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Maybe Passionate Skiers Aren’t What Your Resort Marketing Team Needs After All

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Adam Hawes is smart.

How smart is he? Well, this is what happens to website traffic when I post his words instead of mine:


Dipping from his stream of wisdom, we see a few common threads, all surrounding the use of the word, “passion”.

“Generally speaking, the action sports industry has stayed well ahead of the game in terms of its early adoption towards audience-based content development and distribution. Enthusiasts living their passions, creating measures and outlets tailored for the next wave of enthusiasts…”

“Positions within the ski, snow and resort industries are, above all, desired. This can’t be understated, for it invites a never-ending stream of passionate applicants…”

“The challenge then, is how to keep these passionate folks at your resort, and within the industry…”

Passion is an interesting word. A word that is heavily used these days, typically preceded by “follow my/your…” to illustrate the best path to take in your career or personal pursuits. Though, not everyone agrees.

In a recent interview, author Daniel Pink had this to say about passion ( watch 8:30 – 11:00):

“People like to ask other people, ‘what’s your passion?’…but the word itself doesn’t quite capture why they do what they do…because passion is a hot emotion. We do experience hot emotions, but what sustains us are what aren’t super hot…you don’t want to have the heat turned up all the way all the time or you’ll burn out. So what you want is an emotion that’s sustaining…things like meaningfulness, a sense of intrinsic interest, flow, a feeling of contribution…”

I think about this word “passion” a lot. At times, when people say “follow my passion”, it feels synonymous with the juvenile version of “do whatever I want.” I often avoid using it in converation simply because I don’t have a youtube video and interview excerpts to introduce how I interpret it.

Now that I have, let me share a fear about marketing hires in the ski industry.

Adam pointed out a few worries including, among the “never-ending stream of passionate applicants”, “how to keep these passionate folks at your resort”. My question to myself, and you I suppose, is what if we’re hiring people with the wrong passion?

The Tweak & An Example
What if we need to look for skiers that are passionate about marketing rather than marketers who are passionate about skiing?

Let me use a well known example. Without a doubt, Digi Dave at Aspen/Snowmass is passionate about skiing. But, watch his social feeds and it becomes clear he’s also extremely passionate about marketing and the technology behind it. As hard as he shreds, I think that second love – marketing – is why Dave is one of the best interactive marketers in the industry.

I wonder if the biggest issue behind the marketer bounce rate in skiing isn’t always pay or cost of living in a resort town, it’s the fact that people are more passionate about going skiing than they are about skiing as a product and marketing skiing.

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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