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A key marketing challenge resorts need to solve for in 2020/21.

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There are a lot of things happening the ski world right now, but there are even more happening outside of it.

Yes, uphill gear is selling out. But do you know what else is on a record pace?

Golf. Yes. Golf. Especially among younger golfers.
Bikes. As in, they’re sold out.
Trailers, RVs and camping gear.
Disc golf discs.
National park visitation.
Traffic at trailheads.
Reservoir visitation numbers.

The list goes on. In other words, folks are getting outside in numbers we’ve never seen before.

The Problem
But while that’s a huge opportunity for an industry that has needed a reversal in the “let’s just do something indoors” crowd, we’re not exactly set up for it.

Because while we’re pretty good at capturing and then bringing back visitors who pay for an experience at our resorts, we’re terrible at capturing people who just stop by. Who go for a walk, explore the village, sit by the fire and watch the skiers, or come for a concert.

And you know who we’re going to see a lot of in a year where folks are desperate to just get outside and see something new?

Well, not everyone is bad at this. Over and over I keep thinking about a case study I wrote about Boreal a few years back. Here’s the key quote:

“That ease-of-use for both the marketer and the guest translated into the addition of more than 41,000 email addresses over a period of just 18 months.

At what is this referring to? Gated wifi access. It’s free, but you gotta provide an email to get online.

Tucker Norred said “wifi is our best form of email sign ups. We get the most data on the customer, we can hyper target, and we are getting valid data.”

Need a Solution
Boreal used Purple WiFi integrated with Inntopia Marketing Cloud to capture all the bay area folks who came up to experience snow pre-COVID. Now, with lots of non-skiers looking to get outside, the one thing we need to all do is solve the same problem.

The thing I want us to consider, though, is the pattern not the exact solution. The solution is wifi, but the pattern is:

“If you want an email address or phone number, you have to trade something valuable for it.”

Maybe that’s free wifi.
Or, if you have paid activities, maybe that’s a discount.
Or one free activity.
Or a unique experience (ie, register for a snowmaking tour).

Whatever you decide, we have to do better at capturing contact info for these non-paying visitors if we want to have any hope of bringing them back over and over again.

And that process starts with finding something valuable to trade for an email or phone number and driving awareness through signage and the marketing you use to bring non-skiers to the resort this winter.

Food for thought going into your next marketing meeting.

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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