National Brotherhood of Skiers chooses Vail for 50th anniversary celebration

Largest gathering of skiers and snowboarders in U.S. set to return to Vail

A graphic from promoting the group’s 50th anniversary celebration, set to take place in Vail in Feb. 2023.
Courtesy image

Vail Mountain on Tuesday announced that The National Brotherhood of Skiers has selected Vail for its Golden 50th Anniversary Summit, with a tentative date set for Feb. 4-11.

The National Brotherhood of Skiers’ annual Black Ski Summit is considered to be the largest annual gathering of skiers and snowboarders in the nation. The NBS boasts nearly 5,000 members and all are invited to attend the annual event.

Vail has a long history of supporting the NBS Black Ski Summit; in 1977, when the annual summit was still an every-other-year affair, Vail hosted the organization’s third gathering. The first was held in Aspen in 1973 and the second was held in Sun Valley in 1975.

In 2022, the event was held in Snowmass. Vail Resorts was the platinum sponsor.

“I am passionate and dedicated to ensuring that we continue building an inclusive, diverse company we can all be proud of,” Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said in a February letter to employees.

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Lynch said during her first 100 days as CEO (she started Nov. 1), she sought meetings with people in the ski industry “whose perspectives are helping inform the vision for the next chapter of our company.”

Among the people she met was Henri Rivers, NBS president.

“We spoke about our mutual passion and mission for diversity and inclusion among our guests, our resort teams, our executive team, and our communities,” Lynch said.

A snippet from the Dec. 5, 1975 Vail Trail newspaper.
Vail Daily archive

Vail Resorts later announced a partnership with NBS “to increase access to outdoor recreation and help inspire the next generation of skiers and snowboarders,” according to Vail Resorts.

“Through a multi-year commitment from Vail Resorts, NBS chapter clubs in Detroit, Columbus, NYC and Boston will provide five on-snow sessions per season, introduce career opportunities in snow sports alongside youth mentorship, and train and hire ski and snowboard instructors of color,” according to Vail Resorts.

In a statement, Rivers said the NBS summit is meant to build connections and break boundaries in the world of winter sports.

“Next year’s event is particularly special because we will be celebrating our Golden 50th Anniversary alongside Vail Mountain’s 60th Anniversary, marking a shared vision and set of values for the industry moving forward,” Rivers said. “We are thrilled to host this important milestone at one of the world’s premier mountain destinations, and share the experience of this amazing resort and its Legendary Back Bowls with our dedicated members and their families.”

Vail Mountain COO Beth Howard said the work carried out by NBS is critical when it comes to access, inclusion and diversity in skiing.

“As we reflect on Vail Mountain’s 60th season, celebrating and hosting the NBS Summit is a part of our commitment to diversify the sport and make resorts more inclusive and welcoming to all,” Howard said.

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