When I finally took at look at this release, I regretted not digging into it soon. To me, this is big.
A new product, The Intrawest Passport, launches tomorrow. Starting at $549, it gives the holder 6 days of riding at 6 different resorts – Winter Park, Steamboat, Blue Mountain, Mont Tremblant, Stratton, and Snowshoe. Plus, the holder becomes the gatekeeper of some hefty family perks. Kids under 12 ski free (five with each pass), teens are $199 each, and additional adults (up to fifteen) are $399.
Plus there are no blackout days.
They’re citing a changing “traditional family structure” as the catalyst, but I think it’s more than that. Let me jump into what I see and, please, let me know what you see as well.
Let’s first look at where these resorts are located in relation to one another.
For a good chunk of North America, places like West Virginia, Ontario, and Quebec simply aren’t going to draw people who travel beyond a fairly limited radius. More will travel to Vermont, but Winter Park and Steamboat are likely going to see the bulk of traveling passholders.
In that sense, I don’t see it as a play to drive sampling on a large scale. Instead, it feels closer to the Powder Alliance as a play to increase perceived value of season pass alternatives. This also seems to widen their markets for non-season-pass products and gives them an advantage in existing markets.
Especially in the East.
The release referred to “multi-generational families” a few times. It was never placed first in a list of prospective buyers, but that’s exactly where I’d put it on mine.
To me, this gives boomers a way to spend more money on their own families while facilitating the passing on of the sport beyond the first generation and into the next. I think Intrawest dug through their data and saw that family-introductions to skiing weren’t just an big piece of their business’ sustainability, but a massively underutilized one.
I love Homewood’s Generation Pass that includes two passes for the grandparents, two for the parents, and two for the kids. But this Passport gives a grandparent the tools to get everyone involved.
Each pass includes 6-days of skiing at each destination. This tells me they aren’t looking for any ticket revenue beyond the price of the Passport for travelers. Instead, this seems to put a big responsibility on the lodging side to maximize non-ticket spend for Passport holders and especially those close enough to reasonably drive to an Intrawest resort.
Overall, I like it. I like that it adds value to a 4-pack type product that encourages a small amount of sampling. I like that it bridges the two sides of the continent to appeal to Eastern markets who ski locally but also take a trip to the Rockies. And I really like that it gives boomers a way to get more of their family involved.
What am I missing? What do you think of the pass and what’s the motivation behind its creation?
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