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Season Passes (All)
Mountain Creek & A-Basin Try Multi-Year Approaches to Pass Pricing and Options

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It’s an election year. As a citizen, this time of year quickly wears on me. As a marketer, it’s fascinating. I’ve always felt that the strongest brands in the world are political parties. If a resort could develop half the brand loyalty the Democratic or Republican Parties have, your biggest problem each year would be keeping the servers from being crushed by the hordes of people trying to buy passes.

So, in this election year where people both think a little bit longer term and have a bit more of a fire in our belly, I like what mountain creek has done.

Mountain Creek
The idea is pretty simple: buy your pass before election day and lock in that price for the next 4 years. I like it for two reasons.

First, it provides an honest reason to buy before a certain date. The deadline is clear, the difference between the day before the deadline and the after is just as obvious. We all hate price hikes, and this gives a way to both pay the man and stick it to him at the same time.

Second, it gives skiers a reason to buy next year and the year after and the year after. They’ve locked in this price, it’s theirs, if they don’t renew they’ll be wasting a good deal. Humans hate to waste a good deal. We’ll spend money to use coupons simply so they don’t go to waste (think about that for a second).

Arapahoe Basin
On another note, I thought it would be a good chance to say a quick work about another pass. A-Basin didn’t take the political path, but still played on this same idea of long-term and no price increases. Instead of locking in the price and buying it later, they simply turned their pass from a single season to a double: hence the name “Double Down 2-Season Pass”.

For $499 (normally $299 a season), you get a pass that won’t expire until Spring of 2014. It’s not a new idea, Saddleback once sold a “Decade Pass” to celebrate their 50th anniversary, but it does seem like a nice duration to try that isn’t as long term as 10 years.

The media response has been positive, it’s unique enough that I’ve seen dozens of articles pop up about the offer. Whether skiers actually pull out their wallets is another story. My guess is that they will.

So, two resorts thinking beyond a single season. I like it. It’s fun to see some innovation and experimenting with season passes that go beyond simply lowering the price.

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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