skip to main content

Otis Ridge Knew Something in 1957 Many Resorts Still Haven’t Figured Out

divider image for this post

This week I’ll be on my first week-long vacation in…well, I honestly can’t remember the last one I took. Among other things, I hope to spend some time on one of my favorite activities: finding lost ski areas. I absolutely love ski history, and with that topic on the brain, I thought I’d take this week to look back at some old-school marketing and see what we learn.

Until a few weeks ago, I had barely even heard of Otis Ridge. I was doing some recon for a possible future project and came across their site. From the intro to this week’s posts, you are now more aware than you probably want to be about my love of ski history and the was skiing used to be. So, it’s probably no surprise that I instantly related to their tagline: Skiing the way it used to be.

So, how did it used to be?

When I was browsing’s awesome collection of vintage ages, I stumbled upon this ad clipping from none other than Otis Ridge. The print, from 1957, was about as simple as it gets. Take a look.

Otis, Mass has a Poma.

That was their selling point so that’s what they shouted from the rooftops. Now, you may not find this very exciting, but I told you we were going to try to learn something, so here’s the lesson I see.

The Lesson
The lesson I get from this is something that I feel many resorts are still afraid to do: embrace what you’ve got and be yourself.

Otis Ridge wasn’t the biggest resort in the state, they weren’t famous for apres like other areas, they didn’t have a Swiss style chalet and spacious lodge. They didn’t have the longest runs or the fastest lifts or the deepest snow or the best grooming.

They had a Poma. And they had skiing.

Not everyone was looking for huge vert and steep runs, some just wanted to ski and a Poma, instead of just rope tows, was more than enough for them.

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.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.