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TPP Update: Sorry Resorts, You’re Plummeting Down the Priority List

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As I write this I’m holding our napping daughter on my lap (see photo above) – her 3-month old feet clumsily tucked against against my keyboard.

Three months. That’s how long it’s been since I announced this new chapter of my life and began perhaps our greatest adventure yet.

When she was born I promised to take you along on this journey and share the lessons of a marketer, father, and skier. With these 13 weeks behind us, here’s my first quarterly report.

Five Lessons
Let’s start with what I’ve learned about marketing to someone like me and this stage in my life.

1) You’re Not Alone
I’m not quite sure how all these businesses know that we have a little one around, but know they do. Babies are big business and we’ve seen a clear uptick in offers, especially through direct mail.

One strike against skiing is that you don’t hold a strong “do what’s best for your baby” card to play against me that other industries do. It’s a powerful one.

2) Home is Double the Fun / Work
I used to love spending time at home and my daughter has only increased this sentiment. Any bike ride I take is shorter, the last few minutes at the office seem longer, and non-family activities make me wish I had a soft, dozing head on my arm.

Skiing is hard to do in my living room, which is a strike against it for the upcoming winter.

3) It’s Hard to Get Out
Combine the fun and time spent at home with approximately 3,456% more work required to leave together, even a weekend trip to Denver at 2 months required a car load that rivaled the gear packed for a month-long nomadic jaunt across Siberia.

Even if my wife and I only want to ski together for a few hours some Saturday this winter, it will likely take 10 hours to do so.

4) Vacations Days Saved for Family
Of all the priorities assigned to vacation days at work, one item on the list was bumped up about as high as you can go. I’ll give you a clue, it starts with “grand” and ends with “arents”. While a ski trip would be great, my vacation time this year will be spent primarily on family visits.

Resorts aren’t just competing against other vacation types, they are competing against my family.

5) Babies Cost Money
I hope this is no surprise. My wife and I did pretty well in the expense department with Callie, but had we actually put together a nursery or gone in with lesser insurance, things would be different. Throw in the cost of having another person in the house and the padding in the monthly budget inevitably gets smaller.

Wrap this all up and you get one clear result: my love of skiing may not change (the lack of skiing may actually incrase the desire) but the time I spend on the hill and the likelihood that I’ll take a ski-focused vacation has dropped dramatically. Just as you’d expect.

A Few Ideas
If you know me, you know that I can face a problem without my brain going into overdrive to find a solution. So, here are a few ideas I’ll pass along.

Parents Predicament Tweak?
If a resort opened today and we wanted to go skiing, I can picture us having about 3 hours window where making turns would work. There is simply no way we could use a full-day pass.

I love the parents predicament pass, but I wonder if a tweak that might make it more appealing in terms of the value the buyer gets out of it might come in dropping the price and making it valid only for the morning or loading 5 runs for each parent onto the pass.

In Room Entertainment
If we took a ski vacation with Callie, one thing we’d be sure of is that much, much more time would be spent in the hotel room versus a normal trip. To entice me to come, I’d love to know what in-room entertainment there is and whether I can afford room service.

Send Me Something
I know if goes against the grain (spending money on someone that won’t spend money on you), but when Alex Kaufman sent me a care package with both a homemade Powder Mountain onesie (his wife is crazy talented) and a DVD that (among some solid skiing) included a half-hour feature on Stowe, a lightbulb turned on.

Our baby needs clothes and we need some entertainment for our extra time at home when she’s sleeping. Help me solve one of those problems and you may not get much from me during this stretch of my life but you could earn some serious long term loyalty.

See You In…
That’s all for this update. It’s been an amazing ride so far.

See you in three more months.

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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