Somewhere around 900 sales and marketing executives from tour and travel agencies, resort lodging properties and associations, airlines, ski clubs and councils, and mountain resorts from across the alpine world get down to hard knuckle negotiations April 15-22 at the Resort at Squaw Creek at Squaw Valley, Calif.
The annual Mountain Travel Symposium rolls out for the 37th year and is considered the industry’s largest and most serious marketplace for contracting and networking. The end result is the prices you will pay for mountain resort travel during the 2012-13 ski season start to get determined here. This is the second time MTS has been held at Squaw Valley.
“We are so glad to welcome MTS back to Squaw,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley. “These are truly transformative times for the resort and we are looking forward to showcasing our most recent improvements and expanded dining and amenities with all the MTS participants.”
The first two days of the conference are billed as a Trade Exchange. Buyers and sellers negotiate in continuous “by appointment” sessions. The final two days are when ski clubs and council representatives negotiate their next year’s trips by resorts and tour agencies.
The middle two days of the MTS session, April 18-19, are given over to a very popular feature known as the Forum. Presentations will be made by Ralf Garrison, of the Mountain Travel Research Program; a panel on the business of Mountain Travel including chief marketing officers from Vail Resorts, Intrawest, and Visit Florida; Carl Sparks, Travelocity CEO; a hard look at social marketing from representatives of Groupon, Living Social Escapes and Wyndham Vacation Rentals; and Alison Levine, team captain of the first American women’s expedition to Mount Everest.
What It Means: Talk about an event that will directly affect your wallet. This is it. What will a down ski season mean to pricing for next year. We’ll find out soon. SnoCountry.com will be front and center at the Trade Exchange. Stop by our booth and say hello if you will be there, too.