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If there’s not room for all in 2020/21, should we prioritize loyalty?

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Just like yesterday, I want to explore some less mainstream ideas around product or marketing strategy that could be helpful in 2020/21.

Today, I want to share two charts that I keep thinking about over and over and over.

I first shared them years ago, but the data and behaviors are deeply ingrained in humans and likely won’t change much, if at all, during a year like this.

Return Rate vs Streaks
Let’s start with the lodging side. This chart represents how many guests showed up the following season based on how many years into a row they’d come leading up to that year (full writeup here).

In other words, streaks or annual traditions can make someone extremely likely to come back.

Passholders vs Renewal Rate
But what if they miss? For that side let me share an analysis I did of season passholders. In this case, we looked at the renewal rate of folks who had a pass last year but only last year (standard), those who had a two-year streak, and those who had a pass two years ago but not last year (full analysis here).

The moral of this story? Once they don’t renew, the likelihood of them coming back drops significantly. But if you can start a streak? The inverse is true. Renewal rates quickly jump.

Planning for Loyalty
This year could be very different. Thredbo did away with season passes altogether. Lodging remains closed at some resorts.

Whether you have to go that far or only part way down that road, what I’m hoping to get you thinking about is these pockets of loyalty.

  • How you keep traditions going?
  • How you ensure that the folks who have come 4 or 5 years in a row can make that 5 or 6?
  • How you ensure passholders can keep their years-in-a-row streak going?
  • Is it possible for those 100-days-a-year skiers to keep those streaks alive?
  • What do you do for deeply loyal guests who are between jobs and can’t afford to come?

I’m not sure the right answer to any of these questions right now, but I think the time is now to begin considering how we serve these loyal guests. And maybe, just maybe, increase that loyalty in a year that could be very easy to lose 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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