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The future of skiing

peaks.jpgRight straight from 85F+ temperatures on the beach in Grand Cayman, to 0F on the shores of Georgian Bay — it was time to get back on the ski hills!

Over the weekend, I found that an interview I had with a newspaper reporter in Colorodo, on the future of skiing, has run in an article that has been carried throughout the US. There’s a copy of the article, “Technology has transformed skiing, and there’s more to come,” at the San Jose Mercury News, for example. The full article can be found here in Adobe Acrobat format.

One of the key aspects is that of merging work and life. Notes the article: “Imagine a skier from 50 years ago surveying the scene in a modern lift line. What would he think of iPods wired into jackets? GPS wrist units? Cell phones with cameras? Digitally scanned lift tickets? Polarized contact lenses designed to cut snow glare? PDAs that allow skiers to check in at the office while they’re on the lift? These innovations have shaped the sport and will continue to do so, believes Jim Carroll.

Carroll, a noted futurist who lives outside Toronto, Canada, says the concept of a work/life balance is a major trend that will continue.

He shares this story: “An engineering company was trying to hire this engineering student in British Columbia, near a bunch of (ski) resorts.

He turned their offer down. They called him back and were mystified. He said, “You talk about your 9 to 5 culture; that would mess with my powder time.” The way younger people define themselves has changed, Carroll says. “They don’t tell you what they do for a living, but what they do.”

Carroll sees a ski area in the future “with a lot more people hanging out at the hill with a little portable office, doing their thing.”

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