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Between Ski Utah and Vail Resorts, the Beehive State is Quickly Becoming a Feeder Paradise

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There are a lot of 5th Grade Passport programs – Colorado, Vermont, and the NW Rockies to name a few – and there are now two states where K-5 kids can participate in Vail Resorts’ Epic Schoolkids program.

But there is only one state with both: Utah.

So why is this a big enough deal to write about. Well, let me tell you.

The Passport
With all the passport varieties that exist, Utah’s is unique in that:

  1. They charge $35 for the pass.
  2. It’s available to any kid, anywhere in the world.

In a way, the price tag acts a sort of filter: getting people that weren’t that serious to begin with to NOT sign up and only add wasted effort to the management costs of the pass. While, at the same time, not being high enough to dissuade anyone who actually wants to ski. All the while being open to anyone, anywhere who wants to ski.

Ski Utah ends up with an insanely valuable pass, more manageable volume, and cash to put toward marketing the pass. Not a bad combo.

Epic Schoolkids
With all the “kids ski free” varieties that exist, Vail’s is unique in that it:

  1. Includes a free lesson.
  2. Includes a free rental.
  3. Available to all kids K-5.

That first one, that’s big. I’ve heard a lot of advice about getting kids on skis since becoming a parent, but one item in particular has been reiterated a least three times in the last month alone:

“Trust me on this one, Gregg, put your kid in a lesson. Best money you’ll ever spend.”

So a pass that allows parents to get their kids into skiing at a much earlier age (and thus ski with them from an earlier age) and covers a lesson that is going the give that kid/parent combo the greatest chance of success and you’ve got yourself a very valuable pass.

End Result
What this does is create an environment where kids can not only ski, but have options about where they do.

A place where kids can not only learn to ski, but be taught by someone who can teach them right and doesn’t have to balance the parent/instructor relationship. A place where families from anywhere can know they are welcome.

Utah, you’re doing a lot of things right, but this may be one of the best.

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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