Competition, for the most part, is a win for most involved. Liftopia is doing some amazing things in the ski industry. Through their system, single resorts could book upwards of $4 million this season alone. In our entrepreneur-filled society, it’s little wonder that two competitors have come on the scene. With three options, the selection is hardly overwhelming, but may provide some healthy competition. During the last couple weeks I let these Liftopia-like alternatives sell me on what they’ve got. Here’s the goods on one.
I’ll do my best to keep my voice as neutral as possible and then provide my take at the end.
GetSkiTickets.com was started in 2008 by Brandon Quinn. They currently have about 20 resort partners and also partner with Colorado Ski Country USA to offer many of their pass options. The company is based in Denver, Colorado.
GetSkiTickets.com is built on the Inntopia platform. Reservations, once made in the GetSkiTickets.com system, are pushed to the resort’s RTP or Siriusware setup at a default of 2 days before the reservation. This time can be adjusted so it is pushed immediately after the reservation is made. Tickets are redeemed like any other e-ticket setup.
As far as traffic is concerned, the site is currently ranked 2,144,580 on Alexa and 1,963,474 on Compete. The company has partnered with Colorado Ski Country USA, Ski Salt Lake Visitors Bureau and also plans on working with the North Lake Tahoe CVB and Ski Banff / Lake Louise / Sunshine Village. They site comes from an affiliate marketing model and feel that knowledge and insight will serve them well from a marketing perspective as they transitions to handling the products and partner relationships directly. They have also done SEO work and rank fairly well for many lift ticket queries.
Their main difference is the ability to easily bundle products and their focus on pushing rentals and lessons through their system. They own other domain names that are used specifically to market lessons that helps them drive sales in that area. Another difference is how, thanks to how they integrate with RTP or Siriusware, the resort ends up with all of the guests reservation data.
My Take / The End of My Neutral Voice
First off, I have to address the same point as with LiftTickets.com: traffic and conversion. Traffic appears to be almost identical to LiftTickets.com and the site looks very much the same as far as style and level of design goes. So, I’d expect your sales through this site to be about 5% of the volume you’ll see on Liftopia this year. For a resort to manage 2-3 ticket outlets, they need to see enough sales coming though to justify it.
One thing I do really like is the fact that a resort can have the guests’ information passed to them almost instantly. This, in my book, is a very unique, powerful feature that really sets them apart. With that data the resort can send prearrival messaging to upsell or improve the experience, they can have a better idea of that customers history and behaviors to see who is using these sites to buy tickets, and they can use that same data to bring the customer back again and again. LiftTickets.com is offering to sell this data back to the resorts at some point, which is great, but they are not integrated to push this data over immediately after the transaction has happened, losing the chance to communicate before and around the visit which really is key in my book.
Like LiftTickets.com, now might be the time to setup a couple ticket options through these sites and just let them run untouched through the season to see what kind of sales you do receive and use that volume to gauge more involvement down the road.
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