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Season Passes (All)
The MAX Pass’s return means momentum is now building for an already strong product.

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Joint pass products continue to innovate and expand. This week I’m recapping a few the biggest tweaks to this season’s lineup.

The MAX Pass is a lot of things, but perhaps the most important attributes of the pass are two very simple things.

  • It’s still here.
  • It’s better than last year.

On Wednesday I talked about the momentum that has been achieved through the year-in year-out work the partner resorts. But what I think we sometimes forget is that the Mountain Collective was not the first pass that Aspen was a part of.

The “Colorado Triple Play” pass had many, similar attributes. So similar, in fact, I didn’t hesitate to call the Mountain Collective a “reincarnation” when it launched.

“[The pass] is a reincarnation of the not-so-successful Colorado Triple Play pass, but with the tweaks made in version 2.0, most of the issues seem to be addressed.”

You can tweak and relaunch forever, but eventually you have to settle on something that has the right pieces in place, realize a product launch marks a beginning not an end, and then start working.

…of a Feather
I bring that up because The MAX Pass followed an almost identical story. Intrawest launched a very similar product the year before called the Intrawest Passport.

When The MAX Pass launched with totally different brand but nearly identify product structure, I asked Intrawest’s Travis Mayer about the crossover.

“Our experience with the Passport validated our view of the East to West opportunity and helped us determine that 5 days was the appropriate amount of skiing at each property.”

But, again, up until a few months ago MAX was only about a season old.

So seeing it return for 2016/17 with three new resort partners in Alyeska, Solutide, and Wachusett…


…that’s a very good sign that the product is good, the partners are ready to go, and momentum can start to be built as that consistent, long-term work layers on itself.

A Note About Momentum
I think that’s a point worth driving home before wrapping up this topic for the week. One year of effort on a product will never be enough to unlock its full potential. And that’s true for two reasons.

First, it’s true because if you give 100% one year on a marketing campaign, there will always be residual value from that effort. Which means that if 20% of value remains in the market, you’re now combining your 20% from last year and your 100% from this year to have a total effort that’s always greater than any one year alone.

And, second, because marketing never reaches everyone. You may think that everyone had a chance to buy a pass last year, but the truth is that a huge number of those people have no idea what The MAX Pass even is. Every new campaign reaches more and more people. And many those people you did reach likely need to be reached a half dozen times before they’ll consider buying.

So seeing The MAX Pass start on this road is an awesome sign. The pass is powerful now, but after a few more years of effort? Watch out.

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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