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With new partners and pricing, Mountain Collective rides past effort toward a bright future.

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

Two of the most accurate, well-summarized sound bites I’ve heard in a while are both insights into the intersection between time, effort, and success. One was a quote.

The other a title.

They are a reminder of the principle of momentum. Momentum builds from not just working hard once, but continuing to work consistently over a long period of time.

Because work done now is always building on work done then.

The Mountain Collective is a perfect example of this. Now in it’s 5th season, the pass has slowly and steadily gone from 4 destinations, to 6 to 8 to 10 and now to 12 with the addition of resorts from New Zealand. Along the way the pricing and promotion have become more coordinated, more effective and more calculated.


But one of their latest moves, to me, is one of the best and really opens up some interesting doors.

To Charge or Not to Charge
Over and over again resorts find themselves at a pricing question that looks simple on the surface but is littered with hurdles when you go looking for an answer. Ignoring the long term benefits of children learning how to ski, it goes something like this:

Will the revenue I lose from making children free be made up for by the increase in paying adults that bring their children because it’s free?

As a parent, I’ve started to realize that getting full value of anything purchased for a child is nearly impossible. Whether it’s french fries you paid $7 for at a restaurant that only went half-eaten to the entrance fee at a zoo where a toddler gets more excited about drinking fountains than giraffes.

In other words, if you ask me to pay for my child, almost any price will be too high if I perform any sort of mental calculations about whether that child will get what I paid for.

What I’m Really Paying For
But I put those last words in italics for a reason because, more often than not, what I’m really paying for is time with my kids. So anything that simply helps me do that and doesn’t feel like a waste of money for other reasons is something I can get behind.

Even better if that “something” is a something I already love to do.

Something like this.


Charging kids $1 for a Mountain Collective pass (at least pre-season) is, to me, is a brilliant move. Traveling and skiing is going to wear kids out. They likely aren’t going to get anywhere near the value out of their pass that you will. So why force it if your goal isn’t direct revenue?

And that’s an important point.

Remember that the Mountain Collective isn’t necessarily designed to be profitable on it’s own. Instead, it’s designed to drive sampling among destination skiers from new, different, or even existing markets that will (hopefully) convert to repeat guests later on. So if the goal is lots of trial, why make kids (who probably won’t ski that much anyway) the reason someone wouldn’t sample in the first place?

Going Forward
I feel like this could be a tipping point for this pass.

Adding partners helps, but the average customer isn’t going to visit all the resorts anyway so each additional partners add less incremental value than the last. Getting people to try something new is great, but there’s only so much power you have there. But if you can instantly make the pass 50% (or more) less expensive for the golden goose of guests (families)?

Well, that’s huge.

Great work by Christian and all the partners involved. Back in 2012 I wasn’t sold, but to say I’m a believer now would be an understatement.

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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