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If work keeps people from coming midweek, what if they could do both?

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I haven’t asked a “what if” for a while.

These aren’t quite to the “what I’d do” stage, but the idea has ticked my fancy without much progress for long enough that it was time to get more eyes on it.

The initial idea idea actually came from our friends at Amtrak.

A few months back Amtrak, perhaps not the first name in marketing innovation, did exactly that with an idea I loved from the second I read the headline (which, interestingly enough, is another sign of good marketing).

Here’s how it works:

“#AmtrakResidency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.”

With the possibility of writing with an incredible, ever-changing view and an equally limitless dose of inspiration, it’s probably not surprising that I applied. But then it got me asking as I always do, what is the resort equivalent?

A Midweek Tweak
While I think a copy-paste replicate of the program would be awesome for a resort looking to get ski writers and bloggers at their mountain, I wonder if there is an actual product in there that generates revenue rather than just PR.

You see, we live and die by weekends for one simple reason: people aren’t working.

So, if working is what keeps people from coming to your mountain and more and more people these days are telecommuting or working from home, what is stopping us from selling a hotel room as a slopeside office?

What If
What if a resort put together a product, backed by a clever and memorable brand, that catered to the people who have some flexibility to work from home or from the road when required?

Perhaps you’d call it the, “Office with a Mountain View” package. Monday-Friday lodging, a lift ticket good for just an hour every morning before work, and a room with some tweaks to make it feel more like a workspace (desk by window, networked printer in the lobby for paper files, etc.).

What if corporations could offer discounts on these packages as a perk? What if people could sorta-vacation without taking days off? What if the uniqueness earned some extra PR?

What if?

  • Totally agree!
    Climbing skins, nice weather, laptop, 4G and a picnic table: I (almost) did that a couple of weeks ago →

  • Connectivity is key…but I bet many would take advantage…very Tim Ferriss and 4 hour work week. Durango seems to be a very good example of many professionals who have moved in this direction by moving businesses that can be run via the internet to a mountain ski town.

    • Interesting about Durango. I think the same is true about many mountain towns from conversations I’ve had on the list. I think week-long packages could be a balance between the people dreaming of something similar but not in a position to do a full-on relocation.

      • I am sure that resorts could get support from their local chamber of commerce. The chamber would love aspiring remote business owners to spend a week of “teleworking” in their resort towns. Shoot, I would almost see if the remote work designed rooms could sport a full up package from the chamber talking about the benefits of re-locating there. Overall a great way to get mid-week sales/bookings up, even if they don’t plan on moving…helps to alleviate using a sick day too…lol.

  • Dan Harmon

    What if ‘The Network Hub’ (Coworking In Vancouver) had already opened a space in Whistler and was working on just such a product already? |

    • Then it would seem you don’t check Twitter very often, Dan ;)

      Love what The Network Hub is doing, but not quite what I was thinking with this post. Goal here is to help hotel rooms double as offices rather than sell coworking space that would then (hopefully) fill a hotel room somewhere as well.

      • Dan Harmon

        I’m a fan of multiple communication mediums (and shameless plugs on popular websites – happy to remove our commercial details if you’d rather it didn’t feature here though).

        We have found the best fit to be for remote workers that operate in significantly different timezones. For example, we have a coworker who works in Asia but is based here in Whistler so can ski the best part of the day then begin a normal work day managing her team.

        It’s early days but we are beginning discussions with larger firms and local accommodation providers to work out what can be developed from a ‘package’ perspective. The RFID pass upgrades planned at WB will allow the type of hourly control you describe too.

        • No need to remove it, Dan, just ribbing you a little bit for not replying to my tweet before posting the same thing here ;)

          And interesting with your results. I think the difference here is not to attract people who work remotely all of the time, but people who have that option some of the time.

          Rather than a full relocation for a new lifestyle, it’s the same lifestyle, just an office with a better view and fitness room for a week.

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