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  • for the first time we have a safe, clean surface that people will come back to time and time again.
    – John Shedden
    Director of Coaching for the English Ski Council
  • A final note to all would be developers, build a slope like this and people will visit - it's really that simple
    – Russ Shea, Document Snowboard
  • The key to the future of snowboarding is Snowflex. I mean you just wouldn’t dream of doing some of the things they are doing without Snowflex.
    – Adrian Cairns
    Photographer and Snowsports writer
  • We are very happy with our Snowflex summer tubing hill. It is attracting visitors from across the country!
    – Trueman E. Hoffmeister
    Center Director
    Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies
  • Snowflex has changed the future of the ski, and snowboard industry forever.
    – Drew Sherwood
    General Manager, Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Lynchburg, VA
  • I can see it's better just looking out of my window because people are learning quicker.
    – John Fleetham
    former Managing Director of Sheffield Ski Village
  • That's the brilliant thing about it, there is so much scope to give people different experiences.
    – John Larkin
    Founder & Ex-Chairman Kendal Ski Club
  • If Snowflex® had been available 12 years ago, I would have not bothered with snow. This is fantastic.
    – Cor Mollin, Proprietor of the Belgian Indoor Snow Centres
  • The repeat business has been unbelievable, tasters develop to plough II, plough II's develop to plough III and they develop up to basic swings and even parallels, on a nursery slope!
    – Steve Foulkes - Director Rossendale Ski Centre
  • Snowflex is a great place for all levels of skiing and snowboarding. It provides and safe and fun environment that is extremely affordable.
    – Drew Sherwood
    General Manager, Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Lynchburg, VA
  • "Thank you Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre for the good times today. Can't wait to come back!!!"
    – Louie Vito
    American professional snowboarder, Olympian, Winter X Games and U.S. Grand Prix Champion.

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Home > Investors & Developers > Operational Management

Operational Management

The operational management structure could and perhaps should include experience and disciplines from different market sectors. BRITON believe it is important that professional leisure operators who know what consumers want and need, are appointed to exploit the potential. Snowsports expertise for the "on slope" activities can always be bought to assist in this scenario.

Management team / structure

President/CEO/Managing Director
The team should be led by the President/CEO/MD. This role should take overall responsibility for the strategic and financial goals of the project and to be responsible to the board for performance. Ideally they would be an experienced manager from the leisure industry, having been previously employed by one of the larger leisure LLC's/PLC's. They would not necessarily need product knowledge but an empathy and keenness with the sector would be an advantage.

General Manager
The operational team should be led by the General Manager (GM). Their role is to take overall operational responsibility for the project and to be responsible to the President and the board for performance. Ideally they would be an experienced manager from the leisure industry, having been previously employed by one of the larger leisure LLC's/PLC's. They would not necessarily need product knowledge but an empathy and keenness with the sector would be an advantage. The GM should also act as primary duty manager.

Marketing Manager
Responsible to the GM, the Marketing Manager is a vital part of the team and is primarily responsible for getting customers to the project. They would have a good budget to spend (and control) and it would be vital that marketing is well researched, targetted and tightly focused to ensure optimization. Sponsorship and events would also be part of the Marketing Manager's remit. They must be capable of duty management roles.

Financial Officer/Bookkeeper
The business is primarily a cash business and thus needs, on a daily basis, to be well controlled with excellent cash reconciliation systems installed. Good management systems will allow the team to control and forecast performance accurately and optimize the performance. They should be responsible to the GM.

Retail & Catering Managers
Although these are "secondary" revenues to the business they leave a lasting impression on the customer. Both areas are also important profit centers in their own right.

Experienced professionals are required who have good product knowledge and cannot only source and design their offerings but control stock and wastage and look after and supervise their staff. They should be responsible to the GM.

Sports Manager
This is a key role and must have a good understanding of the sport/culture. This person will have overall responsibility for what activities and events customers partake in during their visit. They will not only design all the programs and schedules but ensure staffing is adequate to cover all tuition and safety concerns. They will, in conjunction with the Marketing Manager and GM, research prices and set dynamic pricing structures. They should be responsible to the GM and be capable of duty management roles.

Sports Assistants/Duty Managers
Essentially the deputies for the Sports Manager – they must be able to take control when the Sports Manager is absent. They should be responsible to the Sports Manager.

Marketing / Admin Assistant
They should be responsible to the Marketing Manager.

Operational protocols

Health and Safety
This is vital and should have senior management focus and responsibility. Large numbers of the public will be using the facility regularly so all assets and machinery must be well cared for and maintained. It is also vitally important that training is given for all equipment and processes.

Quality standards
To ensure maximum success all aspects of the operations of the project must be well thought through and an operational manual produced so that each time each operation is undertaken to the correct high standard.

All visitors must be respected and assumed to be visiting for the first time. A satisfied customer will be a content one and will spread "the good news" – a dissatisfied customer will tell numerous others which could lead to a degraded reputation. A culture of exceeding customer's expectations must flow from top to bottom in the organization.

Uniforms
All members of staff should wear uniforms correctly themed for the various areas in the business. When on duty it is important that all respect the uniform and present the smart and correct image to all the customers.

Branding
As far as possible all aspects of the business should be branded and this will apply to all exterior facing aspects as well as all operations on site at the project. The Marketing Manager should ensure that the correct logos and typefaces are used on all materials.

Opening hours
The project can and should be open every day except certain major public holidays. Opening hours will be formulated by the GM and Marketing Manager in order to optimize performance. In practice this means that there will be considerable variations and flexibility.

Operating costs

Salaries and Wages will be the highest single cost to the business. Although the salary cost would be fixed, the wages expenses can be variable and adjusted according to seasonality, operations and daily performance. The control of costs here is a vital part of duty management. Salaries and wages should be competitively set and appropriate performance related bonus plans introduced. It should be noted that operational hours could be up to 100 hours per week, meaning that certain positions may need to be staffed by several people on a shift system.

Water – not only will this be used for the day to day restaurant and restroom needs but also for the maintenance of the Snowflex® facility and landscaping. As with all costs, control will be required and competitive rates should be sought from suppliers.

Marketing costs The budget will be formulated based on the projected attendance for the project so it is important that some elements of the budget are conditional on various performance targets being achieved. Pre-season, a marketing strategy and plan should be produced by the marketing team. Costs should include all exterior facing marketing activities and elements of events and activities held at the project.

Fuel & Power Competitive quotes from different suppliers should be obtained. There is also a potential for sponsorship in return from the suppliers. Explore alternative "green" energy methods.

Repairs & Maintenance We would suggest that

  • GBP £0.20 to £0.30
  • US $0.35 to $0.55
  • Euro €0.25 to €0.38

be collected from each ticket hour sold, to cover repairs and maintenance and placed in an escrow account for future use. In reality, no replacement should be required for the first couple of years of operation, and only then certain areas will need to be replaced such as the jump landing area. Other areas may never need replacing.

Local office expenses – these would cover the normal telephone, stationery and petty cash type requirements

I.T. - Should cover ticketing systems, accounting, software, some aspects of website maintenance and other general I.T. expenses

Rent - If a long lease is taken on the site (30+ years) instead of site purchase then a base rent + turnover related rental payment plan should be devised.

Service charge – assuming this facility may be part of a larger sports area then a service charge may be payable as a contribution towards collective area expenses

Rates – standard business rates should apply to this business

Insurance – Can be calculated on a formula relating to a percentage of attendance. There are specialty products available for these facilities which must cover public liability as well as the normal business risks.

Audit & Professional fees – standard costs for this size and type of business should be allowed for.

Director's fees – included are a contribution for a President / Managing Director