The History of the Snow Sports Industry

In 1904 a meeting was held in Ishpeming, Michigan to discuss formation of a national ski association. Ishpeming Ski Club President Carl Tellefsen proposed holding a meeting after the 1905 jumping meet to found a ski association which, among other duties, would oversee jumping tournaments. In 1905, the association was formally organized during a meeting attended by officers from the Ishpeming, Minneapolis, Red Wing, Minnesota, Stillwater, Minnesota and Eau Claire, Wisconsin ski clubs. On February 21, 1905, Carl Tellefsen announced formation of the National Ski Association with himself its first president.

In 1962, the 57-year-old National Ski Association renamed itself the U.S. Ski Association (USSA), and moved its offices to Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1976 the USSA and the U.S. Ski Team agreed to part ways, but in 1988 the groups merged again when USSA President and CEO Howard Peterson directed the consolidation and subsequently moved its national offices from Colorado Springs to its current location in Park City, Utah.

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) was established on December 10, 1954 as the National Ski Equipment and Clothing Association (NSECA).

In February, 1959, the Board of Directors of NSECA organized another trade association, Ski Industries America, to conduct its own trade shows for its membership. The first independent Ski Industries America trade show was April 24–28, 1960.

In 1989, the United Ski Industries Association (USIA) was founded by merging two existing organizations – National Ski Areas Association and Ski Industries America to serve as the trade association for consumer ski product suppliers, ski area operators, and related ski business. In September 1991, USIA demerged and in 1993 SIA became its own organization again.

In 1997, SIA changed its name from Ski Industries America to SnowSports Industries America (SIA). SIA is the producer of the largest trade show in the snow sports industry. The event lasts for four days at the Colorado Convention Center and is followed by a two-day On-Snow Demo at Winter Park Resort and Devil’s Thumb Ranch.