Snowmass to Host Record Attendance Snowsports Conference at Historic 50/50 Anniversary Event

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The Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) will hold its landmark 50th anniversary event in Snowmass, Colorado, April 4-9. PSIA-AASI provides instruction standards and certification for snowsports teaching disciplines, with more than 30,000 professional ski and snowboard instructors in its membership. An entire week of festivity, learning and tribute to snowsports and the people who teach them is planned at this iconic event.

Snowmass is perfect for the 50/50 event with 3,000 acres of terrain...the availability of convenient banquet facilities and so many off-mountain venues for evening events and entertainment.

Snowmass is the setting and professional ski and snowboard instructors are the guests for a huge snowsports industry celebration commemorating five decades. The 50/50 conference, hosted by the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI), will feature seven days of parties, skiing, riding, learning and honoring industry frontrunners at the Snowmass resort April 4-9, 2011. Snowsports have transformed dramatically in the past 50 years, but the passion and dedication of the people who teach them remains unchanged; that is the central focus during this week of celebration that will both take a look back, and forward, at the business of professional ski and snowboard instruction.

"What a fitting way to celebrate the end of a stellar ski season and the 25th anniversary year of the Snowmass Conference Center," said Jim O'Leary, National Sales Manager with Snowmass Tourism Groups and Meetings. "Snowmass is honored to have been chosen by snowsports industry leaders as the venue for this conference and our team has been working behind the scenes for a year since we learned we would be hosting it to ensure that it executes flawlessly."

The celebration, which has been 50 years in the making, is the biggest event of 2011 for snowsports enthusiasts, with 550 registered guests attending throughout the week and a banquet for 450 planned. "This is the first time we've done an event of this magnitude," said Sara Nakon, PSIA-AASI Membership Director. "Snowmass is perfect for the 50/50 event with 3,000 acres of terrain, three other ski areas close by, and the availability of convenient banquet facilities and so many off-mountain venues for evening events and entertainment."

The gala banquet that is planned is a celebration of the exciting past, present and vibrant future of snowsports. On Wednesday, April 6, the Snowmass Conference Center will be the site of a memorable keynote address by Bud Keene, Olympic and X-Games Snowboard Coach. Lifetime Achievement Awards will honor PSIA-AASI co-founder Curt Chase and former PSIA-AASI President Mark Anderson. The historic presentation of 50-year member pins will be awarded to more than 30 attending members of the organization, some of whom are now in their 90s. The Aspen Skiing Company will treat 50/50 conference guests to a concert on Saturday, April 9, as the closing event to an unforgettable week.

The snowsports industry and its professional instructors have much to commemorate over the past 50 years, with innovations in equipment like shaped skis, the revolutionary emergence of snowboarding and the development of comprehensive adaptive ski and snowboard programs for disabled individuals.

"Our members are people who are passionate about instructing; they feel lucky they get to enjoy this lifestyle every day. They also place huge value on certification and staying on the cutting edge of industry best practices," said Nakon. PSIA-AASI is the preeminent education and standards-based organization in the United States for all snowriding disciplines, including alpine, nordic, telemark, snowboard, adaptive skiing and riding, and childrens' skiing and riding. The PSIA-AASI organization has more than 30,000 members all across the United States, and the organization is run and administrated by nine U.S. divisions.

About Snowmass Tourism Groups & Meetings
The year-round resort town of Snowmass Village, Colorado is located nine miles from Aspen, Colorado. Snowmass is accessible by the local Aspen/Pitkin County airport and three regional airports. Top-of-the-line conference equipment and facilities, economy to luxury guest rooms, free local transportation, countless summer and winter activities and superior guest experience characterize Snowmass Village resort. With recent investment of $1 billion in the ski area, base village, and new lodging properties with meeting space, Snowmass is ideal for meetings and conferences, ski and social groups, corporate retreats and business guests. In addition to its reputation as a world-class resort, Snowmass is becoming well known for its major Ice Age discovery site, unearthed in late 2010. Fossils from mammoths, mastodons, a Jefferson ground sloth, gigantic ice age bison and other mammals, reptiles, plants and invertebrates reveal an exceptionally well preserved Ice Age ecosystem at Snowmass' Ziegler Reservoir. For additional information go to or call 1-800-598-2006.

Resource Links
Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors:

Media Contact
Patsy Popejoy
Public Relations Manager
Snowmass Tourism Office
Snowmass Village, CO
Vicky Nash – Resort Trends, Inc.

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