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A Smart Idea from a Tiny Ski Area: Big Tupper’s “Couple’s Pass”

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Yesterday was my anniversary, so it’s no surprise I’ve got love and marriage on the brain. After starting to hang out with more married men, I found they all seem to hold a secret hope that their wives will one day join them in one of their favorite hobbies: cycling, running, tennis, backpacking, or, yes,  even skiing. I, of course, am no exception. During a local century on Saturday, I spent an hour in a rotating pace-line with a couple on a tandem. Every time we passed, I couldn’t help but think how fun it would be to spend long training rides with my bride. Come winter, I’ll be looking for inexpensive, good-snow days to get her onto the slopes with me.

Now, switching gears, for many skiers a season pass is a no-brainer. Of course it’s cheaper to buy a pass for $500 instead of day passes for $75 when you’ll be skiing 15+ days. Budgeting in a pass for your significant other, however, can be a bit of an issue. It’s hard to justify a $500 pass when she may only get out 4 or 5 times a season. Here’s one solution.

Big Tupper’s Big Idea
The solution may be obvious, but Tupper simply offers a Couple’s Season Pass. Unlimited skiing and riding all season long for lovers in love. They may be over 40 miles from the nearest interstate and almost two hours from Jimmer Fredette’s hometown, but if couples want to ski together on the cheap in a cozy place like Tupper Lake, they’ve got a custom tailored solution. Perhaps there are similar setups out there, but it’s the only one I could find.

On a Bigger Stage
Before I’d consider this at a bigger resort, I’d want to look at some numbers. First, how many couples already buy full price passes separately.   Second, do we have any research or survey data on how many of skiers are the only skier in their family?

I’d hesitate to just offer the pass outright, but there may be a simple combination that offers the hardcore skier all the perks but also gives the  softcore skier that enjoys a sunny day a chance to get on the slopes every few weeks. These “Couple’s Combinations” might include:

  • Unlimited Pass + Weekend Only Pass
  • Unlimited Pass + Weekday Only Pass
  • Unlimited Pass + One Monthly Lift Ticket & Rental
  • Unlimited Pass + Monthly Ticket, Rental, & Lesson
  • Any of the above + Lunch Voucher (make it a date, might be a good offer to test on Liftopia with day-passes)

Data would be a good friend to have in this situation to know who might want the pass (skiers who have season passes, are married, but whose spouses don’t have a pass), who wouldn’t need the pass (couples who both buy season passes already), and maybe even skill level of the husband or wife in question to identify possible add-ons that might catch their attention (rentals, lessons, etc.).

May be a great idea for some, may be awful for others, but props to Big Tupper for giving it a whirl.

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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