TSIL: A brief history
The Snow Industry Letter (originally The Ski Industry Letter) was founded by the late Bill Tanler who also founded the magazines Ski Tech, Ski Racing and Ski Travel. The letter was designed to keep those who worked in the industry informed about what was happening within the industry.
In 1981, TSIL was purchased by I. William Berry and Craig Altschul, with Berry taking over as publisher and editor. Under Berry, a former editor of SKI and other publications, TSIL carried a pronounced edge as it not only reported what was going on in every aspect of the ski industry, but editorialized on the meaning of various happenings and trends. In the 1980s and early ’90s, the newsletter was mailed 12 times a year in a 12 page format, with editorials consuming the last page and often the final three.
Major issues such as ski area permits and environmental concerns were covered by questioning not only environmental groups but government officials and fish and wildlife biologists to balance the issues. Considerable coverage was given the brief marriage of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) and the workings of both organizations.
I. William Berry died in 1994. His son Greg operated TSIL until it was sold to Bob Gillen and Lois Friedland in 1996. Gillen had been involved in marketing and public relations at a number of ski areas, including Crested Butte, Stowe Mountain Resort and Sugarbush. He served as publisher and Friedland was editor-in-chief.
In the early ’90s, the weekly faxletter was added, taking advantage of that technology for more immediacy and eventually the mailings were dropped and current e-mail delivery was adopted.
A Facebook page and Twitter account are now available where there are links to stories of interest, but not included in the newsletter.
Mary McKhann was editor of TSIL for 10 years before forming The Snow Industry Letter LLC, which purchased the newsletter from Snow.com in September 2008. She has been writing about the snowsports industry since 1985 both as a freelancer and for The Rutland (VT) Herald and Ski Racing Magazine. McKhann has also been a commentator on winter sports for Vermont Public Radio . She is an avid snowboarder and skier.