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What I’d Do: Treat My Resort Like it Was an iPad 2

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I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 3rd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique. (view all ‘WID’ posts).

I have two confessions to make. First, I don’t own an iPhone, iPad, or even a Macbook. Second, I watch every Apple Keynote. Without fail. The marketer in me loves watching amazingly designed products delivered in a way that brings a crowd of thousands to their feet in applause as they watch an hour long commercial. Despite being carefully rehearsed and scripted, the performance is casual and genuine. In fact, I have this funny secret goal that one day I’d like to sit in on an Apple Keynote. Not high on the bucket list, but there nonetheless. If you could kindly stop laughing now I’ll continue.

It may sound funny, but I wonder if there is a way to deliver a keynote-ish presentation to your loyal fans, announcing all those nifty little changes your skiers usually only find out about halfway through the season (new bathrooms on peak 2, the chili-dogs at mid-mountain, or sweet new parking spots).

The Ski Resort Keynote
First, I’d host one of the annual ski movies that make their rounds each year in an extra large auditorium in the center of my core market. Not a Warren Miller hour-and-a-half-er, but a 30-35 minute type. Season pass holders get in free, anyone else pays $10 for a ticket that can be later used to get $15 off a day pass. Outside the doors would be a couple tables selling season passes at the April prices (the night of the show only). Here’s who I’d have participate:

The Park Crew
I’d have the park crew talk about what they did last year, and what they plan on doing for the upcoming season. New features, new setups, new lines, etc. They’d talk about it from their perspective and why they were doing it, psyching up the park rats along the way.

The GM
I’d get the GM to talk about some of those cool changes (like I mentioned above) that are their to make life easier but usually go unnoticed. If you cut a new line to make getting to a far flung lift easier, talk about how you have hoofed it out of that area too many times with your skis and your shoulder so you got the crew up their and cut a new line. Make an exciting announcement out of everything that you’ve done.

Snowmaking Reps / Chairlift Reps
If you bought new snowmaking equipment or a new lift. Bring in the local snowmaking or lift salesman and have him talk about how rock awesome their equipment is and how great it is going to make the mountain.

Marketing Guys
Got a big concert lined up? Make a big announcement out of it and get a few thousand people psyched before tickets ever go on sale. Launching a new video or photo social media system? Get 2,500 skiers in the know about how they should submit their content and how many people are going to see their name in lights.

The Media, Bloggers, and a Celebrity
I get TV stations there, newspapers, bloggers, famous skiers signing autographs, the works.

The bottom line I am getting at is this: Apple keynotes are hour long commercials that give Steve time to cover every feature they want to. A resort keynote would be the same, get all your loyal fans together, tell them all the cool stuff you’ve been spending those millions on in improvements, and get them psyched out of their minds for opening day. Make your loyal fans even more loyal, bring a few new faces in that are coming to see the movie, and build some awesome pre-season buzz along the way.

So, that’s what I’d do…

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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