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A few thoughts about awe…and ski resort marketing.

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If you wanted to make a highlight montage of my life, all it would take would be toggling on my internal memories filter, selecting “awe”, and hitting export.

I’ve had some incredible experience in my life but the ones that stick out the most, the ones that stick with me the longest, the one’s that come to mind in the quiet moments of reflection all have the same thing in common.


The latest happened during our trip home from VT. We stopped in DC for some touristing and managed to visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center where Space Shuttle Discovery is on display. The size, the engineering, the…everything…caught me completely off guard. In the middle of my effort to comprehend what I was seeing, my wife noticed and snapped this picture.

photo of me with the space shuttle

It quickly became one of my favorite photos from our trip simply because I can remember that moment and emotion so vividly. And man, those feelings? Those are the good stuff. The stuff I want to hold on to.

Interestingly, this moment isn’t a very typical one. The vast majority happened in nature.

And more specifically, in and around mountains and ski resorts.

  • The absurd, 360° view above the inversion at the top of Snowbird
  • Gliding across single track between golden aspens at Powder Mountain
  • Taking in the incredible view from the ridge above Snowbasin
  • Watching the sun set over the valley from Nordic Valley

Awe is an interesting thing. It usually takes some combination of effort, leaving distractions behind, and slowing down a bit. Which means that in our day and age, it can be tough to just happen for people who are constantly distracted and always in a hurry.

What I want you to do today is simply ask yourself two questions:

  1. Where at our resort can people experience awe?
  2. What can we do to help give them the best chance of having one of those moments?

Whether that’s encouraging folks to come up some late-fall morning to watch your snowmaking system crank out mind-blowing amounts of snow in golden hour light, maybe it’s telling them to stick around a little to catch a sunset, or it could be mentioning that the best view of the resort if from a specific trail first thing in the morning and just soak it in for a minute. Whatever the angle, I’d be curious what ideas would come if resort marketers like yourself sat down and looking for ways they could optimize for awe.

It’s a powerful thing, but not one we always are trying to facilitate. But, waybe we should.

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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