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It’s not Collective, it’s not MAX, the new “Peak Pass” strategy is more Epic than anything.

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Joint pass products continue to innovate and expand. This week I’m recapping a few the biggest tweaks to this season’s lineup.

One of the benefits of being the first is that you have access to one of those fabled blue oceans. One of the benefits of NOT being the first is that you can learn from those who went before. That’s exactly what I’m seeing from Peak Resorts with the new Peak Pass.

But before we talk about what they’ve done, let’s recap some of the other passes, their goals, and the product strategy used to achieve those goals.

GOAL: Drive direct revenue by tapping power of shared ownership. Turn every skier into a passholder. Sell 1,000,000 passes.
KEY FEATURES: Epic is the only option, no single-mountain passes available. Combination of flagship destination resorts and small areas tied to major markets all owned by same company.
PRODUCT: An actual season pass. Unlimited skiing at all mountains on pass.
SALES: Sold from central location and individual resort sites.

Mountain Collective
GOAL: Drive sampling from destination markets.
KEY FEATURES: Completely separate from normal pass sales. All well-known brands, geographically spaced. No shared ownership.
PRODUCT: Stand-alone pass that includes two days of skiing at each destination and discounts on lodging and ski days above 2.
SALES: Sold from central location.

Powder Alliance
GOAL: Drive sales of top-tier season passes at each partner resort.
KEY FEATURES: Key selling point of traditional season passes. Mid-sized brands, geographically spaced. No shared ownership.
PRODUCT: Free add-on to top tier passes that allows three days of free skiing at each partner resort.
SALES: Sold from individual resort sites.

Max Pass
GOAL: Drive direct revenue and tap combined value of shared ownership.
KEY FEATURES: Three ownership groups – Boyne, POWDR, Intrawest. Mix of well-known and lesser-known brands. Geo-spacing determined by ownership group’s goals rather than just pass’s.
PRODUCT: Stand-alone pass that includes five free days of skiing at each destination. Also sold as season pass add-on.
SALES: Sold from central location.

Freedom Pass
GOAL: Drive sales of new, higher priced season pass type at each partner resort.
KEY FEATURES: Six smaller areas spread across New England. Geo-spacing tighter for ability to drive between mountains.
PRODUCT: New pass that acts like a top tier but is sold as a branded pass.
SALES: Sold from individual resort sites.

Enter Peak Resorts’ new pass product: the Peak Pass.

When you look at the approach they’ve taken you start to see bits and pieces taken from one pass or another to create something that reaches their goals. But more than anything you realize that it’s not another MAX Pass or Mountain Collective or Powder Alliance, it’s the closest thing to the EpicPass we’ve seen.

Shared Ownership
The first aspect is the single, shared ownership behind the mountains. Like the EpicPass, only Peak Resorts are on the pass.

Full Season Pass
The Peak Pass isn’t a ticket pack, it’s not an add-on, it’s a full season pass. And, so being, they’ve priced it as such:


Just like a traditional pass, there are tiers for midweek, full, student, kids, etc. One unique aspect is how the tiers are given their own, unique nomenclature.

Replaces All Passes
And, even more, it’s the only pass you can buy. So whether you’re on JFBB’s site or Mount Snow’s, pass pages either redirect to the Peak Pass website or only exist to tell you about it and provide a link. It appears you can no longer buy a Hunter or Attitash, etc. season pass alone.

All-in on East
Because Peak only runs eastern resorts and because it’s limited exclusively to Peak Resorts, this pass lacks some of the ability other passes have to reduce weather risk. But, they are all driveable so it’s similar to a Freedom Pass just with bigger resorts.

What’s in a Name
One thing that I do worry about a bit with this pass is the name. The word “Peak” is something that’s used regularly by a lot of resorts in a lot of ways. So when you Google “the peak pass” you get results for three different resort products in the first 6 spots.


I don’t say this to suggest they should already be #1, that will hopefully happen in time, but I share it to suggest that getting their pass to stand out as a brand in this industry may take some time and patience as they compete against similarly named products.

All In
But, overall, I really like that they went all in on this.

It’s not an add-on, it’s not a perk, it’s not an option, it’s the new season pass at all these mountains. Having owned such a pass – the EpicPass – and not being one to spend more for higher tiers, I can anecdotally say that having a pass with all those possibilities built in did, in fact, change my behavior. I tried more mountains, spent the night at a couple, and broke out of my one-mountain box.

In that regard, I think this pass has the potential to be a great move. Skiers will start to explore, sample, and, along the way, bring some of the money required when you drop “local” status and try new mountains – Peak mountains – a couple states away.

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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