Breckenridge Parking during ski season

1.6 million skier/rider days make Breckenridge one of the most popular destinations in the world.  Parking in Breckenridge can be at a premium.  If you are staying in Breckenridge, you probably have a parking spot and use the excellent bus system to get from your home to the Gondola.

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But if you are like many who visit Breckenridge for some skiing, here is a quick primer on parking.  When you are arriving from the North, I-70 and Frisco, you will first see the FREE parking on Coyne Valley Rd (stoplight) make a right turn and you will be guided to the Airport Rd parking lot.  There are many buses which can take you from Airport Rd to the Gondola (1mi).

Parking for the 2010-11 season will be the same as last year.  $5 Monday-Thursday, and $10 Friday-Sunday with $5 discount if there are 4 or more people in the vehicle!  That’s right FREE parking during the week if you have 4 or more in the vehicle.  You may also buy a season’s parking pass for $159.

If you come into Breckenridge (which I would suggest).  You have convenient options.  The map to the right shows you 3 of the main lots.  When you pass the Breckenridge Recreation Center, make a right BEFORE you get to the roundabout, this will keep you on HWY 9.  You will pass the City Market on your left.  Make your first left on North French St, and this will take you to the NORTH GONDOLA Lot.  This lot is paved, so during a wet spring it is a good option.

However there are two more options if these fill. Go to the next street and make left on Watson Rd, then a right into the SOUTH GONDOLA lot.  This is an unpaved lot, but still very convenient.   The Gold Rush and Postal Lot (possibly returning) are overflow lots.  These will both be charged at the rate of the Gondola lots.

BONUS: Insider Tip

During busy days Weekends or Holidays, instead of making the right before the roundabout go THROUGH the roundabout.  Drive down Main St, then make a RIGHT on Watson Rd.  You will see Ski Country Sports (Yellow Building).  You will access the South Gondola lot and save yourself 5-10 minutes.

The Gondola will take you to the bases of Peak 7 and Peak 8 (Main Facilities base).  You can pick up lift passes at the base of the Gondola.  

Blogging for your business – A few blogging tips


Does blogging for your business feel like taking the leap into the unknown? Here are few blogging tips and strategies for you to try  The purpose of this post is to offer you, the business/brand related blogger beginning and intermediate strategy for the blogging component of your digital presence. 

As a company, brand, or individual “Why blog?” 

A quick search for “Breckenridge” queries 1770 results in the past 7 days.  Your visitors and guests are already reading about your industry, location, or product category.  Where are you?  A blog tends to have the voice of a peer or expert rather than sales copy and advertising, or at least it should.  If you are a ski or ride instructor we provide it here:    If you are not, you can get a free blog to practice your craft at WordPress

Here are a few more reasons:

  • It’s Free
  • Generate Positive Content
  • Build brand recognition and loyalty
  • Build Credibility with customers
  • Use for crisis managment
  • Customer Service
  • Provide timely and relevant content
  • Easily target industry trends and search terms

When our company designs a corporate website strategy, there are a few musts and a blog is a must.

Who in the company should blog?

It doesn’t have to be the CEO or CMO, although it could be.  It could even be shared between a few different people within the organization.  Ideally the blogger should be familiar with different aspects of the organization, as well as having comfort navigating the internet and finding information.

They should also read blogs themselves and may have some basic knowledge of SEO and keywording.  Here is a primer.  

The blogger should NOT be micromanaged, yet operate within the policies established by the company.  This said, the CMO or company owner should be able to read the blog and offer feedback.


Blogging Suggestions:

Be a “true voice” and offer relevant information rather than simply a PR pumping machine.  Link to other articles where appropriate.

Host the blog on your server.  Don’t rely on blogger or another 3rd party hosting site!  If your blog and all of your content disappears, then you have no recourse.  And if this happens, your passion for blogging will diminish. 

It is best to maintain an honest, and informative blog which is useful to the visitor and the industry while benefiting the company.

  • Have guidelines for the blogger to follow. If something is potentially “edgy” or the timing is around earnings speak with the CMO or communications director for their input.
  • Content is Relevant and interesting.  Some companies, Industries or locations are interesting enough to write an article a day, although many do not.  So, where can we find content?  I follow a number of industry specific Facebook feeds, Google Reader, Google Insights or Trends.  For the ski industry, Oct-December regularly sees major spikes in global search interest . This is the information people are looking to find, create it for them.
  • Use images on your posts. Bring additional interest to the text.
  • Keep up with local event calendars.  For Breckenridge events, I follow
  • Use the holiday or start of a season as a catalyst to create content.  


Advice here varies, once a day, once a week, twice a week.   My recommendation – Make it regular!  If you start off once a day, and then move to once a month your readers will wonder what has happened, and stop following.  I would rather see a blog start off at once a week, and then build it’s frequency and quality rather than reduce frequency.  

Don’t just use it as a marketing tool

Mention your company, but keep it brief unless it is about company specific news.   Having company specials is fine as long as you keep them to once a week or so, as it offer an incentive to read the blog but won’t be overbearing.

Allow readers to comment and communicate with you.  Many business owners shy away from Social Media as they are concerned with negative comments and having a “bad press” on their website.  Here is a newsflash…  People in the world are already saying these things, however now you are able to address these concerns promptly and the communication you offer will add credibility for your company.


Create links and Publicize 

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  • Link to relevant posts and websites which are relevant to your posts.
  • Host the blog on your server.  Don’t rely on blogger or another 3rd party hosting site!  
  • Your blog link should appear on every page of your website if possible, have an RSS feed prominently located so that people can easily follow your writing.  

Enjoy your writing.  Blog what is relevant.  Blog what you enjoy, and do so regularly.

As a professional ski
instructor and digital media proponent, Jonathan Lawson began posting
daily photos and a few words a day on his blog (2006).  Within a few weeks of
daily posts, he began picking up significant readership, he was
oblivious to Google Trends or Google Insights.  Jonathan didn’t know how
to optimize his blog posts.  However, through trial and error, and more
than 1000 individual posts and 100s of hours study he has become a
student of blogging best practices. In the past 4 years, he has
consulted with business regarding the structure, frequency, &  blog
and social media integration with their current digital presence. 

Blogging – Anticipating demand and using Google for keyword ideas

I started blogging in 2006, prior to that time I would put my thoughts in my journals.  It is often said, “The weakest ink remembers more than the strongest mind”.  I didn’t know that I could make money blogging, nor did I know that I could use google keywords to get more readership.


I just wrote about ideas, about the lessons I had with my students, and about other passions of mine such as trading.  Prior to blogging my journals contained my ideas and muses. I still go back to them for inspiration for new ideas, and memories of previously comprehended ones. I have also found that certain situations spawn similar seeds of thoughts.  

For the past 3 years of “managing” a blogging website I have noticed trends, but until recently I have not been able to quantify them.  I would write timely information based on “my time” and experiences.  Indeed this is one of the powers of the blogging platform, however as a business I have found a few more structured ways to blog.  What if you ran a Recreation and Sports website and wanted to get the most readership on a given topic?  When would you start blogging about skiing, tennis, golf, yoga, weight lifting, physical therapy, etc?  And what terms are people ACTUALLY searching.
Before I go further, I am sure there are some blogging purists seeing this going in the way of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SEM (Search Engine Marketing), or populist marketing.  Indeed you are seeing that!  
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I may write about a number of things, and for my “skiing business” I would like as many people who are interested in my subjects of expertise read these articles.  That is one of the main reasons I write and publish them.
So, how might you structure blogging with the Recreation and Sports…
Using Google Insights you could input a few of what you consider to be relevant topics.  Let’s say, Golf, Tennis, Skiing, Yoga, Sports.  Each of these terms have seasonality (which is why I initially picked them).  You may anticipate Skiing would see winter demand, and you would be right.  It peaks in December, and has since 2004. My question is, “When does it start seeing a ramp in activity? Reasonably simple to assume, but Insights let’s us see a bottom in June, ramping in Sept and spiking in Nov/Dec.  And what specific search term is chosen?  As I write this in June, the strong terms are “ski” and “cross country skiing”.
A person could assume we would see summer spikes in Golf and Tennis, and we would be right again. The term sports remains relatively high year-around, not seeing significant seasonality.  Golf troughs in November and begins to rise in February and peaks in July often around major events.  Although, over the past 6yrs we have been seeing lower lows and lower highs.  And the current top searches for Golf are “Golf” and “Golf Course” (but not “golf courses”).  With the top countries of origin being:
  1. Ireland
  2. US
  3. Canada
  4. UK

A final observation I will make in this post is regarding aggregate demand is that we can see trends over time, and relative interest.  Here is a list of 5 from high to low and their relative score out of 100 (taken on June 1st, 2010):

  1. Golf – 58
  2. Sports – 53Glory1.jpg
  3. Tennis – 21
  4. Yoga – 11
  5. Skiing – 3
In short, If I were going to write an article on skiing I would most likely write something regarding summer sports which can benefit my skiing, or summer activities which can be enjoyed at ski resort, etc.
To reminisce in an entire blog post about the great powder day we enjoyed in March may fall upon deaf ears, blind eyes and wither like a snowflake in June.
Stay relevant, and know what the audience is looking to read.  This relevance in blog posts can significantly impact your overall Organic ranking for your web presence in search.

Summit County Spring — busy

I am glad to be back blogging at MySnowPro.  For many instructors there is stress involved in dealing with the shoulder season as a ski instructor.


Work, weather, living and family schedule arrangements, and ski/ride withdrawal. I have been going through all of the above.  The photo to the right is unfortunately what I PLAN to be doing at some point this summer.

A morning walk in the snow with The Fifth Agreement

Just had a nice morning walk through 10″ of late April powder.  I tend to read while I walk.  I have never thought much of it, although it seems other people don’t know how I do it.  I have been reading the follow up to one of my favorite books of all-time, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  
This book is The Fifth Agreement  (You can go to MyOnlineBlastoff to get cash back discounts on all purchases) offers reasoning as to adding the additional agreement.  I have long thought of this agreement in my own life, but I did not previously see such a tight correlation.  
As I was walking I was re-reading the initial 4 agreements:
1)  Be Impeccable with your Word – Your mind is full of knowledge, but how are you using that knowledge.  “The word, as a symbol,  has the magic  and power of creation because it can reproduce an image, an idea, a feeling, or an entire story in your imagination.”I was reminded of the understanding of the power of what we say and how we say it.  It prompted me to understand 
the way we use symbols as representation for a thought or a string of thoughts, or an entire belief system.  I thought of the way a series of words or symbols with action can completely change the course of history. Adam and Even, Original sin, Infidel, The Rich, The Poor, American Flag, Hand on our heart, Salute to the Leader of a country.  I also recounted how most humans use words.  Perhaps through gossip or opinion. And where did you learn your “words”. “Impeccability of the word is so important because the word is you, the messenger.  You are telling yourself a story, but is it the truth?”  “Being impeccable with your word means never using the power of the word against yourself.”
2)  Not Take Anything Personally We are dreaming.  Each of us is living our own lives. Others actions are based upon the agreements they have made with themselves, rather than your knowledge/agreements.  “Who is dreaming the story of your life?  You are. 
 If you don’t like your life, if you don’t like what you believe about yourself, you are the only one who can change it.  It is your world; it’s your dream.”  How often do I become the supporting character in someone else’s dream, rather than the lead in my own.  (For me, all too often).  Others want ‘secondary’ characters the way they want them to be, and if they are not, they fell very hurt.  They take everything personally.  With this awareness, you can also understand the solution, and it’s something simple and logical.  Don’t take anything personally.
Those are the two I internalized this morning.  The remaining three will have to wait for tomorrows walk.
3) Don’t make assumptions
4) Always do your best
5th) Be skeptical, but learn to listen
To your success, 

The Breckenridge Lesson Pass information 2010-11 Season

Thx to Bob Booker for putting together the information


STEP 1 – Renew or Buy an 10/11 Colorado, Summit or Epic Pass
STEP 2 – Renew or Buy your 10/11 Adult Lesson Pass for only $249 or Child Lesson Pass for only $560
STEP 3 – Take your skills to the next level!


Breckenridge Lesson Passes allows you to take class lessons throughout the 2010-2011 Season.

·         Valid Thursdays through Sundays

·         Breck Adult Lesson Pass- $249. Ages 14+ Valid for Ski, SB and Tele Saturday class lessons.

·         Breck Child Lesson Pass – $560. Ages 4-13, Valid for Ski and SB class lessons.

·         Spring sales through May 7th, 2010 or while supplies last.

·         Participants may redeem one Ski & Ride School group lesson ticket per day on the morning of the lesson.  The Breckenridge Lesson Passes are valid for classes Thursday through Sunday only.  The lesson ticket is NOT TRANSFERABLE.  You must have your season pass present to obtain a lesson ticket.

·         On your first day stop into a Ski & Ride School office to fill out a release form, a Breckenridge Lesson Pass agreement, and to obtain a lesson ticket. After your first day you will not be required to fill out a release however you will still need to obtain a lesson ticket.

·         Breckenridge Ski & Ride School Pass redemption is unavailable: 12/23/10-01/02/11, 1/08/11-1/09/11, 1/15/11-1/16/11, 2/19/11-2/20/11 & 3/12/11-03/20/11

·         Lessons meet at normal class lesson times; 9:45am for Adults and 9:15 for children, for morning and all day lessons. Afternoon lessons are only available to novice skiers and riders, levels 1-4, and depart at 1:30pm.

·         We will make every effort to accommodate instructor requests but reserve the right to make assignments according to business needs and policies. The final decision lies with the supervisor and not the instructor.

·         Not valid for Ultimate 4, Adventure Session, camp or special program participation. 

·         All dates/times/locations/prices subject to change. Please call 1888-576-2754 (970-453-3272) for updated information.

·         Refund policy: Before Dec 22 the one day window rate for an adult/child lesson will be subtracted based on usage. After Dec. 22, Breckenridge Lesson Ski & Ride School passes are non-refundable.

Late February Weekend in Breckenridge, CO

Skiing in Breckenridge this season has been pretty decent. We have been spoiled with great snow the past few seasons.  Although Father Winter made a nice showing in Mid February.  I have put together a short video to prove it. Although, videos have been less frequent this year due to some issues with MS Movie Maker Live. I sure wish I had a better and easier movie program.

I have great fortune to ski with some fun people from beginner through expert, although the advanced and expert skiers make for better action video.  Enjoy.  We are setting up for a very nice spring season of skiing.

Skiing on a Monday in Breckenridge

I greeted Monday morning to sunshine and comfortable temperatures.  But here in Breckenridge we love Mondays.  There is more room to ski and you can just about ski right onto the lifts. 

Midweek days are usually fun to teach on because the folk who ski often have taken their vacation to ski.  January 11th was just such a ski lesson with Dave A. from the Highlands Ranch area. Dave took advantage of the new Adventure Session product with Ski School.  This session is offered for between 1-5 guests, and starts at 9:15.  It is not designed as a lesson but rather a guide around the mountain. A buyer of this product usually isn’t able to request an instructor for this product.  
I met Dave about 9am, and he had a few terrain goals.  Being that he was a Level 7 skier, I had a few ideas. When I saw that he was up for being an “All-Terrain” 7, we were off!  
We warmed up on upper 4 O’clock from 6-Chair on Peak 8 (P8).  We slipped around to the Front Bowl (Horseshoe Bowl) so that I could determine his comfort level.  We used a Green, Yellow, Red model to help me determine his level of “mental” comfort on certain terrain.  When we dropped in the snow was very good.  From there we skied the “Swamp”, then headed over to the T-bar.  Dave did well across Front Bowl area.  He told me that he had thought of skiing from the top of Imperial Bowl “12,900” and he wondered if he was able.  After seeing him ski and knowing a few things about skiing people from the top, we loaded the chair. In 4 minutes we were on top of the world.  Pike’s Peak was in clear view (90+mi away).  We skied the ridge, then reloaded the chair. Now it was time for the Imperial Bowl itself.  We entered and took bite size chunks of the bowl  By the time we were half way down the comfort level was high and we skied all the way down.  We skied a few runs on Peak 7, including Ore Bucket.  We took one more run off the T-bar, then had a few more runs before lunch at Spencer’s on Peak 9.
After a short but tasty lunch we headed back out to enjoy the bluebird day.  It was gorgeous on the hill.  We headed over to Peak 10 for a few runs.  We took a look out on the “southside”, then skied Cimarron and DoubleJack.  Great times.  With a few pointers Dave was skiing very well.  As our legs began to tire, we headed back to P8 for another Imperial lap.  
It was a great day to play on the mountain with temps in the 20-30s, and nearly cloudless skies.  We skied about 19,000 vertical feet by the end of the day.  That was a good Adventure Session. Thanks Dave.

Ski Lessons in Breckenridge – December 20-29, 2009

Lessons for Ski and Snowboard have been busy over this Christmas holiday.  I have also been transitioning from Futures and Dollar Index Trading back to equity options and teaching skiing. In addition we have been growing the instructor database, and growing our Web 2.0 reach via Twitter.  You can actually follow us  @MySnowPro or me personally @JonnieLaw on Twitter.

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I say that to say… “I have been busy”, but I wanted to share some photos and videos from the past week in Breckenridge.  The T-bar, Falcon, and E-chair are open and skiing pretty well.  One or two more storms should do us a world of good. is planning a trip to Silverton Mountain, CO for a fun trip ($285).  Arriving on January 6th and Skiing 7 & 8.  Two nights (bed&breakfast), Two days on Silverton Mtn (1 day guided, 1 day without guide), 2 Breakfasts included, Wine and Cheese after skiing, and a ski movie on Thursday night.  I will also be taking all video and photo clips and putting our personal ski movie together. 
But more important that the future, here is some of the fun I shared with students over the past week.  I have had the good fortune of skiing with many new people this Holiday period.  Here are two lesson from the a week ago.
And here is a slide show from my day with Sherry and Valerie.  We spent much of our day finding intermediate runs away from the Christmas rush. You can double click on the slide show to go to the individual photos.
I was also blessed enough to ski with the Smith family from just outside of Aberdeen.  What a pleasure.  We met in a Level 8 class in Breckenridge, and skied a private lesson two days later in Vail.   We started at Vail Village and immediately made our way to the Northwoods (chair 14) area before the people found it.  I skied with Sue in the morning.  After lunch Emily, Rachel, Patrick, and I skied SunDown for a few runs.  Whistle Pig, then several runs in Game Creek Bowl.  It was a very afternoon route in which we found some very good winter snow and “Hero bumps”.  The theme of the afternoon was to maintain similar pressure between the skis and snow throughout the turn.  We improved as the day went on.
Breckenridge still has another busy weekend ahead, and I have a Birthday tomorrow. So no rest ahead, although I can’t wait to Ski Silverton Mountain next week. We still have some space available, so if your are able to join us we would enjoy having you.

Ski Tips from the Devil

Ski Lessons from the hot house.  Some say, “No snowballs in Hades!”  I beg to differ.  I will sit upon your shoulder and tell you a few of my favorite shortcuts for skiing better. But first, allow me to share where I received my idea for this topic.

I was listening to Scott Fox‘s podcast with Jack Humphrey.  Jack wrote a post “Blog Promotion Tips from the Devil”.  I found it to be an interesting approach to the subject. 

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Basically the opposite approach of many writers in getting a point across.  What about the random ski tip in leu of ski lesson given by well meaning friends or family members?

Those who ski often may have heard of “The Intermediate Rut”.  This is a point in which the skier’s current technique prevents them from skiing Advanced to Expert terrain without the “skill or grace” enjoyed on the blue terrain
As I listened to the podcast, it struck me that Ski Tips from the Devil would fit well in the realm of the ski & ride instructor.  So often, well meaning friends give advice of which they know very little.  Specifically, how to ski well.  Usually these ski tips get passed down from person to person with their own little spin. 


Prior to writing, I decided I should do some leg work and research the subject. Where to go to find those knowledgeable about the subject at 5:30pm?  A local ski/ride instructor watering hole  Quandary Grille in Breckenridge!  
There were quite a few “devils” willing to share their stories.  It was fun to knock one back and talk about a few war stories on the hill.  
When reading over these, realize in many cases they are band-aids to a real underlying skill deficiency in one’s skiing.  In the case of equipment choices or off snow choices it is just listening what others have told them.  Ignorance in it’s most innocent sense.
Here are a few of our choice tips (6+6+6=18)
1) Push your shins into the front of the boot, and edge more to slow down
2) Just “duck the rope”.  The snow is better on the other side.
3) Turn your head and/or shoulders in the direction you want to go
4) Always lean back in powder, and lean forward when you ski
5) Use your poles to push away from the lift
6) Wear two pairs of socks to keep your feet warmer, and stuff your jeans into your boots
7) Place the metal snap on your snow cuff between your boot and shin as a positive reinforcement device.
8) Use the “Texas Tuck” to help you go faster across the flats
9) Impress your friends with jump tricks whenever possible 
10)  The “Texas Suitcase” or the “Houston Handbag” are the best methods to walk around with your skis and poles
11)  Turn with your knees, and keep your feet close by attaching the boot’s velcro straps together.
12) Let your friends “teach” you how to ski, and teach spouses and significant others whenever possible.
13) Once you “learn” how to turn and stop, you are ready to go to the top!


14) If one beer at lunch makes you ski better, two will make you ski GREAT!
15) Your instructor doesn’t want a tip.  “Cheers!” is reward enough
16) 1990’s (faded) Neon will make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
17) Surprise your fellow chairlift riders by immediately pulling down the safety bar as the chair leaves the station.
18)  If your legs are tired at the end of the day, lean against the rear boot cuff and take an extra run.