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Season Passes (All)
Maybe, Just Maybe, Monarch is Sitting on Something That Could Crush the Epic Pass

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I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 2nd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique. (view all “WID” posts).

The Epic Pass has company.

That’s how I’d sum up the current landscape of pass options. Skiing at ten resorts in Tahoe, Colorado and the Midwest for $700 bucks is an insane deal. But in my mind, it’s not the best deal in skiing.

Instead, skiing at 26 resorts for $369 is. True it’s not unlimited, but with most partners of Monarch’s One Planet One Pass” offering 3 free days, it’s tough to beat.

Mtn Collective, Powder Alliance, Ripper Rebellion?
If you treat the big guys like the “Empire” in Star Wars, more and more “rebellions” are starting to pop up. The first of which, the Mountain Collective, included big brands, but was clearly positioned to get dollars back that had been going to the Epic Pass.

Last week, Schweitzer launched their own “Powder Alliance” deal that gave skiers three free days at 6 other resorts: Sierra at Tahoe, Timberline/Mt Hood Skibowl, Stevens Pass, Mountain High, Angel Fire, and China Peak. I love that they didn’t just tack this list on at the end of their sales copy, they branded it and put it front and center. They led with it.

And then there’s Monarch: 25 partners, a season pass coupled with more than 60 days of free skiing across the country and world for about half the price of an Epic Pass. Pretty strong position, no?

What I’d Do
There are so many small partnerships. Not just with Monarch, with just about every small resort. They already exist, they just need to be organized.

If I were them, I’d do just that. Find a PR person, a former (or current) industry gal with a lot of contacts and experience, and have each resort pitch a few grand to her annual salary. Then, I’d charge her with rallying the troops and putting all these small partnerships into a product or system that every resort can benefit from individually but can also be pushed collectively to the world. Maybe it’s a “super-sized” upgrade with every resort offering a “locals” pass as well as the locals pass + the “one pass to rule them all.”

Just like the Mountain Collective, I’d have that person organize a media blitz with each resort tweeting, gramming, posting, “PR-ing” at the same, planned time with that central industry person lining up interviews and PR-shenanigans every day for a month with every outlet they can reach.

Like I said, it seems like these resorts are sitting on a gold mine. They just need to coordinate their digging.

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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