I’ve never been shy about my belief that some of the best content in skiing today is SKITHEEAST’s “Working for the Weekend” series.
Here’s what I said back in 2015 when I first wrote about it.
“The value in this lies in how relevant his story is to the huge group of non-core skiers that live in a resorts database.
Like Ben, they don’t ski every day, they work every day. Only when they answer that last email on Friday are they finally free to do what they truly love.
As an industry, however, we’ve been very guilty of only glamorizing the pros and the locals.”
Let’s dissect that a bit and contrast pros/locals to weekend warriors.
Because the difference between those groups lies at the intersection of chance and choice.
Imagine rolling a single dice. You are asked to pick your favorite number, 1-6, and you have 7 rolls to get that number. What are the odds you’ll get what you want?
The odds are good, right? There are no guarantees, of course, but if my math is right it’s about a 72% chance one of those 7 rolls will show the number you were hoping for.
Now, same situation, but you only have 2 rolls to get that number. What are the odds? Again, trusting my rusty math, it’s about a 30% chance.
Rolls = Days
The similarity between locals and weekend warriors is that every day is a roll of the dice. Instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, however, it could be ice, powder, sun, wind, rain, and hard pack.
The difference is that locals have 7 days to get lucky each week while weekend warriors only have 2.
Exacerbated by crowds on the two days they play that game of chance, and the result is that weekend warriors are much less likely to get the conditions they were hoping for. Instead of all powder days, they get a mixed bag.
Destination guests are the same, but instead of choosing 2 days out of 7, they’re choosing maybe 10 or 20 out of 100.
Working for the Weekend
So when I saw the latest episode of WFTW, I realized they’d not only spoken to most skiers on one level – working all day with the hope of a great weekend – they’d spoken to them on another – the realization that weekend warriors are much less likely to get nothing but conditions close to what they’d hope for.
Behold, a “Presidential Mixed Bag.”
It’s an important lesson to keep in mind. That, yeah, we love to highlight our best conditions in our marketing, but these visuals are creating expectations. Expectations that are fairly easy for you and your peers to achieve, but much, much less likely for those who come from out of town.
It’s the reason in my pre-ski-industry life I felt myself losing my love of skiing after working my tail off during the week only to go nearly three winters without a powder day. And it’s the reason your guests might do the same.
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