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Ski Resort Advertising: Are Snow Reports a Bait and Switch?

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Scholarly articles usually make me laugh. First, the voice. It seems part of the goal of each publication is to sound as intelligent as possible. Thus, words that would never be used in any other arena are inserted to stroke the ego of the author. Second, the motivation. No one will publish your work unless you have a significant, unique and data driven tangent on something. Plus, to get tenure, you’ve got to publish more than Random House which means anything and everything that you can write about…you will. Third, the medium. These are journals, not blogs. Once it’s out there, it’s out there and discussing with the author is difficult at best. So, say what you will and make it sound like you know what you mean.

Now, this is not to totally discredit scholarly articles altogether. Some, especially those in the sciences, are incredible interesting and impressive, but having read a fair amount in my day, I also know how laughable others can be. Which brings me to my main point.

Last night I stumbled onto an article entitled, “Snowed: Deceptive Advertising by Ski Resorts.One of their keywords? Bait and switch. Their premise? According to their data gleaned from online snow reports, ski resorts report 23% more snow on weekends than they do on weekdays when compared to the snowfall data the government reports, which apparently show no such spike on weekends. Additionally, they claim that “resorts that plausibly reap greater benefits from exaggerating do it more.” and when an iPhone app was introduced that allowed users to comment on snow reports, the exaggerations dropped immediately.

The question now is, laughable or legit?

I’ve already drawn my conclusions, what’s your take?

P.S. – The paper carries a handful more details, but at 32 pages, isn’t real-world friendly. I’ve hit most of the major points in my summary above.

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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