A project focused on the development of targeted messaging so that all groups slide with respect

As part of regular coursework in the School of Business Administration at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, we are conducting research that captures the user ("snowslider") perspective on ski areas. We are using the results to inform messaging that we are providing to everyone to use free of charge.

Three skiers walking towards the sunset

The story behind Slide with Respect

The death of Ron LeMaster, a ski coach and instructor, was the catalyst that led to a unique collaboration as part of regular coursework at Fort Lewis College.

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Project voices

Profile image of Grant Podhalsky, one of the students that worked on the Slide With Respect project

Grant Podhalsky

Student at Fort Lewis College

Working on the Slide With Respect project has taught me the value of staying in control and being aware of my surroundings. Accidents happen much faster than we anticipate. Simply by staying in control and being aware of our surroundings we are able to reduce the quantity and severity of accidents dramatically.

Profile image of Lexi Graves, one of the students that worked on the Slide With Respect project

Lexi Graves

Student at Fort Lewis College

Slide With Respect has taught me that a lot goes into social marketing. We aren't getting snow sliders to just purchase something, but buy into the idea that their actions on the mountain can change lives in dramatic ways.

Profile image of Tom Miaskiewicz, one of the professors that worked on the Slide With Respect project

Tom Miaskiewicz

Associate Professor at Fort Lewis College

The Slide With Respect project has led to a rewarding, collaborative experience between our students and various stakeholders that serve as  mentors during our classes. The project epitomizes the experiential learning that is at the heart of the educational experience at Fort Lewis College.

Project timeline

Fall 2022 Semester (August - December 2022)


Marketing Research Class

The class kicked off the Slide With Respect project. With the support of industry mentors, the students conducted in-depth interviews with various groups (e.g., patrollers and instructors) and designed a survey. Over 4,000 respondents completed the survey.

Spring 2023 Semester (January - May 2023)


Messaging "Special Topics" Class

The class worked with the results of the research from the previous semester to develop targeted messaging for specific segments of snowsliders. The messaging work led to unique approaches, from the use of AI to create an interactive video to stickers targeted towards  Gen Z snowsliders.

August, 2023 and beyond


Mapping out next steps

We are currently determining how to proceed with the project beyond our initial two-semester "pilot" structure in the research and messaging classes