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Snowmaking as a Marketing Tool

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Cold air is covering much of the country. My windshield this morning can attest to that. And with that, snowguns at resorts from coast-to-coast have already fired up the guns.

I love snowmaking. There is something magical about, in a small way, taking control over mother nature’s choice of weather for the day. And I’m not alone. Snowmaking signals the start of the ski season for many areas and tells skiers and boarders, “we’re serious about getting open by our sometimes scoffed at, ‘projected opening date.'”

What I have seen this year is how much of a marketing tool snowmaking can be. Let me share a few ways snowmaking has been promoted and featured by the websites that have started up the pumps this October.

I’ve mentioned this before, but Snow Valley, CA wasn’t even on the map for most skiers until they were the first in the country to make snow. They ran only one gun for less than 5 hours but got a ridiculous amount of attention for it.

Sunday River, ME didn’t really even make snow, they just ran a test, but the pictures a skilled photographer captured of the event were incredible. These pictures didn’t even show any snow, but because of how amazing they were, excited folks shared them all over Facebook, Twitter, and blogs alike.

This season, Loveland has received the bulk of snowmaking attention and I think it’s in large part to the video they shoot. Their videos have already been featured a handful of times on some of Colorado’s most popular TV news programs.

Eric Hoffmann, PCMR’s Interactive Marketing Director, pointed out on his blog that Loveland cleverly stuck an intro on every snowmaking video that promoted their season pass and 4-packs sales. This time of year there doesn’t seem much to get excited about in the moment. Sure ski season is “close”, but snowmaking gives you a reason to draw visitors to your site, get them excited, and promote the offers you are pushing at this point in the fall. Also of note is that in the sidebar of the snowmaking update page, Loveland has a banner ad for those same offers.

I am still waiting to see a resort combine the crowd-favorite early season rail jam with the first snowmaking of the season. Hard to time right and promote, but seems like it would be more economical (that shaving giant ice blocks) and exciting.

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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