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Skiing to Segways: Inside Gunstock’s Summer Marketing Lineup

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This summer, Gunstock is offering Segway mountain tours: $70 for two hours cruising the trails on an the latest off-road version of the nerdily cool personal transporter. Segways are something that the average Joe wouldn’t buy, but if the chance came to try one out, I think the intrigue factor would be high enough that we’d only fake disinterest for a moment before finally giving in. If I had a million dollars, I still wouldn’t buy a Segway, but I may take a trip to Gunstock and use one of theirs. Here’s the Marketing take of this summer offer from Gunstock’s Director of Marketing and Sales, Bill Quigley.

SlopeFillers: Its no doubt the Segway Tours are innovative. As a marketer, how big of a role will they play in your summer line up?
Bill:Gunstock set out to offer unique opportunities for people to play outside. When you are away on vacation its fun to try things that aren’t available close to home. Segways are always intriguing to those that see them in setting like mall security or large convention centers, but rarely do you get to “jump on one” and explore. Gunstock in its search for unique offerings for the 3.4 million people that visit the lakes region every summer thinks that an off road Segway tour with the new X2 will fit that bill. The Segway will give people a chance to explore on the most recognized personal transport vehicle in the country. The Segway tours will be integral to our “Big Mountain, Summer, Fun”

SlopeFillers: I’d agree with that. I’ve never ridden one but have always wanted to try. Are you going to do any marketing promotions specific for the tours?
Bill: We have a full slate of marketing for all of our summer attractions, including the Segway tours. We will do social, print, tv, radio and web. We have defined the target market for year one and will be defining routes and the tour itself in the coming weeks. We will also have them on property and will be able to use them in community events or other major events during the summer to promote the tours. We can stand on the soapbox and tell people what they are like, but show them whats going on, and we fell it will be infectious.

SlopeFillers: What do forsee as the biggest hurdle you’ll have to overcome as you market the tours?
Bill:We don’t see any hurdles marketing them. We see only opportunity. The biggest challenge we see is actually setting up the course to make sure it is engaging, informative and in some points educational. We have a very strong community in the Lakes Region and when it comes to new things to do, there are thousands of disciples in the tourism business that are begging for options for their guests. With 25,000 beds within 15 miles as the crow flies we are going to provide opportunity for fun. The difference in our target market versus the ski business is that potential is that much greater. When you think that there are 1.5 million more individual guests in the lakes region than there are skier days in NH it is pretty impressive. We are going to use much more variety in our media choices.

SlopeFillers: Was the Segway tour inspired by another mountain? If not, how did the idea come to be and how long have you been working on it?
Bill: Actually we were approached by Segway of Manchester. Camelback in Pennsylvania has done it in conjunction with their massive summer option with great success. I think our advantage is that the Lakes Region 4 times larger for summer destination traffic than the winter, and it’s a bedroom community for the State Capital.

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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