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Perspectives
TPP Update #5: Two Big Changes, Two Important Changes for Parenthood and Marketing to Me

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

What if I told you there is a place were beer doesn’t flow like wine? Where you won’t get judged for wearing something other than a trucker hat, puffy jacket, and flannel? Where $1,500 a month gets you a large home instead of a cramped apartment?

I’m talking about a little place called Anywhere-but-Aspen.

After three and a half years in Edwards, CO, two things are changing and the more I think about them, the more realize how relevant they are to marketing to people like me.

Change #1) Man-to-Man Defense
As Snowbasin’s Jason Dyer put it when I talked to him about entering such a life-stage:

“Yep, we went from the zone to the man-to-man defense.

In other words, Kim and I are expecting our second in September.

dos

Ever since Callie was born, a very clear shift in the way we use our vacation time took place. Our increased desire to be with family meant that we were spending a huge portion of our vacation time just traveling. This was especially tricky because the she was/is a lousy sleeper and hated (understatement) the car.

Meaning that if The Dos (as we call him/her) is anything like Callie, there will be an even greater conflict between reality and desire.

Change #2) Paying for Steak I Don’t Want
Edwards isn’t a full-fledged mountain town (we do have a Wendy’s, after all), but even still I sometimes feel like all I want for mid-life supper is a baked potato (simple mountain life) but have to pay for the sirloin steak (upscale resort lifestyle) to get it.

Toss in a the baby factor plus a dozen others and we realized that, for lack of better words, it’s time to move. So, as of April 27, the Blanchard family will be living in Eden, Utah.

Corey and Ryan Solutions are totally, amazingly supportive so nothing about my job changes, but we’ll actually have a chance of buying a home in the near future, be an hour from family, and still live right in the mountains.

Not a bad gig. Like I’ve said a dozen times, I’m a lucky man.

What This Means
The more I think about these changes and what they mean in terms of marketing to someone in my life stage, the more I realize a few, important things about the messages that resonate.

#1) The “Day” Keeps Getting Pushed
The “day” (meaning the day we can truly recreate or ski as a family) is something I see people skiers (and occasionally resorts) talk about when addressing parents like me. If we stopped at Callie, the “day” could be a couple years away (or sooner), but every new child effectively hits the reset button.

We’re very excited about baby #2, but it will be a while before “almost there” is really “almost there” again which reduces relevance of that reference from resorts/skiers for a while.

#2) Mountain Town Life Doesn’t Resonate
I’ve talked a few times recently about how resort stories that feature pros or locals just don’t resonate with skiers while stories about people like them do.

While this is true on a broad scale, this has become increasingly true for me as I move further into this stage of life.

#3) Skiing Still Isn’t #1
I love being a dad and I love doing things with my family and I love both much, much more than skiing. So even with the greatest offers, I may still not act until doing so doesn’t mean leaving them at home.

calndad

That’s just the way it seems to be during this stretch of life for a lot of people.

Long Story Short
In the world of branding, marketing dollars go toward building relationships that may not blossom for months, years, or decades.

I think the same mentality needs to happen with the hundreds of thousands of skiers who are in this stage of life.

Like me, they may not buy anything significant this year or the next or even the next, but if you can build that relationship with me (us) in the interim and be first in line when that day comes, that could be a powerful position to find yourself in.



  • AK

    Congrats!

    Just had that exact marketing experience too. Weekend at the Loaf for STE work. Had me thinking, wow, it sure would be great to rent one of these slope side condos in a couple years with the fam once mine are 3 and 6. Based on the caliber of staff, amazing food and lack of a need for a car once parked. Already planning in my head.

    • Thanks! And so true. Whenever I’m at a resort I find myself mentally scoping out things our family could do on a trip after our 2 3 hours of skiing that day is up. I’d saw a snow-covered playground near an access trail at Beaver Creek a bunch of times before it clicked how brilliant it was.

  • Jon Slaughter

    Congratulations Gregg. Once you move back to UT perhaps we can meet face to face.

    • Yeah, seriously. It’s about time. Let’s make it happen.

  • Congrats Gregg! We love Eden, and can understand wanting to live closer to family.

    • Thanks, Katie! Yeah, Eden is really nice. We’ve always loved that valley.

  • So excited for you Gregg! Baby number two will rock your world… But it is awesome.

    • Yes, we’re bracing for said world-rocking, but also looking forward to the awesomeness :)

  • Jeff Cospolich

    congrats Gregg. Glad to hear you’re staying with RS and staying in the industry.

    • Yep, just a relocation. Happy I’m staying with RS and the industry as well. Both have given me more opportunities than I deserve..

      • You deserve those opportunities. C’mon.

        • I may have deserved some, but there are plenty of crazy smart, hardworking people who are actually DOING resort marketing who deserve many more breaks than I’ve been given.

  • This article has enough great pieces of info to make a 4-5 great postings. Most of all though I am super happy that your family is expanding in size and ability to act like a family should. Congrats on all fronts!

    • Thanks, James! And you’re spot on, it’s hard to be the family we want to be in a place like Edwards. Looking forward to coming to some of the SLC AMA events I’ve been seeing you post lately. Good stuff.

  • Guest

    $1500 won’t get you a cramped apartment in Aspen, $2000 will.
    Congrats on the move back to Utah, and see you soon.

  • $1500 won’t get you a cramped apartment in Aspen, $2000 will – if you’re lucky. And it won’t come with a parking spot or be dog friendly.

    Congratulations on the move back to Utah, and on Blanchard #2!

    • Ha, touche, Digi :) Thanks, man. Pretty excited. Sorry to hear Sierra’s news today. Sending cold/snowy vibes your direction.

      • You should be excited! I’d love to have my family in my backyard and not 3,000+ miles away. But c’mon man, how are you going to live without legalized cheebah? HA!

        $1500 goes pretty far here in South Lake Tahoe as well. That is EXACTLY what I’m paying for a two bedroom, two car garage, fenced in, recently renovated home with a sweet kitchen (I don’t cook, so it’s mostly a wet bar) a couple blocks from the lake in a nice quiet neighborhood. Affordable mountain towns still exist, you just have to accept the fact that it may not snow in them for an extended period of time. HA!

        See you in a few short weeks and thanks for the kind words about Sierra. I’m incredibly proud of the way the entire resort came together during this challenging season to provide the very best for our insanely loyal guests.

        (Pictured below, three bay area news stations shooting the saddest footage ever.)

        • Not bad, would have expected a fatter price tag in Tahoe! You just gotta learn how to use that kitchen and you’ll have another $250/mo to your name ;)

          Yeah, Eden is not just 1.5 hours-ish from family, but within about 15 minutes of three resorts and we’re paying just over $1,000/mo for a 3 bedroom home with a big yard. We may even…gasp…BUY a home. Awesome mountain living, without the inflated prices.

          My heart hooks looking at that pic. That should be May, not March. You guys have done an awesome job. Love the honesty and sincerity. Nice work, dude.

  • Rob Webb

    Good luck with the move!

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