Sunday, December 29, 2013

Social Dynamics of Skiing

    A couple of events at the local ski area have given me an opportunity to muse about the social dynamics of skiing and ski areas.   First of all I am delighted to be associated with the Greek Peak resort that has a serious commitment to interaction with the local community.  Not only does the area employ a significant number of people especially during the ski season, but they also are sensitive to giving back to the less fortunate of the area.   Their support of the Adaptive Ski Program is one special give back.  And the annual free day of skiing on December 24 with a food item from each skier for the local food pantry is an enormous boost for that program.   It is a special delight to see the food items accumulate and the financial donation box also get its due.   See the photo below of the great folks who facilitate this food drive.
Food Crew At Work - Thank You!
    In another vein, I am enthralled with the impact of the new quad chair at Greek Peak.  This new facility has engendered a lot of smiles from the skiers.  We feel like we are now entering a new phase of finer skiing and obviously finer dining with the new Trax Restaurant.   I seem to recall that the management guru, Tom Peters once said examine the rest rooms of a a business and by their quality you can get an idea of the quality of the operation.  Thanks to the recent renovations at the Peak, it looks like we are on an upswing in quality.
    Now that I have had several rides on the new quad chair lift, mostly with strangers, I have encountered a new social dynamic of four people on a lift.   The question is, "How will the conversation flow with the group"?   I think this comes down to a mathematical study of combinations.   With four people on the chair I calculate there are twelve different pair interactions possible and even beyond that there are one to three and one to two interactions as well.   Thus a ride with four people can be a chaotic set of conversational exchange.   So what kind of socialization happens?   In one case the ride was almost dominated by one "loudmouth".   In other cases there were simultaneous paired conversation with two adjacent pairs.   And in a few cases the outer two even conversed across the inner two.   I imagine that there might even be silent rides.  Not likely!  How much simpler life is with a double chair.   And if you have ever had a ride on the single chair at Mad River Glen in Vermont you can just zone out or often what happens conversation travels chair to adjacent chair.    Perhaps I need to talk with sociologists, mathematicians and communications specialists to get their take on what is going on.   Meanwhile I will continue my field work observing the social dynamics of riding a quad lift.
Happy Foursome Leaving The Quad


No comments: