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Surprise Flash Mob at Alpine Meadows: Local Companies Partner to promote Reno Tahoe and local products



This past weekend, in the midst of a blizzard that brought 54 inches of snow to Alpine Meadows, Microsoft Licensing, GP and Microsoft Student partnered with Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, Moment Skis and Sentury Snowboards to create the biggest flash mob this area has ever seen, to promote Reno Tahoe and the products of local companies.

“It was touch and go that we’d even be able to pull this off, but with employees and videographers that flew in for the weekend, we forged onward,” said Amy Strande, director of Microsoft Student Outreach.

On Saturday, over 125 people braved driving in blizzard conditions to gather at the Alpine Meadows Take the Lake Rail Jam competition, kicking off the competition with a surprise flash mob.  The original plan was to have the flash mob outside on the snow surrounding the competition venue, but the blizzard forced us indoors.

“We went with an 80’s theme, because we were looking to go big and relate to everyone,” said Max Lanman, creative director of the flash mob.  “We wanted it to be over the top and fun to watch.” The goal of the flash mob was to create a viral video to showcase Reno Tahoe and Alpine Meadows; promote Microsoft products and locally produced Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis.  The weather conditions forced us to be resilient, and brought together an amazing community of people, including Microsoft employees, interns, vendors and family, UNR Dance Co-Op members, dance students from Reno to South Lake Tahoe, and Alpine Meadows ski team skiers, families and coaches.  The flash mob video can be found at Microsoft.com/flashmob.

The idea stemmed from a challenge issued by Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft when he visited the Reno office in 2010 to think of creative ways to grow awareness and market share of Microsoft products in the community.

“I started thinking that we could partner with local tourism officials and our existing partners at Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis to showcase the area and local products using each partners’ social networks,” said Lynnette Bellin, the instigator of the flash mob. “The blizzard made this a herculean feat!”

Take The Lake draws college students from the San Francisco Bay area during spring break, according to Deanna Gescheider, executive director of marketing for JMA Ventures, which manages Alpine Meadows and Homewood resorts.  “The flash mob was a fun addition to the existing college spring break week at Alpine,” said Gescheider.  Unfortunately, the Take The Lake Jump Line Competition had to be cancelled due to weather conditions, but the rail jam proceeded as planned.  Thanks to the weather, there were a lot of people in the lodge seeking shelter from the storm, providing the perfect audience for our flash mob.

The Bay Area is also a target market for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

Over the past year, Sentury Snowboards has created Bing and Windows Live branded snowboards for Microsoft.  Microsoft also partnered with Moment Skis to create a Windows branded ski.  “The branded equipment is mainly sold to Microsoft employees, serving as a conversation starter with people on the mountain so that we can evangelize Microsoft products,” said Ken Skogerson, project manager of the MSLI Marketing and PR committee.

About Microsoft Licensing, GP

Microsoft Licensing, GP (MSLI), headquartered in Reno, Nev. since 1997, enables organizations, large and small, to acquire, distribute and utilize Microsoft’s vast array of products, including software, hardware and services.   MSLI employs approximately 500 professionals across 22 states and supports Microsoft’s operations for OEM, Volume Licensing, XBOX and Dynamics throughout North & South America.  MSLI and its employees contribute to the communities in which we live by emphasizing support efforts for education, youth organizations, diversity initiatives and disadvantaged communities to advance their information technology programs.  For more information, visit http://www.mslicense.com.

About Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

Ranked as a top winter resort by SKI Magazine, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort blends an authentic mountain experience with cutting-edge technology to enhance the guest experience. Focusing on online savings programs, Alpine Meadows offers guests everyday ticket savings with adult prices starting at $50 for winter 2010/2011. Alpine is situated in the picturesque Tahoe National Forest and offers skiers and snowboarders 2,400 acres of terrain. With 14 lifts, more than 100 trails, and majestic views of Lake

Tahoe, Alpine Meadows is accessed via Interstate 80, 45 miles west of Reno, NV and 200 miles east of San Francisco, CA. Alpine Meadows’ parent company is San Francisco, California based JMA Ventures, LLC. JMA is a full service real estate investment firm, serving as managing member of over $500 million in existing projects. Visit SkiAlpine.com or call 530-583-4232 for more information about Alpine


About the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, RSCVA, was established in 1959 as the Washoe County Fair and Recreation Board. The RSCVA acts as a marketing organization for the county to promote convention and tourism business. For more information, see www.visitrenotahoe.com.

About Moment Skis

Moment exists today because seven years ago, nobody was listening. The industry was oblivious to the community, and when we couldn’t buy the skis we wanted, we decided to make them ourselves. We worked carefully with the best materials we could find, because breaking one meant spending days pressing out a new pair. We did it by hand, because there was no other way.

While years of practice have made us faster, the process and the passion remain the same.

Moment is growing, but please don’t call us businessmen. We are skiers. We still design, press, and test all our skis in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Range. We use the best materials available and we still do it all by hand, not because we have to but because that’s how we believe skis should be made.

The Moment line consists of 16 handmade skis, tailored to every type of riding possible. And this year, we’re extremely proud to introduce Moment Outerwear. Every design comes from within Moment, and we hope the resulting collection will resonate with you as a skier.  Visit www.momentskis.com.

About Sentury Snowboards

A united group of snowboarders, engineers and artists focused on one goal: to design and manufacture the most innovative and durable snowboards available. The Sentury manufacturing & design lab is only minutes from the Sierras. Throughout each winter the boys at the lab tirelessly redesign, refine and experiment with new shapes and materials, resulting in extremely innovative and durable boards. Sentury Snowboards prides itself on 100% American made boards.  For more information, visit www.senturysnowboards.com.

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.




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