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Five more fearless resort marketing predictions for 2017 (and beyond).

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My track record with predictions is less than stellar, as we were reminded Monday, but I don’t know when to quit so here I am…again.

Let’s jump right in.

#1) Vail Goes East
I think my prediction for something like a Snowbasin still holds for the next 2-3 years, but I really think we are months away from Vail entering New England. Their strategy of acquiring near major markets is working and the East holds the next big metro areas to test it on.

I’ve tried to guess this before, but until they make that move we won’t know exactly what they’re thinking in terms of another flagship or a metro-paired feeder.

#2) Small Ski Area Renaissance Continues
The skiing at small areas is too good to impede the momentum this movement is gaining. I bought a pass at a small ski area this year and I can’t get over how much fun I’m having. We’re seeing more major videos, more press coverage, and more passes gain momentum.

Something even bigger is going to happen in this year that puts small skiing on the map again. Not sure what it is, but feel it’s coming.

#3) The Year of Optimization
I think the one word that will be on everyone’s lips by the end of 2016 is optimization. Optimizing current websites instead of redesigning, optimizing checkouts for better conversion, optimizing emails for clicks/opens, optimizing ads for better ROI.

When you look at the marketing landscape, resorts are doing a lot of things really well and have extremely solid foundations. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, but there is plenty of room for small, incremental improvements. I think this is the year optimization takes the spotlight.

#4) Ski Talent Comes Home
Over the years our industry has lost many good, young marketers to other industries. The other day I saw one announce his return and ever since I’ve felt like the conditions in the world are prime for more of these skiers to take a look at their corporate life, realize it’s not what they want, and find a job in skiing once again.

I’m sure many could go unnoticed, but I’ll be 2-3 big names will return to their roots in 2017.

#5) YouTube
This year is the year I believe YouTube will make a massive resurgance in resort marketing. And it will in two ways.

First, I think we’ll start seeing big resorts really going all-in on relationships with YouTube celebs and thinking outside the box to create really interesting stories around their products.

But I also believe that YouTube is cooking something up in response to Facebook that will snap marketers back to reality so they have reason to post their videos to both sites every time, not just Facebook. If I’m right, resort YouTube uploads should grow by 20-25% this year.

Right or Not, Here We Come
No matter how right or wrong I am, I’m genuinely excited to see the resort marketing landscape play out in 2017.

Some new technologies and trends are emerging that may not blossom by next January, but are going to set a fascinating stage for the next decade.

Can’t wait.

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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