The Folo, Episode 21: The ski industry survives and thrives

Clockwise from top left: Natalie Ooi, program director of the ski area management program at Colorado State University; Folo host Rebecca Tobin; Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra; and Travel Weekly editor and ski reporter Robert Silk.
Clockwise from top left: Natalie Ooi, program director of the ski area management program at Colorado State University; Folo host Rebecca Tobin; Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra; and Travel Weekly editor and ski reporter Robert Silk.

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Skiing and snowboarding are winter sports beloved by many, but they're also pastimes that rely on tradition. And from a ski operator's perspective, there are so many different pieces that have to seamlessly match up, from dining to grooming the slopes, safety patrol (and explosives), hospitality -- not to mention the whims of Mother Nature -- that it's not easy to make drastic changes. Yet that's just what ski resorts had to do in the face of the Covid pandemic.

In this episode, Rusty Gregory, the CEO of Alterra Mountain Co., and Natalie Ooi, the program director of the ski area management program at Colorado State University, shared with Travel Weekly editor Robert Silk (who also handles our ski coverage) and host Rebecca Tobin several facets of skiing and riding a la 2021: the challenges of having to prep for the unknown. Massive investments in technology that are enabling services  from food to ski instructors  to be brought directly to guests. Unexpected guest behavior in the face of the pandemic. And the "new" measure of success.

Plus, our favorite ski runs of all time.

Related coverage:

Focus on Ski: Skiing apres-pandemic

A weekend in Vail: Ripping powder and retreating to the lodge

Hitting the slopes is popular, even with apres-ski sidelined

Alterra won't require reservations by passholders

Vail reservations policy sets a precedent for ski areas

Ski operators expect serious challenges for 2020-21 season

Ski resorts suddenly shutter

Prepandemic coverage: Focus on ski: Backcountry bonanza

Prepandemic coverage: Focus on ski: Indie slopes

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