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DRAFT Minutes of the Fall 2009 Blue Ridge Ski Council Meeting

Location:  Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tysons, VA. October 17, 2009

Host Club:  Ski Club of Washington DC (SCWDC)

Attendees: List

Call to Order

President Wayne Homens called the meeting to order at 9:00 am welcoming 30 representatives from 12 member clubs plus the following tour operators: Dan Ellis, Winter Ski and Sport; Judy Miller, Group Trips Unlimited; Effie Rubinstein, Sportours of New Jersey, and Dorothea Rasser, Ski Europe.

Spring 2009 Minutes  

A motion to approve the Spring BRSC meeting minutes was made by Frank Peñaranda (PSAC), seconded by Livingston Johnson (SCWDC) and approved.


Date & Host for Spring 2010 BRSC Meeting


St. Mary’s Ski Club will host the next meeting on the weekend of May 15/16, 2010 at the Holiday Inn, Solomons Island, MD (contingent on availability) with the official meeting being on Sunday.  2nd choice is the following weekend, May 22/23, 2010.

Executive Committee Reports

Treasurer’s Report:

Treasurer Steve Peirce presented the balance sheet of income and expenses.  The current total BRSC checking plus savings amount balance is ~$20,000.  Peter Porton requested to pay BRSC’s back dues to the National Ski Federation and Wayne mentioned that there is no reason to build more base capital at this time.  A motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report was made by Bill Johnston, seconded by (unknown) and approved unanimously.  The Treasurer's Report is available on this link.


Membership List and Paid Dues Update:   Wayne asked attendees to verify their contact information on the BRSC club membership list and reminded delinquent clubs to pay their dues: 15 cents per member; $5 minimum/$35 maximum per club, payable at the Spring meeting each year or NLT the Fall meeting.


Race Report:   Dave Olsen, BRSC Race Coordinator, presented race rules and registration procedures (available on this link) for the February 2010 Western Carnival at Lake Tahoe.  A motion to approve the rules was made by Livingston Johnson, seconded by Pat Crowley and approved unanimously.


Tour Operator Default:   Jerry Poley asked if BRSC had established a way to determine the financial stability of tour operators.  Wayne’s research on this subject revealed that it would cost $600 per month to receive credit scores, and that there is no guarantee for the accuracy or currency of the information.   Trip Coordinators are encouraged to follow up on payments to tour operators, making sure receipt of funds is acknowledged by resort vendors.  Sue Miller, SCWDC recommended to deal with no more than five tour operators and to ask for a short financial statement to be included in the bid request.  Molly Hochman, Columbia Ski Club, suggested validating the status of vendors with state tourism offices.


Standing Committee Reports


Trip Sanctioning:   It was mentioned again that individual clubs should include a link to BRSC sanctioned trips on their websites to gain more trip participants without members paying additional membership fees.  Webmaster Frank Peñaranda  emphasized the importance of having a link on trip flyers to your own club’s homepage.  How do you validate the membership status of participants from other BRSC clubs?  It is the responsibility of trip leaders to confirm membership by contacting the membership chairperson of the club that the participant says they belong to.  Dave Olsen is working to add Membership Chair contact information for each club on the club e-mail list that he maintains.



Frank reported that 20 clubs have sanctioned their club trips for a total of 54 ski trips so far.  He invited clubs to use the trip sanctioning process:  Send the $10 sanctioning fee to the BRSC treasurer, and then submit the particulars to the BRSC President for approval, including the link to the trip flyer.  Make sure Trip Captains’ contact information and club website link are on the flyer.  Wayne commended Frank for his efforts of immediately posting trips after the approval process. View Webmasters Report


Old Business

2010 Trips

Eurofest Bormio, Italy, March 6 – 14

Peter Porton, BRSC Trip Coordinator, reported participation of 6 clubs so far with 131 guests. What makes Bormio so popular compared to the previous Eurofest?  As Peter explained it is the accommodations with three meals a day, Olympic ski slopes, multiple sightseeing tours and duty-free shopping in Livignio.  Judy Miller, GTU promoted the trip to be an excellent choice for non-skiers who may also enjoy the trip extension to the Italian Riviera.


Western CarnivalLake Tahoe-Heavenly,  February, 20 – 27

Pat Crowley, BRSC Trip Coordinator, reported participation of 9 clubs with 178 guests.

Accommodations are at Harvey’s Hotel and Forest Suites condos all in 5 minutes walking distance to each other.  A wine tasting event has been added to the agenda.   Additionally, Judy Miller, GTU, invited Trip Captains to offer a drawing for a 4-pack of California wine (for each club) as an incentive to attract more sign-ups for the trip.


New Business


Trips Committee


Selection of Future Destinations

The discussion on how to best plan for future years was continued from the Spring Meeting.  Wayne suggested selecting six potential Western Carnival resorts from the BRSC Western Carnival Matrix provided by Peter Porton. Selection criteria included: Mountain(s) – whether large enough to ski for six days; Base – availability of pillows and eating facilities; Flights – availability of enough flights, seats, and dates, compiled from previous Western Carnival destinations. Southern Hemisphere destinations are eliminated for BRSC trips, as they may interfere with summer trips promoted by individual clubs. Additionally, six potential resorts for future Eurofest trips were selected by the clubs during a breakout session.

Western Carnival locations:                            Eurofest locations:

Vail                                                                 Val d’Isere/Lac de Tignes, France                 

Park City                                                         Brides les Bains/Trois Vallees, France

Snowmass                                                       Les Arcs, France

Mammoth                                                        Bled, Slovenia                        

Breckenridge                                                   Bulgaria

Big Sky                                                           Andorra


2012 Destinations


The following resorts were selected as candidate destinations for 2012:

-          Western Carnival – Vail and either Park City or Snowmass (whichever we don’t go to in 2011)

-          Eurofest – Val ‘d’Isere and Andorra



2011 Trip Vendors


The four participating vendors in the bid process introduced themselves to the BRSC members, portraying their qualifications and presenting their trip proposals for the selected 2011 destinations:


Eurofest – Courmayeur, Italy              

BRSC Coordinator:  Jerry Poley


Western Carnival – Park City, Utah or Snowmass, Colorado

BRSC Coordinator:  Noble McClellan


1.  Dorothea Rasser: Ski Europe/Alpine Adventures, located in Texas, specializes in European destinations and provides extensive travel service to the Texas Ski Council.

Two Proposals for Eurofest:  Courmayeur, Italy – March 11/12-March 19/20 and Aosta Valley, Italy – February 25 – March 5, or March 11-19.


2.  Judy Miller: Group Trips Unlimited (GTU), located in Arlington, VA, 23 years of experience with local ski clubs.  Two Proposals for Eurofest:  Courmayeur, Italy – March 12-20 and Engelberg, Switzerland – February 25/26 – March 5/6.  Two proposals for Western Carnival:  Snowmass, Colorado  (Jan 29 – Feb 5, Feb 5-12, or Feb 26 – Mar 5) and Park City, Utah (Feb 5-12 or other dates).


3.  Dan Ellis: Winter Ski & Sport, located in Annandale, VA has successfully provided service for several BRSC trips in recent years.  Two proposals for Western Carnival:  Snowmass and Park City (both Feb 5-12).


4.  Effie Rubenstein: Sportours, located in New Jersey successfully arranged the recent BRSC trip to Steamboat.  Two proposals for Western Carnival:  Snowmass (Jan 29 – Feb 5, Feb 5-12, or Feb 26 – Mar 5) and Park City (Jan 29 – Feb 5 or Feb 5-12).


2011 Location and Vendor Selection




·         Both vendors realized that the March 6-13 dates specified by the BRSC may create a problem pertaining to availability of pillows/service/cost because of Fasching (Mardi Gras) holidays in Europe.  They each provided a second bid with a different date and different destination for consideration.


·         A motion to drop Courmayeur, Italy from the bid process was made by Sonny Short and seconded by David Lerner.  After an extensive discussion on the pros and cons of the three destinations offered by the two vendors, Wayne tabled the motion until after the lunch break, seconded by Livingston Johnson.


·         After lunch, the motion was carried with members voting to drop Courmayeur from the bid process.  The proposal for Aosta Valley, Italy then prevailed over Engelberg, Switzerland in the second part of the selection process, with the earlier dates (Feb 25 to March 5) selected for the trip.


Western Carnival


·         Dave Olsen proposed voting for location first and then for vendor, Sonny Short seconded the motion and Noble presented the results – number of votes for Park City 28; Snowmass 13.

·         The proposal by Judy Miller of GTU prevailed in the second part of the selection process.

·         It was determined that we would go with the originally requested dates of February 5-12, 2011.

·         Wayne announced the appointment of Dave Olsen as the race coordinator for the 2011 Western Carnival.


Both BRSC Coordinators were available for questions and answers.  Wayne acknowledged their professional work evaluating the 2011 trip proposals.  


2010 Elections


The position of President is up for election at the spring 2010 meeting.  Wayne intends to run again. Peter Porton offered to chair the Election Committee.  Interested candidates should contact him.


Break Out Sessions


Break out sessions have been postponed until after the ski season.  Proposed topics will be discussed on Saturday during the Spring meeting. 




Judy Burlbaugh, SCWDC announced that ski helmets are available at reasonable cost from




In his closing remarks, Wayne thanked everybody for attending the meeting and is looking forward to good participation at the Salomon Island weekend in May. 

Frank Peñaranda moved to adjourn at 3:15 pm; all concurred.


Decision Summary

·         Spring Meeting set for May 15-16, at Solomons Island, MD hosted by St. Mary’s Ski Club

·         Approved Spring 2009 meeting minutes

·         Approved Treasurer’s report

·         Approved race rules for Lake Tahoe-Heavenly

·         Selected Aosta Valley, Italy for 2011 EuroFest:  February 25– March 5 with Dorothea Rasser, Ski Europe as tour operator

·         Selected Park City, Utah for 2011 Western Carnival: February 5-12 with Judy Miller, GTU as tour operator

·         Appointed Dave Olsen as race coordinator for the 2011 Western Carnival

·         Selected 2012 Eurofest destinations – Val d’Isere and Andorra

·         Selected 2012 Western Carnival destinations – Vail and Snowmass

·         Established matrix for future selection of Western Carnival and Eurofest destinations


Respectfully Submitted:

Inge Lesjak 

Blue Ridge Ski Council
October 21, 2009