Over the years I’ve come to love slow lifts.
No, it’s not some bit of nostalgia for the good old days or desire to avoid crowds (well, sometimes it was at Beaver Creek…Elkhorn FTW!), but rather it’s because it gave my legs a much needed rest.
One aspect of small skiing I didn’t mention that proved to be really beneficial was the combination of smaller vertical and a slow double chair meant that my legs were almost always fresh. And fresh legs, it turns out, have more fun skiing.
They’re also less likely to get injured.
Which brings me to this picture Peter from Lift Blog shared a while back.
Taken at Steamboat, it’s a sign I’ve never seen at any resort I’ve ever skied.
This is simple and absolutely fascinating to me. It speaks to two opposing forces we rarely discuss.
First is the marketing value of safety. Of responsibility. Of getting people to have a great time, but do so in a way that keeps them fighting for another day and enjoying their last turns as much as their first.
#2) The Desire to Get Moneys Worth
Opposite to it are things like not wanting to be the “weak” one who quits early, but also opposed is the desire to get your moneys worth.
If I spend $100+ on a lift ticket but am tired by lunch, I’ll probably keep going so I don’t “waste a half day I paid for” even though the likelihood of injury likely grows exponentially with every run I make.
What I love about this sign is that it seems to strike a balance between some of these demands.
It gives tired skiers permission to call it a day but it does so in a way that adds value to their experience (scenery, something that normally costs money, etc.) so it doesn’t feel like they’re flushing money down the drain.
Every skier that heeds this sign is a skier that will get the bottom safely and, by so doing, will be more likely to return.
Simple, creative, effective. A solid combo from the team at Steamboat and a great bit of marketing to noodle on as the season approaches.
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