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Ticket Sales
The Two Tweaks I’d Make to Resort 2-for-1 & Discount Passes

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I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 2nd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique. (view all ‘WID’ posts).

Discount passes do a few things: they get people to the mountain on days they normally wouldn’t come, get them to spend when they normally wouldn’t spend, and get two to come when only one would have normally. Now, before you shun people that use them and put discount passes into the category of “necessary evil”, let me admit that I’ve used my fair share of 2-for-1 passes. Heck, I didn’t pay full price for a lift ticket until I had been skiing for a nearly 5 years.

I’ve seen passes available (either by handing out or by earning) at gas stations, ski movies, restaurants, trade shows, coupon books, radio stations, grocery stores, sporting goods stores, ski sales, you name it. However, in all my years of discount seeking, I haven’t had to do either of the two things I’ll mention below (which are the same two things I alluded to in the title that I WOULD do).

Choose a Day to Use It
Never have I had to choose which day I’d would use my discount. Instead, I just roll up on any old day (sans the occasional black-out day) and present the pass. How many times have I skied for next to nothing on a powder day? It’s been a lot. The day before someone paid full price to ski icy groomers, and there I was paying half price to float through bottomless, Snowbird pow.

So, the first thing I’d do with the discount passes that are, at times, so easy to come by is simply this: change that discount pass into a discount voucher that they can go online and redeem (with payment) for a date-specific pass at least 48 hours in advance. That gives the marketer a better idea of demand for that day, guarantees it will be used even if that day turns out to be a bust, and let’s me limit how many can be used on any given day.

Another thing it does is…

Require an Email Address
Never in my long-legged, coupon-skiing life have I ever had to give any personal info to redeem my pass. As a marketer, that seems like a pretty solid trade: contact information for a discount. So, in reality, requiring someone to give an email address does a few things:

  1. It gives you a way to follow up with this guests and get them to come back.
  2. It lets you search your database based on that email and see if those guests normally pay full price for passes.
  3. Both 1) and 2) allow you to better track the efficacy of these discounts.

Without an email attached to the pass, there is virtually no way to track who these people are that are using that pass. Are they former season pass holders that use 10 a year as an alternative? Are they first timers that come once but never come back?

Lots of Passes Out There
Thinking just about the passes I used growing up reminds me how many must be out there:

  • 2-for-1 Night Skiing at Brighton w/ X96 card or Article Circle Meal purchase
  • 2-for-1 Day Pass to Snowbird w/ 4, 8-Gallon Fill-Ups at Texaco
  • 2-for-1 Day Pass to Powder Mountain w/ Happenings Book Coupon
  • 2-for-1 Day Pass to Snowbasin w/ Ski Movie Coupon

The list goes on but I’ll refrain from showing just how poor and deal hungry I was there for a while.

So, there you have it. That’s what I’d do – turn discount passes into discount vouchers so they became date specific, linked-to-an-email lift tickets.

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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