The solar eclipse shenanigans of last year were nothing short of incredible. Never before have I seen that many people that excited about the exact same thing.
Even thought I was just south of the zone of totality (or whatever it was called), there was a stretch where I didn’t see a car drive down the highway in my town for nearly 30 minutes.
Everyone, myself very much included, was looking up.
Not a Surprise (to Some)
What was also interesting were some of the stories I heard about cities that would experience the real deal. Among the most interesting were hotels that, not catching it in time, actually canceled reservations for people who had paid a normal fare so they could rebook those rooms at 4x or 5x the rate.
And then I noticed something interesting in an article by Troy Hawks in a recent NSAA Journal:
“Several ski areas began receiving calls and reservations for the solar eclipse as early as 2010 and Mt. Hood Meadows was among them.”
Pretty crazy, eh, to have people booking SEVEN YEARS in advance? But the next line sheds a really interesting light on what happened:
“The resort went to work early on its planning…”
Somewhere between those two moments in Mt Hood Meadows’ story something really, really important happened. Maybe it was someone who was answering phones, maybe it was leadership, maybe it was someone else, but someone somewhere didn’t see those people calling as crazy and instead saw them as the early indicator of something really, really big.
I’m once again keeping this short so you can read all of Troy’s article (it’s a great, thorough recap of how the eclipse impacted resorts and how resorts responded), but I want to give some major kudos to all the resorts who were aware of enough of their customers and bookings and had solid enough communication in place to be aware of what was coming long before it arrived.
And, even more, took full advantage when it did.
An eclipse may not come around very often, but small scale versions of this same pattern (things large groups of people get excited about) do, and I hope one of the things we learn from this is how to spot those opportunities when they surface, not when they arrive.
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