Business students’ in-class idea reaches Snowbowl

Posted: Friday, February 6th 2015 at 6:25 AM

By Robinli Uber, Student Writer

Every semester The W. A. Franke College of Business offers BizBlock, an integrated program incorporating management, marketing, and business communication. In this course, students form teams and are responsible for fleshing out complete business plans from design to marketing.

In Fall 2014, one team of NAU-FCB business students came up with the idea for SnoLink, a shuttle service that goes from Flagstaff to the Snowbowl ski resort.

“We came up with a concept of what we would like to utilize in a shuttle service — what we would look for as students — and we came to the conclusion that it was going to be three bus stops at various local hotels around Flagstaff,” said junior management major Bishop Dodge. “From there it would take students and other tourists up to the mountain, all in about an hour and a half.”

The BizBlock curriculum allows students to experience real-world aspects of working in the business community by conducting research and coming up with marketing techniques.

“We were able to talk to the Marketing Director of Snowbowl, Jason Stratton, and speak to him about the shuttle service,” said junior management major Ryan Farran. “He talked about how it had been tried before and of course that gave us a whole new insight into what happened the last time and why it didn’t continue to be a functioning service.”

“At the end of the project we weren’t chosen to go on to the investor presentation, but we were able to set up a meeting with [Arizona Snowbowl General Manager] JR Murray and talk to him about what we had researched and our ideas,” said junior management major Heather Carneal.

“[He] was interested in hearing our point of view as far as what types of shuttles would work and where to pick up to service the students as well as reach out to tourists… He also had some questions as far as advertising and how to market to students because in the past that has been the challenge for this type of business,” she said.

Murray later contacted BizBlock professors about his meeting with the SnoLink group. He was impressed with their presentation and plans on taking their input into account. “Their topic was spot on with meeting campus and community need,” Murray said. “It was refreshing to see the professionalism from the NAU business students.” 

BizBlock continues to give students hands-on business experience and provides them with opportunities to make valuable connections in the business community.

Categories: nau business news spring 2015 2015 flagstaff business news business students’ in-class idea reaches snowbowl robinli uber arizona snowbowl jr murray bizblock snolink bishop dodge ryan farran nbn february issue 2015 heather carneal