I’ve really been impressed with Cannonsburg’s marketing efforts as of late. For a resort their size, they’ve done some really simple, progressive, and clever things to drive engagement on social media and brand loyalty. Aside from web-based initiatives like their t-shirt design voting (the designs are some of the best I’ve seen for a resort) and CAD terrain park features, they are also trying new ticket offerings like their recent announcement of Family Season Passes.
Now, family passes are nothing new, many resorts use them, but it’s a topic I’ve wanted to revisit for a while now and Cannonsburg gave me a great opportunity. These passes allow parents and children to bundle their purchase to save some extra cash. Here are the numbers for Cannonsburg:
Family of 2
Individually: $658 – Family Pass: $589 – Savings: $69
Family of 3
Individually: $987 – Family Pass: $739 – Savings: $248
Family of 4
Individually: $1,316 – Family Pass: $799 – Savings: $517
Family of 5
Individually: $1,645 – Family Pass: $974 – Savings: $671
The Big Question
With season pass options like this, two revenue generated by two groups will be affected. First, the families that already bought season passes at the normal price will now be saving upwards of $600 on their passes. Second, the families that didn’t normally buy passes (because of the price or other reasons) will now buy passes, generating upwards of $800 of revenue a piece.
So, the big question is, will these lower prices prompt enough families to buy passes so the revenue they generate is greater than the losses from long-time family passholders? And, one step further, how much were those non-passholder families typically spending on lift tickets each year that is no longer being spent? I guess the formula might look like this:
DOES THIS: (Individual Passes bought by Families X Pass Price) + (Lift Tickets Purchased by Non-Passholding Families X Ticket Price)
EQUAL THIS: New Family Passes X Pass Price
Yes and No
I like the idea of offering families a season pass option that makes it easy to price and buy. However, the worry for me has always been if this option will generate more revenue that you lose by handing loyal passholding families an automatic discount. It’s easy to start a family discount model, but it’s likely much more difficult to stop. Once those families have a discounts, taking them away would be a slap in the face.
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