We often see waves of updates around pass deadlines or opening dates or even stuff like lift announcements or acquisitions.
Well, add parking to the list. As resorts continue to find the right approach to parking in this world we’ve created around unlimited passes and limited capacity, the last few weeks have quite the flood of parking-related updates from resorts.
This is not something we a deep history of examples to draw inspiration from, so let’s dig into a few approaches.
This year, the gang at Palisades Tahoe introduced “Reserve N Ski, a reservations-based parking plan for weekends and holiday periods in all of our lots.” Reservations are mandatory for those dates so they actually ended up creating a totally separate, dedicated website just for parking.
They’ve also created a vertical version optimized for social media outlets as well.
I honestly like this approach. Parking changes like these are a big deal and creating thoughtful communications and a dedicated website give the team a lot of tools to help educate the market before opening day.
Snowbasin recently ran a survey to gather feedback on a few parking options. This can be a little tricky because you need specific feedback on an idea but just putting that idea out there can create expectations or rumors that can grow above your simple hope to see what that idea looks like to your market.
So when Snowbasin ended up taking a different route than the approach they teased in the survey, they wrote this update to share on all their channels.
The part that I really appreciate is that they addressed those expectations right at the top:
“We recently surveyed our season pass holders to gain feedback about the potential of implementing a parking reservation system. The system would require a reservation to park on weekends before 1pm, with free reservations available to Snowbasin season pass holders and a small fee for all other guests. Although there was an outpour of support, and the demand for this type of offering exists, it is not something we will be implementing for the 2023-24 winter season but rather a solution we will continue to research and explore for the future of Snowbasin.”
That was a really savvy move to recognize where skiers’ heads would be at, making sure to cover those ideas right up from, and then move on to the updates.
And then there’s the other side of the coin. The side created by updates like the two I mentioned above.
I’ve talked a lot about how the mega-pass era is creating lots of opportunities for smaller resorts and this is yet another example of that. Magic has done a fantastic job of capitalizing and these opportunities and this latest example is no exception.
It’s clever, it’s on-brand, it sends a powerful message, and it was a perfectly-timed response to the wave of parking updates we’ve been seeing as the season arrived.
These are three very different responses to parking, but each is really well aligned to each resort’s unique situation whether that’s reservations, expectations from last year, or no change whatsoever.
It’s important to remember that different doesn’t mean that some are right and some are wrong. There is no blanket answer to these challenges because every resort, every market, and every situation is different. It’s up to each resort marketing and communications team to carefully read their own, unique situation before drawing up a play.
These resorts did that.
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