The first new resort in Utah in over 30 years is opening this Fall just a stone’s throw from my old stomping grounds. I haven’t heard back from their Marketing team to get their take, but with a million thoughts about what they should do, this week I’m temporarily going back to my daily-posting ways to share five quick things I’d do first and foremost if I were in their shoes.
In Colorado, upwards of 20% of people ski.
In Utah, that number is well below 5%. It’s been that way for years. Is it because people don’t want to go outside during winter? Maybe, but last year an Ice Castle in Midway, UT was turning away visitors because they lines were so long. And that was before local musicians had two covers go viral that were filmed at the castle (over 30 million combined views).
I read in an article that Cherry Peak is positioning itself as a “teaching mountain”. That’s great, but that’s not going to be enough.
But I also read that they will have a tubing hill. That, to me, will be the most important factor of this resorts success both as a business but also as a feeder. Over and over again I hear that tubing hills all over the country are the most effective way to get people hooked on sliding down snow. Once they catch the bug they want more.
They want skiing. Utahn’s don’t ski, you’ll need to start with tubing.
So, if I were you, I’d make tubing just as prominent in my marketing as skiing. All that stuff I said about youth groups and family nights? That should be tubing first, not skiing.
But I wouldn’t stop there. I’d try to make Cherry Creek as much of a winter hub for the valley as possible. I’d do lights displays, sleigh rides, heck, build an ice castle. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that being a ski hill first (with a few “other activities”) is going to be enough. It’s not.
But I wish you the best of luck. If you’re open during my next trip to Logan I’ll be sure and come up to make some turns.
Published March 14th, 2014 by Gregg Blanchard.