The other day Chris Lamothe had a tweet that made me smile:
Not sure when ski resorts are going to realize that people who can’t ski mid-week aren’t going to shift to mid-week skiing.
— Chris Lamothe (@banffchris) January 25, 2021
Square peg (people who work 9-5, M-F), round hole (skiing available 9-4, M-F). Yet, give me an example of one resort who has tried adapt their product to fit that market?
Well, I will. Sundance.
A “New” Product
Sundance had a huge market just down the road – Utah County – and lots of people who worked 9-5. So, in 2010, instead of telling these people to choose between work and skiing, they let them have both.
They installed lights, told the world about it, and began opening for night skiing.
Night skiing, now there’s an idea. In fact, if you would have asked 27-year-old Gregg how many season passes he’d paid for with his own money since high school, his list would have been really, really short:
Why? Well, this is a bit tricky so I hope you can follow me, but I WAS BUSY DURING THE DAY DOING WORK OR SCHOOL BUT I WAS FREE IN THE EVENINGS.
From my perspective, our industry significantly underappreciates the potential of night skiing to increase revenue, participation, and growth. It is such a great skiing experience:
It’s honestly my favorite time to take my kids skiing.
Yet very, very few resorts make any effort whatsoever to sing those praises of this product or market it anywhere close to the level of its daytime counterpart.
Midweek visitation is up this year because of home schooling and remote work and layoffs and who knows what else, but next year it’s going to start moving back toward pre-Covid levels.
Night skiing doesn’t make sense for all resorts, but if we want to fill midweeks with skiers – or at least keep visitation up – night skiing needs to be at the top of the list for things we consider.
If folks can’t or won’t ski 9-5, maybe it’s time we stop insisting they do.
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