I visited SnowBomb’s San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Festival yesterday thanks to a couple of free tickets courtesy of Epic Ski (a nice “Supporter” benefit with the catch being I write a report about the festival). Each admission ticket allows a visitor to receive vouchers for three free lift tickets (Bear Valley, China Peak and Dodge Ridge), several 2 for 1 Nov./Dec. specials (Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak, Homewood, Sierra at Tahoe and Squaw), plus an unadvertised “two for one” at San Francisco Bay area Chipolte’s This event is followed by the Silicon Valley Ski & Snowboard Festival next weekend at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and a third festival scheduled in Sacramento. The regular cost of admission is $20, with the VIP admission priced at $40. For the extra $20 the VIP admission includes wine or beer tasting plus a two night Grand Sierra Resort stay. Many of the attendees received free admission, a benefit of their previously purchased Snow Bomb Tahoe Card (which includes four free lift tickets).
The Ski Fest consists of crowds clamoring for discounted prices on equipment and clothing (mostly previous years inventory from Lombardi Sports and Any Mountain), seeking information from many exhibitors (entertainment, equipment, resort and travel), tasting fermentations from a generous number of vineyards and micro breweries at the Wine and Brew Expo, autograph hunting, watching various forms of entertainment, and staying for the 8:00 PM movie premiers of One For the Road & Attack of La Niña.
The festival’s sponsors deliver what they promise. During my visit the the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavillion was busy. The exhibitors were plentiful, beer was flowing at the Brew Expo, and the attendees received great information. Even my eight year old got a bag full of free stuff, a bunch of stickers, a free T-shirt, and an autographed poster from Daron Rahlves. I received great product and resort information, spoke with several CEOs, and scored free lift tickets to a well know ski area simply because the resort rep heard me tell some guy why he should ski there.
This is financially a win-win event assuming every visitor uses only one of their free or discounted lift tickets. Such a deal!
Here are a few photos of the fun:
The exhibition hall was busy from the moment the event opened at 11:00 AM.
Former Olympian (alpine and ski cross) and current freerider Daron Rahlves was busy signing posters. He is a spokesperson for Sugar Bowl where there is a run named after him. He also designs and tests equipment for Atomic, and was enthusiastic about a new AT binding that will be out next year. Besides being loyal to his sponsors, he seemed humble and was generous with advice for those who asked him questions. Below is a young man who was thrilled to meet his skiing hero.
Here I am with Joel Loane, the CEO of the Skier’s Edge. He manufactures a highly acclaimed training device used by both racers and recreational skiers. I tried a device similar to the one used by top racers, and now want one since it tired my legs so quickly.
The micro-brewers were placed throughout the hall. Here are some attendees getting ready to taste some of the regions finest beers and ales.
The long lines were gone 2 1/2 hours after opening and replaced with a steady flow of participants.
Note: All of the “free” lift tickets have restrictions. Plan on hitting the slopes before the December holiday season and there should be no problems.
Edited by quant2325 - 11/7/11 at 7:20pm