Message from the President

Ann Arbor Ski Club
Special Edition

September 18, 2018

A Special September Message From the President


Dear Ann Arbor Ski Club Member,

Wednesday (not Thursday!) September 19th is our first General Meeting of the 2018 - 2019 season.  We meet at Cobblestone Farm from 7:30 to 10:30pm.  The club is providing beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks.  The beer and wine will be served by a professional bartender.  

We'll have a brief meeting to discuss various club activities, including continued sign-ups for our January weekend bus trip to Shanty Creek for Up North skiing at Bellaire, Michigan.  Plus, you'll hear the latest on our three Western trips to Steamboat and Aspen in Colorado and Sun Valley, Idaho.  

Note that Terrace Inn sign-ups will begin at our Cross-Country Kick-off Meeting on Wednesday, October 17.  DJ Paul will top off that evening with dance music. AND, at this Wednesday's meeting too.

Why Wednesdays? – Going back to the last ice age the ski club has convened our General Meetings on Thursdays.  Recently, our club cut back on the number of GMs.  Considerable thought was given to stopping all Cobblestone Farm meetings.  Eventually the board decided to return to Cobblestone for the 2018 - 2019 season.  Alas, by the time we sought reservations most of the Thursdays were booked and out of reach.  Hence the change to Wednesdays for this year.

We have increased the number of GMs compared to the most recent several years.  We will hold a meeting every two weeks through the first five meetings.  Then we skip across Thanksgiving to the Christmas-plus holiday meeting on Wednesday, December 5.

In 2019 we reduce to one meeting per month for January, February, and March.  Then, we wrap up with two meetings in April.  Notice that the February and March meetings are not at Cobblestone, (when it will be closed for remodeling).  The February meeting will almost certainly be held at Mt. Brighton.   The March meeting location is still TBD.  Later we'll provide many newsletter and GM announcements on the still to be determined locations for February and March.

Why a Bartender? – In a word, insurance!  It has become difficult for the club to serve beer and wine and still purchase host liability insurance.  It turns out that for a social setting in Michigan where alcohol is being served, but not sold-- such as a company picnic, or your house, or an A2SC General Meeting--  the legal liability for alcohol related lawsuits goes with the individual, not the server.  However, since in the real world anyone can sue for any thing, the club still bore a risk of defending possible lawsuits, even ones we'd surely win in court.

The board tested BYOB last season, but it turns out that left us with the same liability risk and insurance problem.  However, by hiring a professional bartending service, we not only get a pro to serve us and  keep an eye on potential issues, but they also bring their own insurance.  Thus we are able once again to serve beer and wine.

Note!  In this liability avoidance world BYOB is verboten.   And, as before, we cannot serve hard spirits.  Our Cobblestone contract and Ann Arbor city law limits us to beer and wine. (FYI, Cobblestone is a city park.)

Why Ski Trips? –  We are the one and only ANN ARBOR SKI CLUB!  Per Article II of our constitution, “The purpose of the society shall be to promote and encourage skiing and related activities and to provide for organized fellowship, entertainment, and instruction in skiing techniques.”

At this time of year we gear up for skiing and ski trips.

Now, I realize that possibly half our members are not skiers.  Today, as in decades past, non-skiers and non-skiing activities are still very welcome in the A2SC.  I just returned from the Peninsula and Pour TC Bike Trip that the club enjoyed this past weekend.(Thanks Joe and Bonnie!   It was a great time!)

The club has always, and will always continue to do these other activities.  But, skiing is why the club was founded and it is our core business.

We started sign-ups for three Western trips at the Corn Roast.  All three trips are nearly full.  Out of 100 spaces available across the 3 trips, only 12 spaces remain.  If you're interested in a Western trip with the club don’t delay!  When a trip reaches full we start a wait list.  Cancellations occur and those waiting on the list will get first crack.

Also at the Corn Roast we started sign-ups for the Schuss-Shanty Creek Ski Instructional Bus Trip.  A mere handful are enrolled so far, with room for 50 participants on the bus, but I am very optimistic.  Many members expressed to me their interest at the Corn Roast and more during the Traverse City bike trip.

This learn and shake off the rust ski trip to Shanty Creek was once a club staple.  We started every season with a helping of this kind of fun.  We have not hosted this trip in 5 years, but I am confident we can make it happen again.  On top of other trip amenities, the Instructional includes, at a discounted price, 8 optional hours of group instruction for downhill OR cross-country at all levels of beginner thru expert.  Up to four hours on Saturday, and four more on Sunday.  

Whether you haven't skied since you aimed those youngster longboards straight down hill, or you ski all the time, or you’ve NEVER skied, this is a great trip.  And, there has never been a better time to schuss or kick-glide yourself into skiing.  Recent technological advancements in the equipment (shorter parabolic skis!) has made this the easiest time ever to enter the sport.

Hey!  Did I mention that I'm passionate about skiing?!

I hope to see as many of you as possible at the meeting this Wednesday (NOT Thursday) and on future Wednesdays!

Greg Robertson
President, Ann Arbor Ski Club

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