A few months ago I wrote about how, perhaps, a smaller area with affordable skiing could beat Vail at their own game.
That game being earning a pulpit for talking about affordable skiing (the Epic Pass) by grabbing headlines with the exact opposite ($175/day lift tickets. In that most recent post I said:
“In the context of Vail’s overall strategy, it makes little difference if people actually pay $170 for a lift ticket if charging that amount continues to get them on CNBC where they can promote their real focus, the Epic Pass. But Vail’s prices, unlike that doughnut shop’s, are reasonable. But what if they weren’t. Or, to get to my point, what if YOURS weren’t? Prices may be firm for your core products, but it doesn’t mean you can’t play the game a bit by creating prices nobody will bite on…except the media.”
Little did I know, Troy Hawks at Sunlight, CO already had something cooking that was right along these lines.
It’s called the Sunny 700. And it’s awesome.
The Most Expensive Lift Ticket
The headline and lead went like this:
$700 Lift Ticket at Sunlight Mountain Resort Touted as the Most Expensive Lift Ticket in the Country
If you were expecting the ritzy resorts of Aspen or Vail to boast the most expensive lift ticket in the ski industry this season, you’d be wrong. This year, the honor goes to Sunlight Mountain Resort, located in Glenwood Springs, Colo. just 50 miles Northwest of Aspen. With a $700 lift ticket this season, Sunlight is expected to hit the mark for the highest priced one-day lift ticket in the country, if not the global ski industry.
Instead of just being tongue-in-cheek for the fun of it, Troy piggybacked another initiative onto this one by giving away a free pair of limited edition, Sunlight Anniversary skis with every purchase.
Yes, it’s a lift ticket and ski package, but marketing is about angles and with the help of Amy Kemp at nearby Mountaintop Media, they nailed it.
Did it work? Take a look:
— Troy Hawks (@Troy_Hawks) December 13, 2016
— ForbesLife (@ForbesLife) December 27, 2016
— The Denver Post (@denverpost) December 8, 2016
— OnTheSnow.com (@OnTheSnow) December 15, 2016
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) December 11, 2016
— Denver Biz Journal (@denbizjournal) December 9, 2016
— Sunlight Mtn. Resort (@skisunlight) December 27, 2016
For a resort like Sunlight located directly between two of the most expensive lift tickets on the planet, this press is awesome.
The underdog poked a little fun at the big guys, got some great media coverage right before and after their opening day, and helped bring their anniversary message to the forefront as well.
Great work by Troy, Amy, and everyone else involved.
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