Before we jump in, can we just appreciate this screenshot for a second? Little ol’ Indy Pass has the likes of IKON targeting their keywords for paid search.
I think that’s a perfect statement on the Indy Pass as a whole: the model seems to be working and working well. In not very long, Doug Fish and Co. have turned it into a strong, sustainable brand with the resources to adapt, pivot, and stay organized.
Compared to other, smaller-mountain passes that have consistently struggled? That’s huge.
Speaking of adapt, there are a handful of changes the team just rolled out. Here are a three of my favorites.
It’s a simple thing, but for $299 (the main pass is still $199 like last year) you can get a pass that is exempt from the blackout days a few resorts stipulated when they joined the Indy Pass. I bring this one up more anecdotally, as I considered purchasing a pass last year but the blackout days at Beaver Mountain (just north of me, a friend I and I were talking about skiing there one holidays weekend) meant it didn’t quite pencil out for me.
That’s not to say this changes it for me personally, but I’d have to imagine there is a group of folks out there who lack the flexibility to work around blackouts that this will work really well for.
#2) Resort Add-On
I also love that the resort can sell the add-on directly. I’d be curious to hear if the resort keeps all of add-on sales, but regardless of the economics I think it’s a perfect way to take the Indy Pass from a thing to a big thing. Resorts now have an even larger incentive to promote the pass and drive revenue above and beyond top-tier passes.
#3) The Timing and Promise
It’s hard to see next year very clearly, but the one common theme among the people I’m talking to is that smaller resorts seem to be very well positioned going into a Covid-impacted 2020/21 season. When you combine that with their “The Get America Skiing Promise”, I feel like you’ve got a nice one-two punch.
Strong Option Given the Market
When you consider the economic situation? The low prices is awesome. When you consider low gas prices and flight fears? A series of driveable, non-lodging mountains looks really good. When you consider the capacity impacts? These mountains are ready to shine.
Call me crazy, but there’s a huge risk of losing a lot of skiers this season we may never get back.
Missing one season could easily turn into two. Then three.
The fact that we have an affordable option for folks with a combined marketing voice loud enough to be heard along side the big dogs? There’s a good chance the Indy Pass could help save a lot of skiers next winter simply by giving an IKON/Epic alternative enough visibility to stick.
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