GM Blog: Gen Y

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I am soooo old!  Actually, according to statistics I am only 58% into my expected life and have another 33 years to look forward to.  But last night when my husband and I went to a Dirty Heads concert, I felt old!

We traveled over to Clifton Park, NY to a nightclub a little bigger than the Snowbarn.  You know you are getting old when you arrive early to a show and hit the mall instead of a bar.  My daughter and a few of her friends (2nd yr of college) met us there.  I would say the average age was about 20 but it was an all- age concert so there were a few teens mixed in too.  My daughter disappeared into the crowd by the stage and we hung out towards the back with the PDA (public display of affection) club.

To our left was freaky glow stick guy, who weaved necklace glow sticks through his fingers like brass knuckles.  He danced all night in a Dead Head, hand weaving, sort of way.  He was fascinated with his glow stick fingers and worked hard to draw his girlfriend into his psychedelic paradise.

In front of us was silky blouse couple.  I could tell right away she was a good dancer – the type of rhythm you envy.  She was wearing a gold silky blouse that her boyfriend touched incessantly.  He had his hand on the small of her back all night long, stroking the lovely silk.  When The Dirty Heads came out her dancing went from casual to “I am so into this, “and so did his stroking.  A few times I was tempted to whack his hand off her shirt but she beat me to it, turning around and uttering one word, “DANCING.”  A little later he stormed off and she missed the encore chasing after him.

To our right was the dancing bear couple.  This big guy danced like a floppy jointed bear.  He knew the words to every song and charade danced the night away.  If a word in the song mentioned “telephone,” his hand went to his ear with pinky and thumb extended.  And every time the song said “you” he pointed to his girlfriend with a big smile.  He was quite amusing.  His girlfriend was less enthusiastic and all night he gave her hugs and kisses, trying to pull her into his dance-party.

My husband and I were the oldest people in the room.  Despite our obvious abundance of years, it was a great concert.  I would highly recommend The Dirty Heads if you like rap or reggae.  Between sets I found myself thinking about work and wishing I’d brought a stack of Mount Snow stickers I could leave in the bathroom. I am pretty sure there were some skiers and riders in the room.

I also found myself thinking about the time I have spent recently with the marketing dept, all 10-20 years younger than me.  Our conversations about the upcoming season are very different from when I started out in marketing in the 80’s.  Obviously, the biggest difference is the power of internet and social media.  On Monday night I could already see back and forth on facebook about when we would make snow and whether we would pull off some rails for the weekend.  We used to have a hard time getting word out to our customers about an early opening or big snowstorm.  Now our customers, sometimes without knowing, are influencing our decisions just by their online conversations.

The baby boomers win the numbers game but I am counting on Gen Y to be the innovators for the ski industry.  Let’s face it, my age group will probably focus on a healthy lifestyle and ski and ride until the bitter end but I don’t see us changing up the game significantly.  Our kids and eventually grand children are the blood pumping artery for this sport.  Terrain parks, tree skiing, helmet cams, twin tips, Cab 540s….What’s next?

As we head into the 2012 season I hope to keep an open mind towards our youth segment and try to observe and embrace the freaky glow stick guy along with the silky blouse couple.  Whether they choose to Occupy Wall Street or our chairlifts, I’m pretty sure that this ole’ dog is up for a few new tricks and I look forward to what my grandkids will teach me!

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