With all of this arctic weather we’ve been experiencing, it only makes sense that this week’s Friday Fab Foto-grapher is Cristen Sawyer of the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers. She submitted this very cool action shot of her son, Cameron snowboarding at Sugarloaf.
Sawyer’s son Cameron is a sophomore at USM majoring in Accounting with a minor in Psychology. Sawyer says, “He learned to ski not long after he learned to walk and was a natural. He soon discovered snowboarding and has enjoyed it ever since.” This photo is one of Cristen’s favorites because it showcases her son doing what he loves.
Thank you Cristen for your photo submission!
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Sometimes the power of Facebook amazes me. This week I happily reconnected with Reverend Skip Schwarz, who was at the Sugarloaf Area Christian Ministry when I first moved to Sugarloaf back in 1984. I actually still live at Sugarloaf and moved here at the age of 24, which was 26 years ago. Hard to believe how time flies when you’re as busy as I’ve been all these years.
I was working in the Marketing Department and Skip was the minister at the chapel on the mountain. One day, Skip came in to the administration building where I had an office near my boss, the legendary Chip Carey (he is now VP Marketing at Jackson Hole Resort in Wyoming.) Skip had this idea of doing a church service on skis. Now don’t get confused, because I’m telling a story about Skip, the minister, and Chip, the marketing guy who was my boss and taught me a whole lot about marketing and public relations.
When we sent each other Facebook messages this week, Skip reminded me of how I helped him name a program that has become an important part of the story of his life.
I said “Why don’t you call it Downhill Worship?” My mind had started racing, brimming with ideas. “You could wear your robe, and you could ski down the mountain and everyone would look at you!”
Well, I never knew this until we Facebooked this week, but evidently Skip was hesitant, because he was afraid he would feel like a fool. But then he realized that skiing down a mountain wearing a church vestment would actually draw the attention he neeeded to get new ‘customers’ for his worship service. And since Skip is a guy (like me) who can be a little bit crazy sometimes, like a lot of people who are drawn to Sugarloaf, Maine. Continue reading
I am proud to know Seth Wescott. He lives in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, which is where I have lived since 1984. When he won his Gold Medal in Snowboard Cross on Monday in the Winter Olympics, he displayed the American flag that had been his grandfather’s flag in World War II. Yesterday on the “Today” show, he told Matt Lauer that he had brought this flag with him in order to hold it up in the finish corral when he won a medal in honor of his family and his country. He had done the same thing four years ago in Torino when he won his first Gold Medal.
Seth is the best role model I can imagine for my two sons and for all the kids in the State of Maine. He is so humble, and he shows no pretense. He treats others with respect no matter who they are, or where they come from. He is so mentally focused that he planned for success even though his trial runs weren’t going well. Many people would have mentally ‘checked out’ when they had to wear the black vest relegated to the lowest ranking competitor in the final competition. But not Seth. He used it as a way to inspire himself to come from behind and literally pass the forerunner while flying through the air on the fifth in a series of five jumps. Continue reading
There’s an article in the new issue of ”Mountain News” by ski writer Roger Leo about Chip Carey, who recently was hired to head up Marketing at Jackson Hole Resort in Wyoming. I had the privilege of working for Chip at Sugarloaf in the Communications Department from 1984 to1991, then when I started my agency, he was my client for most of the 1990′s.
There is no question that Chip is a great PR man. As Roger Leo writes in the article, he has always been ahead of the curve on technology and he considers that “the medium is the message.” He bought one of the first fax machines in 1971 and he was responsible for creating the first website in the ski industry in the 1980s. He also started the closed circuit cable TV station that is still broadcasting at Sugarloaf and has grown into the Resort Sports Network which is now a national broadcasting and marketing company. Continue reading
I helped the Schipper family write this obituary for Paul, so I decided to post it here on my blog. His story was the first national story I ever publicized in my career, and it sure was a fun story to tell. Paul enjoyed being interviewed and telling his story because it helped Sugarloaf to gain national recognition. That made him happy. I sure will miss him.
Paul Schipper, Ironman of Skiing, 1923 – 2009
Paul Schipper, age 85, of Carrabassett Valley, died on February 16, 2009 at Veteran’s Rehabilitation Center in Bangor, Maine. Also known as “The Ironman of Skiing,” Schipper was widely covered in the media for his 24 year skiing streak at Sugarloaf, where he skied every day that Sugarloaf was open from 1981 until 2005. Continue reading
Last Saturday, I was invited to the Open House of the first hut in the new ‘Huts and Trails’ network in my home town of Carrabassett Valley, Maine. I saw many people I knew, including Suzi Hockmeyer and Russell Walters from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort, John Willard from the Birches Resort in Rockwood, and Vici Robinson of Kingfield. Claudia Diller, who created the beautiful art in the upper right hand corner of this blog page, was there with her partner Tom Hildreth. He owns Carrabassett Coffee. Severin Beliveau, one of Maine’s most influential attorneys, was there. He was on the phone with Governor Baldacci who couldn’t come because he was sick. But the Governor’s son Jack was there, as was Ramona du Houx, a photographer and reporter from the Maine Democrat, who documents the Governor’s day-to-day travels.
I was pleased to have a chance to catch up with an old friend who calls himself “Ski Bum.” Scott Andrews is a journalist who focuses on skiing and the outdoors. He lives in Portland, Maine, and has a blog on mainetoday.com. Scott and I walked and talked for the 2 1/2 mile trek from the hut back to the Carrabassett Valley Town Office. Since we’ve known each other since my early days of doing PR for Sugarloaf, starting in 1984, we had a lot to catch up on!
Scott is an example of a traditional journalist who has kept up with the times by turning to blogging. He recently took a ski trip across country, driving his Subaru and skiing at resorts along the way, and blogged about the whole trip.
I told him I would write about him on my blog and link to his story on www.mainetoday.com, thus today’s post!