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Have we hit peak transparency? Al’s latest post suggests the answer is NO.

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A month or so ago I asked a question: have we hit peak transparency? I suggested the answer was no and my explanation, in part, was this:

“The reason I believe [there is room for more transparency] is because it already exists in other industries. In software, there are pockets where something like SlopeFillers would be irrelevant. [Why?] Because these companies are already so transparent about everything from their financials to their marketing.”

Here’s the full version if you want to put that quote into context.

Interestingly, it didn’t take long to see transparency in the skiing industry find a new peak on both of those points with Al Henceroth’s latest blog post.

In it he discusses the marketing value of switching from Epic to Ikon and the financial impact that had. Definitely go and read the whole thing, but here’s a quick quote that summarizes it well.

“This season is nothing like last season. The numbers speak for themselves. The experience is way up. The skier days are way down. Ikon, Mountain Collective, Taos and Monarch are great partners. We aren’t quite where we want to be yet, but we are heading in the right direction. It has been an awesome season and Spring looks very promising.”

But it’s not just the causal “up” or “down” references we’re used to. Instead, he shares specific numbers at a level I’ve never seen from a resort:

  • Season To Date (STD) skiers through January 2020 were 39% less than STD skiers through January 2019.
  • STD skiers through February 2020 were 35% less than STD skiers through February 2019.
  • Month To Date (MTD) skiers in February 2020 were 20% less than MTD skiers in February 2019, almost exactly what we planned and budgeted for that month.
  • STD Ikon and Mountain Collective skiers through February 2020 were 69% less than Epic skiers through February 2019.
  • MTD Ikon and Mountain Collective skiers in February were 51% less than Epic Skiers in February 2019.

There are a long list of reasons to consider being more transparent. It’s a growing expectation among consumers, it can create a loyal following of your story, it can earn a ton of media coverage, it helps explain the why so skiers aren’t forced to create their own narratives.

Someone Has to Go First
But regardless of the potential benefits, it takes someone to push the limits a little more and a little more and a little more. Paving the way for others to follow.

Perhaps even making mistakes that other can then avoid.

And for that, I tip my hat to Al and the Arapahoe Basin team. They’re in the center of one of the most interesting dynamics within the ski industry. The front lines of the IKON vs Epic battle. And he’s giving everyone a front row seat.

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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