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Season Passes
The best marketing spend this year? Maybe so.

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During my first year of college I was stretched a bit thin. Coming off a few months of working two jobs to save for tuition, I found myself in a bind.

Home was in Salt Lake. School was at a community college an hour south in Orem. My job was right in between. After another long night of work and not wanting to drive the 30 minutes home just to drive another hour back in the morning, I drove to the school, found an quiet parking lot, and bedded down for the night in the back seat of my car.

The next morning I woke cold, stiff, and hungry when I saw something on my hood that wasn’t there when I’d gone to sleep.

It wasn’t a ticket, it was a brown paper bag with a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and hashbrown inside and a note attached from my mother who’d tracked me down during the night.

It may not be as strong as a mother’s love, but our appreciation for passholders is deep.

One of the interesting tricks to passholders, though, is the fact that active ones are highly likely to renew their pass, but if you lose them one season, for whatever reason, it becomes extremely difficult to get them back.

Which brings up an interesting idea of “preventative marketing” (though I’m sure there’s a fancier name for it). The idea being the same as preventative maintenance; if you do small simple things now, you’ll prevent situations that require big efforts later.

Do something to increase loyalty (and the likelihood they’ll renew) now, and you won’t have to work doubly hard next season to get them back.

What are those simple things? Stuff like this.

I’ve never been shy about my love for Jay Peak’s marketing. We all have good ideas, but their ability to execute on those ideas is second-to-none.

This is another perfect example. Just look at the tape on the outside:

Everything about this package – the design quality, the fact they printed custom boxes and tape for each, etc. – sends a message as loud and clear as the bag of breakfast on my car:

“You matter. I care about you. And I care about you so much, I don’t cut corners. I don’t take the easy way. I do what it takes for you to know how important you are to me.”

Honestly, what’s inside the box is mostly irrelevant (though based on the Jay hat alone has made many of us jealous already), because it’s the time and care and attention that went into the concept as a whole that sends the loudest, clearest message.

This is brilliant, proactive marketing and, when you look at the long-term value of this strategy, perhaps some of the best marketing spend we’ll see all year.

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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