skip to main content

Branding
Painting skiers into a rainy corner.

divider image for this post
GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

Last season was one of the best I’ve ever had. With a pass at Utah’s smallest ski area, I learned to go out and find the fun in skiing instead of waiting for the mountain to give it to me.

In that mindset I learned something completely surprising. Something skiers aren’t supposed to say…ever.

I learned that I really enjoy skiing in the rain.

Bizarre Twists
What’s bizarre is that it took me 20 years to realize this because it took me 20 years to do it intentionally! Simple because for my entire skiing “career” I had been told that real skiers don’t ski in the rain. That rain is the enemy. Rain is something you avoid at all costs.

In some ways, of course, it absolutely is the enemy, but here’s where it gets even weirder.

Twist #1 – Stay Open
Because most resorts DO NOT close when it rains. In other words, they remain in a state where more skiers would be beneficial to their bottom line.

Twist #2 – Spread Stereotype
But at the same time, they perpetuate the stereotype that skiing and rain don’t mix. In other words, they remain open but share messages that suggest their potential customers shouldn’t bother coming.

I love that Sugarloaf tweeted about the rain and embraced the realities of their current conditions.

If I had been the one writing this tweet, however, (Sugarloaf’s owners should appreciate that I’m not) I would have made one small change:

Pluviophile: someone (including skiers) who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. #theloaf #winterreturnstomorrow

All I’m trying to do is make it okay to enjoy skiing in the rain. To separate the vilifying of the precipitation from the act of skiing while it’s falling. To give skiers permission to love it as much as they love spring skiing or other times of “imperfect” conditions.

This is a small thing, but it’s a pretty massive departure from our normal message.

What if…
What if the next time it rained you grabbed the GoPro, jumped on the lift, and interviewed people to find out why they were there? What if you made a 2-3 minute edit about those pluviophiles? Maybe you’d find people who discovered what I did last year…

…that skiing in rain can be a ton of fun.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this. Rain is a reality. And if most resorts are going to stay open while it falls from the heavens, we might as well try to make the most of it by teaching our audiences why some skiers love it and giving them permission (and a reason) to do the same.



Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

Stories

FairwayFillers