I published this a couple years ago after most closing days had happened. Every since I keep coming back to this simple, powerful idea and wanted to bring it back to the surface.
Spending money hurts.
Not physically, per se, but definitely emotionally. Dan Ariely calls this the “pain of paying.”
The idea is that buying something carries with it a few elements of discomfort. And that discomfort is magnified in a few situations including:
Season passes already have a leg up here because we get the paying over with all at once instead of being forced to “bleed slowly,” as it were, by bringing out our credit card every time we ski.
But there’s another aspect of this that’s really interesting, and that is things that distract us from that pain.
Or, even more, attempt to make it fun.
Mt Rose’s Party
Asking people to renew their season passes is asking people to experience the pain of paying.
But what Mt Rose did is wrap this experience it a fun atmosphere, helping skiers to actually enjoy renewing their passes instead of forcing them to do it from their desk at work.
Their annual “Season Pass Renewal Party” is a mix of food and fun and drinks and, most intriguing of all, raffles.
Because renewing your pass gives you a chance to win:
If people will line up all day at gas stations to purchase lottery tickets, you have to imagine that at least a few people are pursuaded to renew if that action gives them a really good odds at prizes like that.
I think this is completely brilliant.
Skiers gets excited about buying their passes in spring, the pain of paying is decreased, the reasons to renew are multiplied, and even those who renew no matter what have a good time in a way that strengthens the relationship with Mt Rose.
Such a clever idea.
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