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A quick recap of my (mostly wrong) resort marketing predictions for 2016.

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Every year I make predictions about the 12-month future of resort marketing.

And every year I’m wrong on pretty much every count. Even still, it’s a fun mental exercise to take all the little trends and ideas floating around in our industry and try to sift out their meaning and see the dots moving forward.

I’ll prognosticate about 2017 on Wednesday, but today let’s review last year’s attempt.

#1) Epic Will Expand in Utah – WRONG
The real guess was that something like a Snowbasin would be acquired. Not so…yet.

Instead, Whistler/Blackcomb became the latest trophy on Rob Katz’s wall and the next (big) step toward 1,000,000 passes. Will Snowbasin (or something similar in Utah) happen this year? I dunno, but I think sometime in the next 2-3 is a safe bet.

#2) Experiments with the Skiing Experience – WRONG
I was expecting more stuff akin to cosmic bowling, but didn’t see as much as I expected. True more came to tubing lanes across the country…

…but I really was expecting to see resorts start to take the lessons there and try it on a run or two for night skiing. Didn’t happen.

#3) Snapchat Won’t Catch on in Skiing – CORRECT
Some may disagree, but the chatter around Snapchat and the focus from resorts as a whole, as far as I can tell, is a small fraction of what is was last year. Last year nearly a dozen resorts had changed their social profile pics to Snapchat QR codes. Today? Only a couple left.

The number of resorts mentioning Snapchat on Twitter has also dropped substantially. Snapchat continues to grow, but most resorts seem to be content with focusing their time and resources elsewhere.

#4) Weather-Related Pricing – WRONG
With the weather playing such a huge role in the quality of a skier’s experience and the return on one’s lift ticket investment, I’m really surprised this didn’t happen.

Thought for sure we’d see this would be the year for such a concept to catch on. No dice.

#5) Year of the Popover – NEITHER
Did “dozens” start using popovers? No. Did a few? Yes. Not quite the level I expected, but getting there.

There’s still a stigma attached to popovers that is tough to shake. If they didn’t happen last year, they may never catch on despite how effective they can be when designed, triggered, and used properly.

#6) The End of Apps – CORRECT
I predicted not a single custom app would get built in 2016, and it appears I was right. Updates have become less frequent, effort has slowed, and even high-profile non-resorts said adios.

Aside from existing apps like EpicMix or partnerships with SnoCru or Trace or whoever, I just don’t see apps rebounding.

I got a couple right, but as usually most of my attempts were air balls.

Wednesday I’ll be back at it for 2017.

See you then.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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