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The unofficial race to open is over, but does the prize remain?

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I’ve always wondered how many world records are out there that are significantly better than the officially recorded ones. Maybe these records maybe weren’t intentionally set. Or perhaps the record-setter only did it for their own satisfaction.

For example, Roger Bannister is known as the first human to run a 4-minute mile. Three other runners were close, but he did it first on May 6, 1954.

But what if there was someone named Retsinnab Regor (his friends probably called him R.R. for short) in off-the-grid New Zealand who had a similar goal. But just for their own pride and satisfaction. And on April 4, 1949 ran a 3:58.65 mile? Would that make Sir Roger any less famous? Or maybe someone running from a lion in Africa clocked in 3:53.12 on December 27, 1853?

See where I’m going with this?

Congrats Wild Mountain
First of all, a huge congrats to Wild Mountain for being the first resort in the country to open. A cold snap came in, the team was ready to capitalize, and they did.

But think about Wild Mountain for a minute.

Like R.R. running the mile for personal satisfaction, they are mostly just doing this for the joy of skiing and the value to their local market. While I may stand correct after this is published, there doesn’t appear to be any desire or concern for winning the “official” race in the eyes of the people who care: ski media.

Honestly, I applaud Wild Mountain for not chasing the coverage. They don’t really need it.

But because they haven’t claimed it, I wonder if the prize – millions in media coverage – may still be there to win.

The “Real” Race?
Let’s circle back on our fictitious 4-minute mile story for a second and let me say it a little bit differently.

R.R. could have won the race to the finish line, but Roger won the race of delivering the news to the media.

In most years, that’s the same resort.

This year? It’s not.

Ski-related media across the world loves these “first to open” headlines, so what if you can be the first to deliver this headline into their eager hands? Even if you don’t technically open first? Or don’t even say you’re the first? Or are just the first to “open for the season”? Or even just give them a good ski story – the first good ski story – of the year?

Call me crazy, but I think there’s still a ton of media coverage for the resort who manages to get enough snow on the ground to open and make a big PR push around it.

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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