be shown on the air during the national televised game. Part of it was timing – because it was snowing in the mountains heavily at that time – and we were able to capitalize on that and show some nice ski footage.

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