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Blogging
The winner and still undefeated resort GM blog is…

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

Back in college I noodled on a business idea built around the concept of helping people my parents’ age get up to speed on various bits of technology. It could be helping them grasp what’s happening when they defragment their hard drive, or it could simply be defining a word.

A word like “blog”.

I remembered testing this idea on my mother and just giving her a 30-second lesson on blogs:

“Blog is short for WEB + LOG. In other words, it may best be described as a public journal you’d like other people to read. And this public journal lives on the internet so they can.”

In the years since as social media has normalized the practice of sharing our lives, it’s interesting how the meaning of the word blog has changed. But, even more interesting, is how it hasn’t.

Overthought…or Not
Because one of the most interesting trends around the blogs I end up reading the most is simply this: they don’t overthink the content, they just share updates based on their unique perspective. The more unique the perspective, the better the content.

And do you know who has a really unique perspective on a ski resort’s daily comings and goings? The GM.

Alan Henceroth is the Al behind Arapahoe Basin’s well-known and long-running Al’s Blog. As COO, he’s got access to all the pieces of the story. As a 30-year veteran of A-Basin, he’s got the experience to understand how they all connect.

Like this recent post about wind-direction:

“The “Good Wind” was blowing Tuesday. As any tried and true A-Basin die-hard knows, there are certain winds that are very kind to A-Basin. They fill in areas with soft and flat, buffed out snow. I think it is like skiing on velvet. Some areas favored by these winds are Dragon and The Knolls. Marmot, in The Beavers, was filling in yesterday. My particular favorite buffed out run is, of course, The Spine. I love the “Good Wind”.”

Or this update about “The Blue Guys”:

“You might see a pack of employees in blue jackets chasing around one or two patrollers. This is the 2018-19 class of rookie patrollers. Over the last couple of seasons, we have been bumping up the size of our patrol in preparation for The Beavers and Steep Gullies. You might see these guys learning how to run toboggans, evacuate chairlifts, put up rope closures or move snowfences around. Most of them have previous ski patrol experience elsewhere or have worked in other departments at The Basin. Take a moment to welcome and get to know the new team members.”

Or some insight into the progress of their new lift:

“As you can tell, the rope splice takes a lot of hands. These guys are working on the splice at Tower 15. It is a little chilly and blustery out there today. Once this is finished up, the crew will start placing chairs on the wire rope. That means the bullwheels will be spinning soon.”

If you clicked on any of those links above, you’ll already realize this, but that text I’ve quoted for each post isn’t a snippet, it’s the entire post.

Don’t Overthink, Just Write
In my book, Al’s Blog is the best GM blog in the ski industry and maybe the best resort-run blog period.

But the reasons why aren’t secret or hard to decipher, they’re dead simple:

  • As Al goes about his day, he takes pictures
  • He writes short updates to go with each one describing what happened
  • And then he posts them to the blog

Al doesn’t overthink the content, he doesn’t worry about strategy, he doesn’t worry about expectations of length or polish or whatever, he just takes us along as he runs one of the coolest resorts in skiing and…

…well, when it comes to great marketing, that’s more than enough.


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