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Sun Valley Links City Folk with Mountain Experience via Stone Skipping Robot

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For those readers in the United States, happy 4th of July! With a good chunk of site traffic coming from other countries (especially Canada), I figured that even a holiday deserved a quick post.

When I go to a lake, there is one thing you can be absolutely sure I’ll do: skip rocks. Problem is, I’m not at lakes very often so my enjoyment this simple activity isn’t as frequent as I’d like. Maybe, though, that’s not a bad thing. Maybe it’s the rarity that makes it fun. That keeps it special.

And maybe that’s why I’m not sure what to think of Sun Valley’s new, web initiative that will allow people to skip rocks via a robot from any web browser on the planet starting July 9, 2012. Here’s a quick video from the promotional website that’s serving as a teaser above an email alert form.

There are two parts of this idea that are pretty smart from a marketing perspective.

Link Bait
A promotion involving skipping rocks and a robot via a browser is perfect headline material for both tech sites and traditional news outlets alike. It has that quirky, technology component that gives it a great chance of gaining viral reach. Whether it’s as easy as pushing the “skip rock” button or whether there is actually choice involved that could be used to generate a score (and thus some friendly competition to add fuel to the viral flame) I’m not sure. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes down.

Mountain Connection
The other part is the fact that, vicariously, someone trapped in a 10th floor cubicle could experience some part of the great outdoors and remember what that feels like. This robot just might help people find that feeling again that generates the desire that leads to a vacation.

It’s also completely unique. It’s not a skiing or mountain biking video game, those exist. It’s an activity that, until now, has only been reserved for those people who are actually at the lake and have enough hand-eye coordination to get more than a skip or two. Part of me cringes at that thought but the I do recognize the power and potential in the idea.

Whether it will catch on or not, I don’t know. Guess I’ll just have to wait until the 9th to find out.

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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