Ski and Snowboard Show

Glen Plake at the Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show of 2014
Mark, Glen, and Lorie

October 26, 2014

Lorie and I attended the Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show of 2014 and the event of was very enjoyable, there was a good variety of booths to check out. There were a variety of resorts to visit and check out, from local and regional resorts to a number of destination resorts.

The venue for the event was the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center and it wss not too hard to get to. Lorie and I drove down from Appleton and just before we reached the 294 our GPS device took us off the tollway and routed us to the venue by Illinois state highways, since it was a Saturday, traffic was no problem for us. Once we got there we quickly located the convention center, got our tickets, and entered the event.

The event was well attended but not at all crowded, we found we were able to talk to most representatives without feeling pressured to let someone else in and most of the time we did not have to wait for others as well. The venue was divided into two sections, the first being the main hall where gear, services, and resorts had their booths. The second part of the hall was the ski swap venue. The swap area had an entrance monitored by a couple of folks and the exit was well monitored with staff to check out people making purchases.

Varied PR Skills

Talking with the representatives in the different booths I found a varied effort and quality of the PR effort. The best PR was a toss up with Jessica from Ski Brule launching into a very good presentation and answered my questions very well. Glennis from Big Sky resort also did a fantastic job presenting Big Sky and speaking to the questions I had. Yes, some resorts did poor job of PR and surprisingly one of those was the big of Vail. When asked about anything new with Vail I got a half-hearted response about the new Chondalas and I had to push to get the representative to talk about the 2015 FIS World Championship event at Beaver Creek this season. When the representative finally did get dragged into the event, he definitely was not hyping the event and was in dragging it down, noting hotel costs and occupancy rates were ski high. One Wisconsin resort did not want to talk on camera and the two young women who staffed the booth seemed like they were waitresses who got roped into staffing the booth.

Glen Plake

Glen Plake at the Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show of 2014
Mark, Glen, and Lorie
Glen Plake attended the event and was camped out by the Dalbello booth and he was chatting with attendees and signing posters and magazines for those of us in attendance. He was also posing for photos and his hair was in a truly photogenic state!

As you can probably guess, Glen has great PR skills and he asked us where we ski and Lorie informed him Ski Brule and he immediately launched into the story of his visit to Ski Brule which was quite detailed. He then talked about how he and a childhood friend are planing a ski vacation to Morocco, given I have some experience (quite a bit actually) living and traveling among Arabic lands I listened with keen interest. I believe if we ever meet him again, he will remember us and be able to place us at the Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show of 2014.

The Skier’s Edge

Lorie on the Skier's Edge
Now, how do we get her to do this on snow?
The Skier’s Edge ran a booth there. This was easily the funnest booth of the event and the sales representatives were eager to get you on their machines. Of course, we got on! Lorie was not the only one to give it a shot, I spent quite a bit of time on two of the machines, one of them setup to accept a person in ski boots and I put on a pair (glad I wore socks!).

Not only was I getting a good workout (I may have come a long way in terms of weight, but the photo above with me next to Glen shows I am not where I need to be yet) I was getting coaching on technique. While it was not just like skiing it certainly was much closer to skiing than cycling!


The Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show of 2014 ends at 5:00 pm (US CDt) today, if you are a day trip from Schaumburg you can get there yet today, do so, it will help you get you revved up for the upcoming snowsports season! Tell them the Wisconsin Skier sent you!

Good Stuff!


  1. Glad you got to take it it. I’m surprised that Vail was so poorly represented. The upcoming FIS event at BC got some play in the new Warren Miller film, so you’d think it would be something a PR person would be excited about.

    So how much does one of those ski machines cost? I fear it’s one of those things that ends up as an expensive clothes rack.

  2. I too was afraid to ask. I liked it but I don’t have room for one either in the house or the budget. In fact the reps were joking about the fact it can double as a clothes dryer/rack. I just don’t see myself getting jazzed up about spending my summer afternoons on one of these when I could be out on Dire Wolf riding or even doing yard work. I like the idea of using it, but that is what I would be doing at this time of the year when I don’t have time to ride after work (and then right now my mid-week priority is stacking firewood).

    I really liked working it and I liked the coaching I got, it really helped me get the feel for the extreme angulation I am after.

    I too was shocked by the Vail representative. It was nearly “We suck thanks for stopping by”. Big Sky, Mt. Bachelor, Alpine Valley, Schweitzer reps all did a good job. I stopped at the Head Booth and their rep was very cut and dry but was engaging and made a lot of sense to me and when I told him about my skiing ability and current set up, he drove me right to the skis my research takes me to. I also talked with the Dalbello boot rep off camera (while waiting in line to meet Glen) and I regret not stopping by again and getting him on camera and he too seemed to know his stuff and was pitching his brand. THe SKS tools rep was okay, not great.

    I was planning on visiting SIA this season, but I’m not certain I’ll make that happen. Talking about a week trip to Lutsen, a weekender to Marquette, and then I am hoping to visit Ontario and laying trenches at Blue Mountain. Sorry, I don’t see the NASJA convention happening for me again this winter.

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