I’ve been on the fence for years about the idea of an interconnect system between Utah resorts.
The first real effort in that regard, SkiLink, was amusing at best. I say that more openly now that it’s off the table, but in my book that was solely about giving Canyons another base area and very little else.
But now that ONE Wasatch has been announced, I like it. A lot. Here are three reasons why.
Pad the Stats
Over and over I keep seeing local critics of the proposal mockingly state that no skier could ever ski all the runs included on such a ticket or even ride all the lifts they’ve paid for.
This, however, has nothing to do with it because perceived variety and perceived possibilities sell (even though a skier may only ski a third of the runs during a week’s vacation). I believe that a pass with 18,000 acres, 750 runs, and 100 lifts will have that same effect.
Again, this has very little to do with how people will actually use the pass, but ONE Wasatch is different. It’s not Epic, it’s not one shared boundary, it’s a completely unique system and product. This one-of-a-kindness in North America, especially vis-a-vis Utah’s neighbor to the East, will turn heads.
Not only that, but it can’t be replicated. No other state has resorts in such close proximity. Improvements like this trigger responses from competitors, but there is simply no way to create another system that competes apples-to-apples.
If Utah’s seven Wasatch resorts connect, whose kingdom would feel the most threatened? Vail Resorts.
Who would have the resources to mount the biggest fight against this alliance? Vail Resorts.
But who is part of the proposal? Vail Resorts.
By including Canyons, Vail goes from feeling threatened to having skin in the game and a reason to spread the word instead of fight it. That, in my book, may prove to be the most powerful piece of all.
I Hope it Happens
I honestly hope this comes together. If it does, I believe we will look back on it as the single biggest resort marketing success story of this decade.
Well done, Utah, well done.
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