How Ski Clubs Attract and Retain New Members
By: Jo Simpson – public affairs chair for the National Ski Council Federation
Recruiting efforts these days focus on transfusions of young blood
They scheduled activities attractive to younger prospective members, including a trampoline dodgeball event. They emphasized snowboarding as well as skiing in activity promotions.
Their efforts have resulted in a 60 percent increase in younger members. The president of the 350-member club is 29 years old, the vice president 25.
Ski clubs continually seek new members to avoid stagnating. New members bring new ideas and fresh energy. Many clubs are experiencing an aging membership and looking for new blood.
The Connecticut Ski Council attracts families and introduces children to the sport by organizing an annual Kids Learn to Ski Day. The council and a local resort provide certified ski instructors and heavily discounted lift tickets for the kids and their family members. Kids, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles come out to spread the joy of winter sports to the younger generation.
The SAGA Gay Men’s Ski and Snowboard Club in Los Angeles holds membership drives at a local fitness facility to reach potential members. On trips they offer members the opportunity to group up by ability and ski with a club member guide so that no one is left to ski alone.
Racing is attractive to active adults. Many councils have racing programs that attract new members to join their clubs to participate in racing and subsequently become involved in other club activities.
Attracting new members is challenging. Making them feel welcome and valued is critical to keeping them.