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Ski Resort Rankings, Bogus Opinion or Marketing Goldmine?

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It’s funny how once you notice something, it seems to pop up everywhere. Someone points out an ugly new car and suddenly everyone is driving one. A few days ago I was checking out a ski resort ranking chart and started to wonder what their criteria were. That night during post-“Light the Wick” small talk, someone said they saw a top 10 ski resort ranking that featured 8 Utah resorts. The morning after, Cataloochee Ski Area was ranked the #10 destination resort in the United States. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard Cataloochee is a great resort, but not one you usually think of as a top of the destination resort. Intrigued, I checked out who compiled the list. The answer?, a ski rack retail site with an Alexa rank of #2,932,352 (as a comparison, lowly SlopeFillers is ranked #361,529).

A few weeks ago I noticed a ranking that put Whistler as the #1 resort in the World. Prestigous? Maybe, but, the site that ranked them as such was an Adwords laden, scraped content site that was using rankings as bait more than actual data from a vote or survey.

This may sound like I am a rankings hater. I assure you, I am not. Sometimes I chuckle at who publishes them, but in a marketing sense, I think resort rankings can be a golden source of social proof.

If I were Cataloochee, I would milk that ranking for all it’s worth. They probably haven’t been stuck on that list before, and may not again, but when folks in South Carolina are deciding between going to Vermont for their ski vacation or driving a few hours to Cataloochee, a ranking that puts this resort right along side Vail, Squaw, and Deer Valley might be enough to convince them to choose the latter. See, they probably hadn’t thought of Cataloochee as a ski vacation spot before either…but once they see your ranking, they’ll start to.

Resort rankings come out all the time from a buffet of sources. Your resort may not always show up on Skiing, Powder, or SKI magazine’s lists, but when someone says your resort rocks, you’ve got a golden testimonial to use over and over again. Like we’ve all been told, “Let your customers do the bragging.”

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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