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Copper Adds Season Pass Value by Adding (or Bolting) On

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As of late I’ve tried to recognize simple, effective marketing that resorts are using to add value or add to the experience without spending a fortune or concocting a complicated scheme. Today, I want to highlight one that’s just down the road from me at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Instead of “adding” on value, they’ve decided to “bolt” it on.

How It All Works
Now, there are three bolt-ons to choose from, but I’m going to lead off with the first because I think it is not only incredibly simple, but extremely powerful. In fact, it’s something that most resorts could offer as a paid “add on” to their passes at any time. Even mid season. For $99 (on top of your season pass price) you get two simple things: a dedicated lift line at one of seven lifts and, this is my favorite part, a 15 minute head start on the American Eagle lift each and every morning.

That’s it. To make the lift line upgrade a reality you’d need nothing more than some rope, poles. and a few signs and a way to distinguish one pass from another. To make the early lift access a reality you’d need nothing more than a few lifties that are aware of the changes. No high tech shenanigans, no complicated marketing or operations, just an extra line for these pass holders and a 5 minute meeting with your lift crew.

One Step Further (well, closer, really), Parking Bolt-On
Copper also offers two other bolt-ons: closer parking and quick ski lessons. The parking one, in my book, is on par with the example above. All they’ve done is said that if you pay $99, you get to park in a lot that is extremely close to the mountain. I think $99 is a small price to pay, especially if you ski in a group that would split the cost. I rode the lift at Vail on Saturday with a woman who spent $1,200 on parking last year alone and decided it would be easier to just pay $1,700 for reserved parking this year not to mention $2,000 for a locker each season, it is Vail after all.

And what would it take to make it happen? A parking crew who are in the know, a few signs, and a cheap set of parking passes that can be hung from a rear-view mirror (contact a local apartment complex manager for advice on where to buy those).

Simple, Simple, Simple
In my mind, this concept is a winner because it is simple on three levels. First, it is simple to implement from an operations standpoint: rope, signs, people in the know. Second, it is simple to see the value in. I don’t have to think about it for more than a second to realize that getting on a lift 15 minutes early after each big snowfall is well worth $100. Third, it’s simple to sell. Once someone buys a pass, you aren’t trying to get them to upgrade, you can simply offer them the chance to add on features during the season.

Great work Copper. Here’s the full scoop on these bolt-ons:

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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