It’s 9:00 on a Wednesday morning in the parking lot of Brighton Ski Resort (Utah). A line runs from near the ticket office 100 yards down the parking lot. At 4 wide, it’s a hefty herd of skiers and boarders.
It’s not opening day, it may not even be a powder day, all it has to be is a Wednesday…one of the first 3-4 each December because today lift tickets are 75% off.
But there’s a catch.
The discount is only available for those that meet the charitable donation of the day. One day it might be a new game for Toys-for-Tots, another might be 10 canned good for the food bank or a clean pair of gloves for a local shelter.
I’ve often stood in those lines and wondered about the marketing sense (or nonsense) behind this melee. Here are my thoughts at the moment 9 months removed from the last event:
-Gets People Out: A big reason folks in Utah don’t ski is the cost. This gives newbies a chance to ski for dirt cheap ($15) and catch the bug.
-Does Some Good: Everyone at the resort that day knows that Brighton isn’t making a lot of cash (if any). They fill trucks with the food and good they raise. Doing some good for the community makes their brand nice and shiny.
-Introduces Brighton: If you live in Salt Lake City, you have your choice between 7 world class resorts within 30 minutes of your doorstep. Many people grow up at a resort and never branch out. A cheap ticket can bring out even the most die hard Snowbird addict.
-Lines All Day: Sometimes Quad Wed (QW) leaves a bad taste in the mouth of skiers and boarders because of the uber-long lift lines they battle all day.
-Millicent Not Open: Brighton has great terrain, but local’s love Millicent. Chutes, cliffs, trees, powder, just about everything. Usually Milly isn’t open by then, so based on PRO #1, one of the biggest selling points is never brought out of the quiver.
-Overload: The canyon is loaded with cars, the slopes are covered with newbies, the lifts could have issues (like losing power last year due to overload on the grid). Lots could go wrong with that many people trying to ski at the same resort.
So if Brighton wants to give people a good image of their brand, QW rocks.
If Brighton hopes to give people a good image of their resort in general. Maybe not so much.
Either way, I’ll be there this December…every Wedesday. They’ve got that part down.
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