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Three Skiing Lessons from Cycling Motivation: The Sweet Spot for Pre-Season Upsells

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Motivation is a tricky thing. It’s what we hope to do as marketers, but it’s a mysteriously little bit of human behavior. As such, I try to notice the things that motivate me. The things that, when indulgent alternatives exist, still get me to here or there or doing this or that.

This is no more true than with cycling: a sport where I regularly (and willfully) push my body to its physical limit with no external voices telling me to do so.

This week I want to share three things from my cycling life that have motivated me and a few very simple ways (I’m not kidding, I’m keeping these insanely straightforward) resorts could apply them.

What it Is
So I love cycling. A lot.

Even more, I love being somewhat fast. By fall I’m usually about as quick as I’ve ever been, but as winter turns to summer and the roads dry out, it’s always a challenge to get back to that point.

The thing I’ve found to be especially useful in creating motivation is simply this: signing up and paying for a race early in the summer.

Why it Motivates Me
There’s something about not just having a goal, but one that comes at a cost if I fail to achieve it or back out.

Finding a race and paying for it early is a monetary commitment that I then feel compelled to make worth it. If I don’t take the “long way home from work” at least a couple times a week, that cost will be wasted.

So, I find myself riding when I otherwise wouldn’t have and getting strong and stronger every time I do.

What Resorts Can Do About It
In many ways buying a season pass is an identical type of commitment. The cost is a commitment to the season.

The thing I wonder about, however, is if this commitment can be better leveraged with upsells and other products to help a skier make the most of their investment. Things like:

  • Lessons to improve their technique and better enjoy their time on the mountain
  • Flexible room purchases (Zoom Rooms) for last-minute stays
  • Dining credit they can load onto their pass so they never have to worry about lunch
  • New logo gear to match their commitment to the mountain


As the season approaches, why not send a series of “make the most of your pass” promotions to your season passholders with the products that could help them do that?

Focus one email on each item, deliver them every other week between the wave of buzz in early September until Opening Day and see what happens.

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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