In years past I’ve spread my predictions out over multiple posts.
But rather than seeing a few big trends, I’m noticing a handful of smaller ripples within our industry. Still important, but not worth a dedicated post.
That and there is some of your are doing some really, really cool stuff that I don’t want to put off covering for another week.
Prediction #1) Epic Will Expand in Utah
Utah is still a huge, untapped market for EpicPasses and I think this will only expand in 2016. If I had to name one resort that’s mot likely to join the Vail Resorts family, I’d have to say Snowbasin. Originally, I didn’t think they were a great fit. Having seen their master plan, my mind has quickly changed. And if there’s anyone who knows how to move those plans along, it’s VR.
Prediction #2) Experiments with the Skiing Experience
Terrain parks are snow shaped for a specific segment of skiers. I’m gonna predict this sort of catering-to-a-group will expand in 2016. And not just snow:
— Kelsey Watts (@KelseyWattsKPTV) December 29, 2015
I think stuff like “Cosmic Tubing” will be just one of many experiments with enhancing/tweaking the skiing experience we’ll see in 2016 to create experiences for all skiers the way we create experiences for park rats.
Prediction #3) Snapchat Won’t Catch On in Skiing
Usually I predict what will happen, this time I’m calling what won’t. Snapchat is being places pretty dang hang in many marketers’ priority lists and predicted to be big in 2016, but I don’t think it will last in skiing. By the end of 2016, I think Snapchat will still have a smaller place in ski resort marketing than it has now.
Prediction #4) Weather-Related Pricing
The tough years in Tahoe led to some interesting innovation in products and pricing, especially in regard to season passes. With Andrew Snow’s efforts starting right as a the East struggles with record warm, I think we’re going to see some really interesting intersections and experiments between weather data and pricing.
Prediction #5) Year of the Popover
The battle between website real estate and newsletter opt-in forms is often a losing battle. So what’s the solution I’m seeing? Popovers. Golf resorts are rocking them with beautiful designs that combine offers and sign up forms…
…and I predict that in 2016 ski resorts are going to start adopting a similar strategy in droves. By this time next year, dozens of big resorts will be using popovers.
Prediction #6) The End of Apps
Yes, Apple Watch is cool. Yes, new sensors are opening up doors. But for ski resorts, I think the end of the app era is upon us in 2016. We’ll see few, if any, resorts build apps on platforms, multiple resorts drop their apps altogether, and not a single custom resort app get built in 2016.
There are a lot of other things on my radar – content curation, print strategy, TV commercials – that I see glimmers of potential within, but I’ll stop here for 2016.
We’ll see how I do this year.
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