We are Motivated!

Skiing is the quintessential lifestyle activity….and we LOVE IT!

If you’ve had the privilege of skiing and riding in your youth, odds are you’re addicted for life. The mountain life is the perfect mix of serenity and sex appeal! Warren Miller knew it, and we know it.  We’re in!

Unfortunately Houston, we have a problem.  You see the industry has been trucking along at the status quo for decades and is experiencing a flatline.  The population of aging skiers is greater than the influx of new enthusiast. In short the industry is in dire need of a facelift. In fact the last time anything truly game-changing happened to the industry was when Jake Burton brought snowboarding to the scene in the late 1970s. 

Well we are motivated to push a new level of excitement onto the mountain.

What is our motivation?

Anyone that’s been bitten by the snow bug can share powder stories infinitum and we are no different.  We are on a course to change the industry…or better yet, save the industry.  There are plenty of monumental reasons for change…how about a greater force for fighting climate change, or a growing population of inactive youth, and then there is independent ski areas falling into darkness.We have set out to build a platform that not only solves very real challenges, but facilitates a conversation for improvement.

What got us started?

It was actually an article published by Wired back in December of 2012 that helped us find the path.  A guy named Roberto Baldwin was writing for Wired at the time and put out the article “Skiing needs a Surfline”.  At the time Surfline was a pay-per-call surf report line created back in 1985 by Jerry Arnold. Basically he paid a whole bunch of surf loving fanatics to phone in their local surf breaks to the main office every morning at dawn.  Shortly after launch it was a big success with like 6000 calls a day in its first month. Today Surfline is the world’s largest provider of live coastal cameras, streaming webcasts, photos etc.. Surfline is a great example of a sharing community wanting to improve the lifestyle they love.

Roberto shared his opinion on how webcams that watch skiers dismount the lift would not offer much about current current run conditions, and went on to explain that a sharing model like Surfline was needed to bring the snow rider and ski industry together.  His opinion was that the current disconnect between ski areas meant that the only way to unite skiers and riders was through the innovation of a third-party company..so in an effort to unite our love of snow and the alpine lifestyle that is the road we’re taking.

What makes our model unique?

Surf spots around the globe have a very “Locals Only” mentality, which is similar to the community pride we’ve seen in and around ski areas; every year Powder Magazine has the “Ski Town Throwdown” which is a great example of that community pride and willingness to band together for a local cause.  Everyone votes in the hopes of propelling their local area into stardom, which is a great example of community pride; much like the Final Four bracket for Alpine Communities.

Along those lines we had to find a way to engineer a platform that allows for collaboration by all,  yet maintains a unique local, geographically-bound aspect, keeping each ski area, each member, very much a part of the local community they engage. This is how the Basecamp model comes into play. Basecamp is the alpine community where you and yours get the bulk of you runs. The ski where you know every face in the village; to us that’s Basecamp.  

What’s our Mantra?

Tools-Not-Toys – We consider cold fingers every step of the way and we want every interaction on the mobile to be useful and purposeful.  You won’t find pins, badges, challenges or global leaderboards. What you will find is tracking features which allow Individuals, Ski Clubs, and mountain teams to compare and analyze aggregated activity tracking over time.  

In building our tools we had to set some clear guidelines. First no licensed content, which is why you find any standard weather forecasting (there are plenty of forecasting apps out there to choose from). Instead what you will find is Snopinion; geographically-verified real-time crowd-sourced ski and snow condition. At the top of a ski area the weather changes within minutes, not hours, so we wanted a feature to provide real-time conditions from our proactive friends and neighbors actually on the hill.  In our opinion all of those snow reports found online should actually be coming from Ski Patrol; after all aren’t they the ones that have actually had the proper training avalanche conditions? We’re gonna try and help make that happen. 

What other tools do we currently have available?

There’s also a single touch Ski Patrol icon up there.  Most ski areas don’t have a direct Ski Patrol phone number, unfortunately, so in that case we will contact Guest Services instead, which hopefully can help. Anyway it’s just another tool in the toolbox. Written Pre-Skiage

Probably the more requested tool in the app thus far is the locator map.  It’s always more fun to ski with friends and family so we’re letting you know where they are on the hill.  We don’t want this to be a stalking app so we only push your location while physically at the ski area.

What does our roadmap look like?

Well it’s extensive.  We’re developing some things that are definitely gonna rattle the status quo. We’ve got some very unique proprietary tools in development but for now we’re gonna continue to work out kinks on the core and see how our beta users feel about the direction.  

It would be so easy to go after it too quickly. There are so many things that we could do, or want to do, but for now we’re just dip our toes in the snow to see what happens. Mastering this platform will be no small task..it’s potential is big, very big, and we’re just getting rolling…We’re in it for the long haul.  We love the Alpine Lifestyle, we want to innovate for everyone that has the same passion as we do.

How can I get involved?

Love where your heads at!  Drop us a line and we’ll talk.  team[at]snosuite[dot]com