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Content Marketing
The marketing content Ski Sundown is getting right that larger resorts aren’t.

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Ski Sundown is a classic little ski area in Connecticut that wasn’t on my radar until my sister’s family moved to the area a half decade ago. Since then, however, I’ve been impressed with not only the marketing I’ve seen out of the resort but the feedback I hear from folks like my sister who ski there.

Today I want to highlight something I’ve been really impressed with from Sundown that, despite having similar storylines, I’ve seen a lot of larger resorts missing the boat on.

The Power of Lifts

I’ve talked a lot over the years about the fascination so many people have with lifts. On the one hand you have the folks who know a Hall from a Riblet and are still nerding out on just how freakishly big the direct drive motors are. On the other, you have people who go no deeper than smiling at the joy of a chair on a high speed lift accelerating through the terminal to meet the line.

Closer to home a new lift usually means a better experience, a smoother trip to the top, or more runs in an hour for all the people who call your slopes home.

All of these reasons and more are why Peter from Lift Blog has such a massive following. But there’s something else to learn from Peter’s updates; despite sharing photos of spring lift progress from resorts all over the country, the majority of those resorts’ marketing channels have been surprisingly quiet about updating their audience on these storylines.

Seeing the Story

Perhaps there are valid reasons or too many competing stories to see the value in updating your audience on a new lift install, but I think more often than not it’s simply a matter of resort marketers learning to see the story. Great stories are everywhere but you have to learn to see those moments like your audience does, to pick up a few key moments, and weave a narrative.

Ski Sundown isn’t doing anything crazy, but they’ve seen the story inside their lift install and they’re putting in a little bit of extra effort to bring their audience along on the ride as the lift goes from announcement to opening.

Do their skiers care about these updates? Let’s look at the number of likes their last 12 posts got and you try to pick out which ones are the updates I shared above:

  1. 149
  2. 35
  3. 823
  4. 625
  5. 57
  6. 240
  7. 185
  8. 157
  9. 300
  10. 235
  11. 86
  12. 167

If you guess 3, 4, and 9? You’d be right. Oh, and the lift announcement photo at the top? That had 1,321 likes, the most of any post in the last 5 months.

The post that beat it out? The biggest powder day of the season.

Curse of Knowledge

It’s important to point out the role the curse of knowledge plays in seeing these stories.

You see lifts every day, you ride lifts every day, you have probably been on the line to resplice a cable, you’ve heard about lifts hundreds of times in meetings, you know more about lifts than 99.9% of skiers do. But remember, those 99.9% of skiers are the people you’re marketing your experiences to. To them, lifts are still new, magical, and amazing.

In other words, they’re a story worth telling. Kudos to Ski Sundown for seeing that story…and taking the time to tell 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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