Updated January 21, 2011 at midnight
Steamboat Springs In six years of coming to the Steamboat Weather Summit, CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano says it has yet to get old.
This year, for instance, the skier decided to give snowboarding a try and go big in the terrain park at Steamboat Ski Area. To CNN viewers, Marciano looked like a pro thanks to a little creative editing and a stunt double, terrain park employee Elliot Freeze. The network audience might not have found out, but Marciano was honest.
“We got to the bottom, and I fessed up,” Marciano said.
The airtime and exposure Marciano gave Steamboat on Thursday morning is extremely valuable in the eyes of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. It is one of the reasons Ski Corp. has hosted the Weather Summit for 22 years.
“It’s a win-win,” said Ski Corp. spokesman Mike Lane. “We get tremendous exposure from the live shots. It’s a perfect way to reach media in the weather field.”
Lane estimated 50 live shots were broadcast from a satellite truck brought in for the summit.
The 16 meteorologists attending this year’s summit also benefited. Speakers conducted morning sessions Monday through Thursday covering everything from global warming to new radar technology being launched by the National Weather Service.
The meteorologists also were introduced to new tools available to help them build forecasts.
“There is so much increased demand on meteorologists to do more,” said summit organizer Dave Jones, the founder of Storm Center Communications.
Some conference attendees are regulars such as Jim Cantori, a 25-year veteran meteorologist for The Weather Channel who is attending for his 11th year.
“It is absolutely essential in my field to stay up to date,” Cantori said. “My climate education has pretty much existed right here at this conference.”
Cantori’s work this week included doing live forecasts from the ski area.
“We get educated; they get promotion,” said Cantori, who planned on filming a piece Thursday afternoon for his viewers about ski bikes.
“I think they want to see the people who tell them the weather having fun,” Cantori said.
Several of the meteorologists, from markets that included Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky also shared with their viewers one of Steamboat’s most unusual events, the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill.
“It was a huge hit at CNN,” Marciano said. “They ran the Cowboy Downhill highlights hourly.”