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I’ll Take Your Massive Vert and Raise You a Beginner J-Bar

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This week I’ll be on my first week-long vacation in…well, I honestly can’t remember the last one I took. Among other things, I hope to spend some time on one of my favorite activities: finding lost ski areas. I absolutely love ski history, and with that topic on the brain, I thought I’d take this week to look back at some old-school marketing and see what we learn.

When you browse’s old ads, just like today, there is no shortage in the use of the superlatives. “Biggest Vertical Drop in Vermont”, “Largest Resort in the United States”, “Deepest Snow in New England”, “Most Trails in New Hampshire”, the list could go on and on and on.

When it comes to telling the world how much biggest, steeper, and faster their resort is, resort marketers have had this base covered since day one.

Not Everyone…
Yet, for every person that is enticed by the idea of skiing gnarly, massive terrain, there are lots of people that haven’t yet started skiing because they are afraid their first ride up the chair will dump them at the top of one of those very runs with nothing between them and the bottom but certain death.

So, as I wrap up that idea, what do you see that might help those fearful non-skiers in this ad from Catamount?

Perhaps the mention of a beginner J-bar? A lift specifically set aside for hopeful skiers whose only visions of skiing were Norwegians schussing Tuckerman’s Ravine.

The Lesson
Now, in all honestly, most people who saw this ad probably didn’t know too many Norwegian skiers. In 1971, when the ad was printed, the number of skiers learning the sport wasn’t nearly as high as the 50’s or pre-WWII. Yet, they knew that there were plenty of people who wanted to learn and join the sport.

The same is true today and, more than ever, I think we realize the importance of keeping a steady stream of new skiers buckling up boots for the first time each winter. So, as we tout today’s equivalent of “3 double chairs” and “2 t-bars”, don’t forget the newbies. Remember to show them there is a happy place on your mountain for them and their first clumsy turns.

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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