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Maybe great resort magazines don’t look like magazines.

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Unsurprisingly, I have a stack of resort magazines on the shelves by my desk.

There’s something about these glossy pages that melds perfectly with my love of resort marketing. The result is a message on a medium that I can’t help but grab in hotel lobbies and tradeshow booths.

But there’s always been one problem: I never really read them.

Some of you may remember this, but a few years ago I spoke at the Quebec Ski Areas Assocation meeting at Bromont. As a thank you gift, they gave me a book.

That night, I pulled a chair close to the window in my room and started turning the pages. The post I wrote about it at the time can be summarized in these words:

“Yeah, there isn’t a single picture of a person actually skiing. No carving, no jumps, no powder slashes, no crashing gates, no dropping cliffs. Here I was being as influenced by a piece of marketing as I’ve ever been and that marketing had skipped action shots altogether.”

But there’s another aspect of these pages I wanted to point out. Here are those same photos again, try to spot the other pattern.






Got it?

Yeah, there are almost no words. Let’s recap quickly because this, combined with a couple other points, brings up an interesting parallel.

First, it’s not the traditional book size and shape. Roughly 8″x8″ square, softbound, 120 pages.

Second, as mentioned, there are very, very few words. Mainly some well-written captions that sit below or to the side of big, glossy photos.

Third, those photos are primarily landscape and lifestyle shots and lighter on action.

Sound like something you know? An app maybe? One used by billions of people?


A Thought
I said earlier that I typically don’t read these magazines. And that’s true. I’ve only read one or two cover to cover. But I love to stare at the pictures. I thumb through. I dream. I browse. I flip through these pages much the same way I scroll my Instagram feed.

I want to share a simple idea today.

That idea being that ASSQ is doing resort magazines right because they are combining the value and tactile reasons people love print with the elements that are driving the most effective content consumption on the web.

The idea that, maybe, just maybe, resort magazines need to ditch most of the words and make their magazines all about the photos.

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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