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MTS Recap: Are These the Three Solutions to Grow the Ski Industry?

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A couple weeks ago I cruised over to Aspen for a quick, 36 hour Mountain Travel Symposium whirlwind. Now that the lessons have sunk in a bit more, here are my thoughts on what was shared.

How do we grow skiing? It’s a question asked a least once in every conversation about the ski industry.

I’ve had a few ideas of my own, but was excited see a few of them expanded on, and described more eloquently, at MTS this year. Here are a few of those ideas from MTS sessions that I can see being the keys to successful growth.

#1 – Reinvigorate Mountain Culture
Art Webb from BCF shared this one and I tend to agree. We need to make mountain life and living sexier than it is. Much of that may come from a focus on the experience. We can’t control the weather, but we do have some control over what happens off the mountain and the vibe our resort puts out.

One piece of that is Erik Blachford observation that there’s a “dissonance between the guys hucking their meat off cliffs resorts are showing in their marketing and the people they actually want to come.” in that I think we need less focus on the extreme and more focus on inspiring, but realistic ability levels.

#2 – Better eCommerce Tech
A few of the presenters made the point that good ecommerce isn’t necessarily a matter of deciding to go to resort A instead of resort B, but rather which channel they use. If they go direct, you get all the data and no fees. If they book somewhere else because it’s easier and the same price, you may lose the data and have to pay a 3rd party.

That’s one of the reasons I love Liftopia’s CloudStore. In my opinion that’s the best resort lift ticket platform available. And, because it’s just as good as the platform, it’s just as easy to book with you as it is to book somewhere else.

We need that same level of design, optimization, and streamlined checkout to come to lodging and other areas. If has a one-page checkout process and rewards guests for booking through them, why would I choose to book direct through a 7 page system if it’s the same price for the consumer?

#3 – Focused Summer Magnets
I wrote about this a couple days ago, but the focus people are putting on getting heads in beds during the summer is going to be huge for winter. With more consistent revenue in warm month, I think that will loosen up some headroom for more innovation in winter.

Right now, there’s zero room for error when so much of the year’s revenues come during the same 3 months. If we can take the pressure off winter, we’ll have the wiggle room I think we need to come up with innovations that will lead winter upward as well.

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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