SAM Summer Ops 2019 Recap

SAM Summer OPS is not your typical conference. Bringing together decision makers and leaders from ski and snowboard resorts, Summer Ops ditches the traditional conference room and exhibit hall format and replaces it with in-depth discussion, social networking, and hands-on learning.  With a laser focus on summer activities for ski and snowboard operators, the annual Summer Ops Camp convenes at locations with access to high concentrations of summer attractions.

This years Summer Ops Camp was held over three days in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with nine different attractions on the agenda. Lift-assisted mountain biking trails, mountain coasters, zip lines, frisbee golf, UTV tours, and aerial adventure parks are some of the hot ticket items that resorts are investing in and Gatlinburg features some of the newest mountain-based attractions within a short distance of one another. Challenge Towers Director of Training, Joel McCombs joined operators and vendors from across the US to discuss serious business in this relaxed atmosphere.  

“It’s really not your standard industry gathering and I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with operators and other vendors in an environment outside the traditional conference format”, said McCombs of his experience at Summer Ops.  “I loved the social and activity-based segments of the Camp and got a really good sense of the facility and operational support needs of resort operators. I got to be a participant along with other Campers on some of Gatlinburg’s cutting edge attractions while representing the wide range of professional services Challenge Towers offers.”

For ski and snowboard resorts, summer operations transform what has traditionally been a seasonal business into a year round destination for family fun and adventure. An increasingly critical source of revenue, summer attractions are big business for this tight-knit group. Different from many challenge course and aerial park operators, resorts enjoy far more resources to manage and maintain aerial facilities.  Events like SAM Summer Ops provides focused insight that helps Challenge Towers understand and target our services around the needs of resort operators looking for new and innovative attractions, specially designed trainings, in-depth facility inspections, and comprehensive maintenance and repairs.  

Sam Summer Ops makes business personal and opens the door for genuine dialog between operators, industry experts, and top summer attraction vendors. The hands-on experiences break down barriers and gives attendees a common point of reference to share their needs, knowledge, and experience. When we asked Joel if Challenge Towers would be attending SAM Summer OPS again, he responded with a confident “No question!”