NSAA Honors Best Programs In Ski Industry At Annual Awards Ceremony

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) named the winners of its annual awards in sustainability, safety, marketing and beginner conversion (growth). The awards were presented to ski area members with the most innovative and successful programs in each category at the association’s National Convention and Tradeshow in Savannah, Ga., on Wednesday, May 10.

NSAA award finalists and winners are listed below, by category, along with links to learn more about each finalist and see lists of previous winners.

  • Golden Eagle Awards (sustainability)
  • Sustainable Slopes Grants
  • Marketing Awards
  • Safety Awards
  • Conversion Cup (growth and beginner conversion)

“It is incredibly hard to select winners for these awards as ski areas across the country have been doing so much important and high-quality work,” said Kelly Pawlak, NSAA president and CEO. “Award season is a little bit of friendly rivalry and a whole lot of innovation, teamwork and resort pride.”

Click here for photos of the awards ceremony and winners. Photo credit should read: NSAA/Division One Photography (Dave Camara). Please contact marketing@nsaa.org for caption information.

2023 NSAA Award Finalists Winners 

Golden Eagle Awards for Sustainability Sponsored by TechnoAlpin

Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence

  • Massanutten Resort, VA
  • Taos Ski Valley, NM
  • Wild Mountain, MN

Community and Partnerships

New for 2022-23, the Community and Partnerships award recognizes ski areas that foster a collaborative environment in their community, taking advantage of local partnerships to drive results and inspire others into action against climate change.

  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO (tie)
  • Big Sky Resort, MT (tie)
  • Copper Mountain Resort, CO

Climate Change Impact Award

  • Massanutten Resort, VA
  • Taos Ski Valley, NM
  • Vail Resorts, CO

Hero of Sustainability

  • Jeff Grasser | Copper Mountain Resort, CO
  • Chris Kennelly | Stowe Mountain Resort, VT
  • Mike Nathan | Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO

Sustainable Slopes Grants

In addition to the Golden Eagle Awards, NSAA and partner HKD Snowmakers awarded Sustainable Slopes Grants to five ski areas. Launched in 2009, this grant program provides cash and in-kind funding to support sustainability projects. To date, over $820,000 in cash and in-kind funding has been awarded to ski areas seeking to reduce their footprint and increase their environmental stewardship.

This year, NSAA distributed a total of $15,000 to three member ski areas to help make their sustainability initiatives possible. Grants will support both on-the-ground action and collaborative stewardship. The 2023 recipients are:

  • Bogus Basin (ID): Carbon sequestration via revegetation and erosion control
  • Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe (NV): Industrial compost machine
  • Pleasant Mountain (ME): Ski lodge heat pump system

NSAA thanks dedicated sponsor HKD Snowmakers for providing equipment to ski areas to make their snowmaking programs more efficient and sustainable. This year, HKD Snowmakers awarded in-kind grants to two ski areas: Swain Mountain, NY, and Soldier Hollow, UT. These ski areas lead by example, incorporating sustainable practices and environmental stewardship into all aspects of their resorts, including snowmaking. Each ski area will be awarded over $30,000 of energy efficient HKD snowguns.

“We recognize these ski areas for leading by example and incorporating sustainable practices and environmental stewardship into all aspects of their resorts, including snowmaking,” said Charles Santry, president of HKD Snowmakers. “HKD Snowmakers is proud to support the NSAA Sustainable Slopes Grant and further the ski industry’s commitment to a sustainable future.”

Best Overall Marketing Campaign (over 500k skier visits)

  • Palisades Tahoe, CA
  • SkiBig3, AB
  • Steamboat Ski & Resort, CO
  • Winter Park Resort, CO

Best Overall Marketing Campaign (under 500k skier visits)

  • Beech Mountain Resort, NC
  • Saddleback Maine, ME
  • Schweitzer, ID
  • Windham Mountain, NY

Best Use of Social Media

  • Crotched Mountain Ski & Ride, NH
  • Palisades Tahoe, CA
  • Stevens Pass, WA

Best Use of Video

  • Beech Mountain Resort, NC
  • Big SNOW American Dream, NJ
  • Schweitzer, ID

Mountains are for Everyone

New for 2022-23, the Mountains are for Everyone award is designed to recognize the ski area or resort group that has made inclusion a priority for guests and/or staff. These events, campaigns or programs should foster inclusive spaces, and incorporate authentic representation and messaging that make clear that mountains are for everyone.

  • Crystal Mountain, MI
  • Mountain Creek Resort, NJ
  • Trollhaugen Winter Recreation Area, WI

Safety Awards Sponsored by Safehold Special Risk

Best Overall Safety Program (over 500k skier visits)

  • Keystone Resort, CO
  • Palisades Tahoe, CA

Best Overall Safety Program (under 500k skier visits)

  • Blue Mountain Resort, PA
  • Mountain Creek Resort, NJ
  • Wintergreen Resort, VA

Best Collision Prevention Program

  • Killington Resort | Pico Mountain, VT
  • Mad River Mountain, OH

Best Responsibility Code Program

  • Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, WA
  • Mountain Creek Resort, NJ
  • Snowbasin Resort, UT

Best Employee Safety Program

  • Arizona Snowbowl, AZ
  • Mountain Creek Resort, NJ
  • Vail Mountain, C

Best Guest Safety Program

  • Blue Mountain Resort, PA (tie)
  • Mountain Creek Resort, N
  • Ski California (tie)
  • Woodward Park City, UT

Safety Champion

  • Jonathan Cernanec | Keystone Resort, CO
  • Shelley Ekman | Snowbasin Resort, UT (tie)
  • Dempsey Mendrzycki | Big SNOW American Dream, NJ (tie)
  • Chris North | Breckenridge Ski Resort, CO
  • Chrissie Oken | Vail Mountain, CO

Conversion Cup Sponsored by HEAD

Awarded to the ski area that demonstrates through quantitative results that they are turning beginner skiers and riders into repeat customers, and ultimately lifelong enthusiasts of the sport.

  • Big SNOW American Dream, NJ
  • Gunstock Mountain Resort, NH
  • Mt. Hood Meadows, OR


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