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Ticket Sales
The intriguing punch-card math behind resort 4-pack pricing.

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A while ago I did a simple analysis of ski resort 4-pack pricing.

Among all the numbers I pulled was one that really, really surprised me. When I looked at the average discount of these packs compared to the window rate, the savings was 41%. Take away the low outliers and that number becomes 46%.

In other words, almost 50%.

That number kept coming to mind this morning. But not the number as is , but how one tweak could significantly change its meaning.

The Power of Punches
Marketers have long-known the power of punch cards. Not only do they drive incremental visits, they also drive loyalty because cards are business-specific. Though I haven’t seen a resort version for a few years, in other verticals these cards typically require anywhere from 6 to 10 punches to earn a freebie or reward.

And that’s where that “almost 50%” number comes in when purchasing four tickets, because if you put that into punch-card-offer form, you’d have:

“Ski 2 days, get 2 more absolutely free!”

Interesting, no?

You could either prepay for four days all at once, or ski two days individually and, on the second one, instantly receive two free days.

I won’t pretend to know which one would be more appealing to skiers, but compared to other punch cards and the “pay all at once” nature of other pass products, I can’t help but see a lot of potential in a reward system that’s essentially giving you a free day for every day you ski.

Now, of course there is more at play here than just cash amounts. There’s pre-season revenue, interchangeability, bridges between passholders and daytrippers, etc.

But I bring this up because even if it wasn’t 1:1 (or 2:2), even if it was…I dunno, 3:2, you still have a really, really strong offer that, as far as I know, has never seen the light of day in skiing before.

The math makes sense for 4-packs, but 4-packs are no longer unique to your resort. Maybe a little reshaping of that offer could give it some fresh legs in your market.

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