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Summer Work: Should Marketers Ask Skiers to Lend a Hand?

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The video above highlights some of the summer work load that every ski resort deals with. While Magic does have a unique ownership situation, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many of your passholders and local skiers that would love to get up on the mountain and help out.

This reminds me of a friend of mine who, among other things, liked basketball. And by “like” I mean “love”. So, when he got a gig volunteering as a ball boy for the Utah Jazz, you can imagine his excitement. You can also imagine what handing towels to Karl Malone and John Stockton did for his feeling toward the Jazz. Needless to say, he became one of the most die-hard Jazz fans I’ve ever known.

What if…
So, when it comes to summer work at the mountain, what if you asked your skiers if they wanted to help out and shape the resort they would enjoy the next winter? Something tells me that, along the way, you might learn a thing or two about what your skiers are really looking for as well.

Clearing the Glades
The example from the Magic video is clearing the trees for tree skiing. On the lift, the volunteer says something really interesting:

“It’s so good to have people on the hill, helping out, and feeling like they’re building themselves something to play with in the wintertime.”

This relationship with the mountain comes form something as simple as cleaning up the glades.

Making the Snow
There’s likely some liability issues you’d have to work on, but inviting your passholders to help setup the guns the night before snowmaking starts for the season would not only be fun for them (I’d love to see what goes into a setup), but also gives your snowmakers a hand while building that brand relationship along the way.

Splice the Cable
I’ve always wanted to help splice a cable for a new ski lift. From what I’ve seen, it’s a tough, but fascinating project. I’ve seen random resort employees called upon, but why not tap your Facebook fans as well and make them part of that lift’s story? You’d better believe they’re going to tell stories on the chair about how they helped build this lift.

Layout the Park
Inviting your park rats to help the park crew choose the lines and features and then setup the rails and boxes gives some quality input and feedback for your crew and helps accomplish this same idea of mountain ownership.

One [Social] Step Further
What if you extended this offer first to your passholders that have a high Klout score? Can you imagine how many photos would be shared, tweets would be posted, and status updates around these activities? If this happened at the start of the season, this could be a perfect social-buzz catapult going into opening day.

The Foundation
All this goes back to this idea of telling the story of your mountain. The story can help skiers feel a connection to your resort they might now otherwise feel. Going one step further, letting them actually help out makes them part of the story.

My thoughts are still in their infancy on this idea, but I can’t help but think that given the right opportunities to lend a hand, skiers might jump on an opportunity that would only increase their loyalty.

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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