The Gold Pass is the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation's largest annual fundraising program, raising close to $4 million dollars each year towards athletic programing. It is an incredible program that allows donors to support the team and ski the slopes all winter long. This program would not be possible without our partnership with the National Ski Area's Association. The National Ski Area's Association (NSAA) is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 324 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of skier and snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 472 supplier members who provide equipment, goods and services to the mountain resort industry.
So how does this impact the Gold Pass Program? In simple terms, NSAA is the glue that keeps us all together. They forge partnerships on behalf of U.S. Ski & Snowboard with each of the 250 resorts who support U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation's Gold Pass Program. It is through these partnerships that the Gold Pass program and the funding for our athletes becomes a reality.
This past week NSAA hosted their annual trade show and convention in San Francisco. Talk about a bunch of snow, ski and gear loving mountain people coming together for three days! The U.S. Ski & Snowboard was fortunate to have a booth during the show and had Mikaela Shiffrin, our Gold Pass Girl, and Ted Ligety join us there. Mikaela even opened up the convention with a key note addressing the industry.
At our booth, U.S. Ski & Snowboard made a rather large announcement; the Team has entered into an agreement with NASTAR to raise the profile of ski racing. Under this agreement, the U.S. Ski Team will assume operational control of NASTAR. This integration with NASTAR is designed to capitalize on the global success of U.S. Ski Team athletes, bringing greater awareness to the sport and value to the industry, while motivating participants of all ages to get involved in ski racing. Olympic Champion, "NASTAR is where most ski racer in America, including myself, were introduced to the thrill of going fast and competing on skis, by challenging our friends and family on the course,” said Olympic Champion Ted Ligety, who was in San Francisco to participate in the announcement.
Gold Pass, NASTAR, San Francisco...it was an exciting week to be involved in the organization. Stay tuned throughout the year for more Gold Pass updates!