skip to main content

Five Marketing Lessons Learned from Leaf Peeping in New England

divider image for this post

A couple weeks ago, I spent the week with my lovely wife galavanting through the White Mountains of New Hampshire and along the Maine coast. Though I’d traveled to the East many times, I’d never spent much time in the mountains. So, on this trip, we made a point to stop by a few resorts, 10 actually…I couldn’t help myself – Canon, Bretton Woods, Waterville, Cranmore, Shawnee Peak, Attitash, Wildcat, Gunstock, Loon, and McIntyre.

With the brain free from other demands and lots of lovely scenery and new resorts to explore, I couldn’t help but learn a few things about skiing and resort marketing…it’s like I think about this stuff all the time. Weird.

1) Responsive vs Mobile
I went into this trip heavily favoring responsive as my mobile website solution of choice. However, after using no fewer than 6 resort sites from my phone, it became clear that when I turned to mobile in real life, I wasn’t just looking for the main website repackaged into a smaller size, I was looking for a much difference experience and information.

Right now, I’m slowly starting to lean toward a mobile specific site rather than responsive.

2) Mobile Commerce
On that same note, I would have loved to see more mobile commerce. We had a very loose schedule and often would finish a hike or lunch, whip out the phone, and decide where to go next and what to do.

A simple way to purchase activities from my phone would have been very handy and helpful.

3) Eastern Vibe
At the NE Ski Museum at Cannon, the ladies in charge loved to talk about skiing and knew much more than the displays held. At the Colorado version in Vail, I got the feeling the women only knew about a certain exhibit because of reading the plaque below it. This trend seemed to hold the more we explored.

It’s easy to love skiing out West with 500″ of annual snow. Skiers in the East seem to have a deeper, more authentic love of the sport. That’s big.

4) You Can Be a Great Destination w/o Lodging
As the trip came to a close, I started getting messages from some friends in Utah planning a ski vacation to Colorado. They started by looking at bigger names like Breck, Copper, Vail, etc., but ended up settling on a $120 4-pack at Loveland with lodging at the Super 8 in Georgetown (a small town just east of the resort) because the skiing seemed like it would be awesome but the price was a fraction of the alternative.

Looking for a new revenue stream at your smaller resort? Partner with a local hotel and run a small, test promotion in another state with one of your ticket packs.

5) Marketing in India?
Over and over again, as we crisscrossed the White Mountains, we were shocked at how many people from India we saw and met. These people came ready to spend, renting bikes, buying (and wearing) stacks of clothes in gift shops, etc. I have no idea how and why they are choosing New Hampshire to visit, but the numbers and money they bring scream opportunity to me.

Explore how foreign tourists are finding your area and get involved with the channels to direct them toward your activities and resort.

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.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.