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Photography
Sugarbush’s clever angle to address a challenging skier concern.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

Back in June of 2020 I suggested running a repeating survey through 2020 and into the season to track the size of three groups:

  • Normals: People who are doing normal things regardless of the risks or numbers.
  • Possibles: People who will try to do normal things if they feel safe enough.
  • Nevers: People who won’t do normal things, even if safety precautions are taken.

What I didn’t really wrap my head around at the time, however, was the vast spectrum of personality- and perspective-driven behaviors within the Normals and Possibles once the season started.

Two Concerns
We usually focus on the fringe-Normals folks who feels their freedoms and lives have been removed with masks, but there are also Possibles on the edge of being Nevers who already feel anxious just being at the resort and, at the sight of some other maskless skier, are only going to feel more so.

Which means that when Sugarbush was looking at skier feedback they saw a lot of concern not just about the restrictions being too tough, but too soft.

“One of the trends I often see mentioned are our lift lines. It’s been a pretty hot topic with plenty of positive feedback on our lift line management and a fair amount of concern from others about it. Lift lines are also one of the things we quickly refocused our efforts on early season. After some initial feedback, we spaced lines out horizontally to allow for six feet in between each line. Staff were added to help monitor mask usage. We also added additional signage.”

That paragraph is from a blog post by Sugarbush’s John Bleh about that very thing. Folks see the crowds in the lift lines and are sure that the resort isn’t taking enough procautions.

So what do you do?

A Different Angle
I admit, I’ve wondered the same thing in a busier-than-expected lift line. But Sugarbush realized that if you take a step back – in this case, a “step” above – you’ll see that things are spaced nearly and safely.

With the help of Sugarbush employee, Andy Madea, they published a blog post with a series of aerial photos of their lift lines.

aerial view of lift lines

You can check out all the photos here, but I thought this – combined with some well-written commentary from John – was a brilliant, elegant way to address those concerns and a unique type of transparency when folks are desperate for details and info.

And the cherry on top?

The photos are beautiful. Even without the message inside them, the colors and framing are incredible. Nice work, Andy and John.


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