Club considered the “gold” standard |

Club considered the “gold” standard

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

— The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is certified golden, at least in the eyes of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.

USSA recently awarded the Winter Sports Club "gold level certification," something that had club organizers buzzing.

"We spent a lot of time on this," director Jim Boyne said. "It took us a while, even though we've been around 100 years, and really, it was a rigorous exercise. It's a big deal from our perspective, and not only something earned by the club, but also by the community."

USSA's club certification program tests snowsports organizations around the country by performing "a comprehensive organizational assessment in order to verify and demonstrate their understanding of the best principles and implementations of best practices."

Translated: USSA thoroughly vets clubs, checking them out from top to bottom, and Steamboat came out of that process golden, earning the top available designation, which is currently only extended to about 5 percent of ski clubs.

It wasn't an accident, Boyne said. It was the product of an effort that started soon after his arrival in 2014.

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The inspection includes looks at the history and organizational structure of a club, strategic objectives and plans to realize them, community integration, parent involvement and athlete education, along with more than a dozen other areas.

"I come from the business world, and I always like to evaluate how things are working," Boyne said. "The USSA really focuses clubs to look at every aspect of their organization. It created a road map of strengths and also a road map of opportunities we had and things we could do better, which we accomplished over the last two years."

The process, he said, was good for the club, which, in recent seasons, has embraced the mission statement of "creating champions on and off the hill."

"Our organization is much stronger now," Boyne said. "A lot of good things happened in the past, but we put processes and systems in place to ensure they happen much more reliably in the future.

"Although it's not perfect, our structure is much more clear and more focused than it has been in the past."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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