The original concept for SkiTOPS was first discussed in 1988 when a group of ski tour company owners met up to share their knowledge and experiences within the ski tourism industry. It was there suggested that a formal group be established where these operators could collaborate and work together to maximize revenues in this niche industry. A year later the idea was presented to additional ski tour operator owners and principals, and it was agreed upon to move forward with a plan. The first board of directors, elected in 1990, set about establishing bylaws and creating the 501c3 non-profit association. With that SkiTOPS was born!
The original board of directors created two annual meetings, for which attendance of both by the tour operator/buyer members was required. The annual Network Conference takes place in late spring and allows tour operators (BUYERS) to meet with each other to discuss the state of the industry and to meet with key SUPPLIER members to form partnerships and to execute contracts for the following winter/ski season. The Fall Meeting (which no longer takes place) was the forum in which the tour operator members could meet and discuss ways to grow, evolve and define the organization. In 2000 it was decided to invite Supplier members to also attend the Fall Meeting.
In 2002 the board of directors added a Supplier Representative position, to be elected by their supplier member peers, to the board. Though this new Supplier Representative position was not given voting rights on the board, this did signal the beginning of a shift for SkiTOPS. This formerly buyer driven organization had turned the page and was becoming more of an industry partnership group. A few years later a second Supplier Representative to the board was added.
In 2018 the board added two more Supplier Representative positions to its ranks changing the make-up of the board of directors to an even 50/50 split between Buyer and Supplier board members. The board further decided to give all of the Supplier Representative board members full voting rights, resulting in equal board of directors representation by Buyers and Suppliers. This partnership is what ”By The Industry, For The Industry” means to SkiTOPS! In 2018 the terms of membership for Buyers was updated to include buyer members from outside of the United States.