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Making the Max Pass: New Technology to Drive the Sales Experience for a New Brand

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BLANCHARD
       

The MAX Pass came out of nowhere with a unique strategy built on new tech and designed based on lessons from the past. This week I’m covering three aspects of how this pass, sale, and brand came to be.

Today’s perspective on the technology behind the scenes came from a quick screenshare and chat with Inntopia’s fearless leader and CEO, Trevor Crist.

I have to admit, for a while I’ve let the “Inn” cloud my view of the “topia” for these guys. Perhaps at one time they were just the lodging platform I too often think of them as, but their involvement in The MAX Pass illustrates how wrong that narrow view is and the impressive tech that has brought them to this point.

So when you see MAX’s main sales page and, more specifically, the slick cart/”buy now” widget…

max-inntopia-1

…and the popover I mentioned on Wednesday

maxpass3

Keep in mind that the reason you aren’t being forced into a stock e-store to fill your cart is because Inntopia gives developers the tools to do that…and much more.

Seems my dream may be much closer than I thought.

Built on Bootstrap
If you do any significant level of web development, you may see a certain familiarity in some of the elements within The MAX Pass checkout flow. And you’d be right because Inntopia has built much of their responsive framework on Bootstrap.

max-bootstrap

Some devs/designers may thumb their nose at a Boostrap implementation that keeps any of the default elements, but I love it for simple reason: bootstrap works. You get a stable, friendly, familiar, responsive interface that 99.99% of skiers won’t even notice is Bootstrap (or even know Bootstrap is).

In an industry where we’re constantly facing limited bandwidth, sticking with generic border radii and alert colors in favor of a better product is, in my book, the right choice.

More and More
I’ve been through quite a few estore checkout processes before, but I was really impressed by the flow and features of Inntopia’s new season pass module. For example:

  • The site was flexible enough to effortlessly switch between French and English as was needed for this pass.
  • Photo uploaded and basic editing (cropping) for pass photos.
  • Integrated, customizable liability waivers that can be saved so future purchases don’t require the same waivers over and over.
  • Pass insurance that complied with different states’ laws could be worked right into the flow.
  • Seamless age validation on pass products.
  • A slick downpayment option with an easy receivables-like interface to bill remaining amounts when that time comes.

In other words, the bases were covered well within an clean, responsive layout with a handful of extra features that made the whole experience as smooth as I’ve ever seen.

The fact that Trevor could walk me through the entire process of buying passes for a family of four – stopping to answer my questions along the way and repeat multiple steps to show how various customers would experience things – and do so in about 15 minutes should be telling.

Good Signs
I’ve been impressed with The MAX Pass thus far. It’s a solid, well-thought-out product with good design built on solid technology.

It bridges the country, it spans resort operators, it carries a ton of value, it leans on lessons from all that have come before, it’s got some good early momentum, and, if next season is anything like this one, is going to give many destination passholders a very valid reason to be considered in the future.

Let’s just hope we all don’t get as sick of MAX as we are of Epic ;)



  • 100% agree with using Bootstrap. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel in cases like this. Plus, since users have been unknowingly using websites built with it, common elements (like border radii, as you mentioned) are standardized and become familiar to users when it comes to forms and checkout pages.

    Saving on development costs and bringing a project to market faster isn’t too shabby either. Let’s Trevor’s gang focus on tackling that redemption, tracking, and ticking issue. Ha!

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