If you grew up in Reno, you probably have a childhood memory of Sky Tavern and the Junior Ski Program. I learned to ski there and even after all these years I still remember the grinding noise of the rope tow. The rope tow is long gone and the resort today is twice what it was in the 1980s. As the resort has grown, so has the profoundness of what it contributes in Defining Reno.
The greatest thing about the program was the community methodology of how it ran. Cafeteria staff, ticket checkers, and ski instructors were all volunteers, typically parents of the children in the program. Those parents taught kids and when those kids were old enough and experienced they taught the new kids. It was, still is, a community co-op on snow. For me, my grandmother volunteered at the ticket window, my mom and aunt were instructors, and my sister and I were participants. There were several scenarios like this with my friends and neighbors. It was a family affair every weekend and that made it a special place for the community of Reno. The impact of fond memories like this are significant contributors to a brand.
Sky Tavern is located on Mt. Rose Highway, about 20 minutes from Reno. The standard routine in my day as a participant was to load up on a school bus on a Saturday morning, spend a few hours in ski class, break for lunch, and then spend the afternoon free skiing.
It has been decades since my participation in the Junior Ski Program. However, this last year I had the fortune of working on an ad campaign for the mountain. Titled “Elevate Your Child’s Education”, the campaign emphasized the value of learning. Today’s youth can be distracted by video games, television, and the like. While those things can be good in the learning process, social and outdoor activities can have an enormous impact on adolescent development. When writing and designing this campaign I was able to utilize my own memories of the program. It was fun. This is what we did:
Follow me on twitter @paulkleinreno
NOTE: The thoughts and opinions expressed by Paul Klein in this blog are personal and not that of the City of Reno.