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SnowCon2023: A Look Behind the Snow

If you were skiing or riding at a CSCUSA member resort on April 4th, 5th, or 6th, you were likely carving turns or hitting features on a slope that our 41st annual Snow Conference attendees had a hand in making funner, faster, smoother, slicker.

Every year, in April, CSCUSA hosts the annual Snowmaking & Slope Maintenance Conference & Trade Show. The event attracts groomers, snowmakers, terrain park specialists, and industry professionals from across Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West for a trade show, workshops and seminars, organized and impromptu networking, and an awards banquet recognizing top performers at our member resorts in three categories: Snowmaker of the Year, Groomer of the Year, and Terrain Specialist of the Year.

This year’s Snow Globe finalists included 40+-year veteran Mark Gressett, a groomer at Aspen Snowmass; Winter Park snowmaker James Schold, whose brightly-colored hair makes him a stylish standout in a world of winter white; and Phoebe Shaw of Sunlight Mountain who stepped into the, er… sunlight when she stepped up and took on the task of reviving the resort’s terrain park. All three were featured in a piece by Cory Reppenhagen, 9NEWS weather reporter and this year’s opening session speaker.

Mark, James, and Phoebe represent the tip of the, mmm… iceberg when it comes to Colorado Ski Country USA, which, in our humble opinion, boasts the best skiing and riding, on the best runs, in the best snow, thanks in large part to ski industry folks just like them. And while the average snow sport enthusiast may not give much thought to how their favorite run came to be their favorite run, CSCUSA is honored to be able to bestow recognition on a yearly crop of outstanding performers.

This year was no different, with a the field of nominees was, umm… as wide as our classic Colorado bowls and as deep as the 2023 snow totals. They were:

In the category of Groomer of the Year…

❄️ James “Jimbob” Arnold, Slope Maintenance Foreman, Copper Mountain Resort | finalist

❄️ Danny Bagley, Snow Cat Operator, Sunlight Mountain Resort

❄️ Mark Gressett, Lead Operator, Aspen Snowmass | finalist

❄️ Tom Lobdell, Grooming Supervisor, Winter Park Resort

❄️ Trevor Mathes, Slopes Maintenance Manager, Arapahoe Basin

❄️ David “Baker” Stidger, Grooming Foreman, Telluride Ski Resort

In the category of Snowmaker of the Year…

❄️ Charley Bovee, Controller, Aspen Snowmass | finalist

❄️ Gabriel Hodge, Snowmaker–Level 3, Copper Mountain | finalist

❄️ Kreyton Lane, Snowmaker, Sunlight Mountain Resort

❄️ Jenna Lechowicz, Snowmaking Foreman, Steamboat Ski Resort

❄️ Christian Metzelaars, Snowmaking Foreman, Eldora Mountain Ski Resort

❄️ Jonathan Mika, Controller Lead, Aspen Skiing Company

❄️ James Schold, Snowmaker, Winter Park Resort

❄️ James Tierney, Grooming Supervisor, Steamboat Ski Resort

And in the category of Terrain Park Specialist of the Year…

❄️ John Asta, Terrain Park Groomer, Steamboat Ski Resort | finalist

❄️ Jake Halvorsen, Snowcat Shift Lead, Woodward Copper

❄️ Phoebe Shaw, Terrain Park Supervisor, Sunlight Mountain Resort | finalist

Congratulations to all of our nominees and to our finalists. We literally couldn’t do it without you.