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Want next-level transparency? Don’t tell me what the snow looks like.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

It’s amazing how quickly the level of transparency has increased in resort marketing the 10+ years I’ve been watching it through the lens of SlopeFillers.

We haven’t gone from 0-60 and there are many areas where we hold our cards closer, but the fact that resorts are so open about everything from snow conditions and rain to pricing and strategic moves is a testament to how far we’ve come.

What I want to do today is simply plant a seed about something to consider.

Snow Conditions
Your snow report usually comes with a lot of phrases that are slightly helpful but also much too broad to mean a whole lot. You know what I’m referring to:

  • Packed powder
  • Machine groomed
  • Granular

These really doesn’t mean much to the average skier. It’s probably why some resorts have stopped describing the snow condition at all. When I audited ~20 random snow report pages a few months ago, almost 25% had stopped describing the snow at all.

So how do you show skiers what conditions truly are when words don’t suffice and photos really don’t convey differences between the actual snow surface?

The Sound of Snow
The first thing I do when I pull up to Nordic Valley’s parking lot is pretty simple: I listen. If I can’t hear the skiers above me making turns, I get a little extra excited.

I think we all know that good snow and bad snow sound differently. The other night we took the kids skiing and had perfect conditions. Back at the office the next day I kept saying:

“It was that perfect cold, squeaky snow that you can really lay an edge into.”

Listen, I do not want you to put a live-streaming mic by your main slopes. Heaven knows what else that would pick up. But I do hope you will take a moment to consider how we tell skiers about our conditions and weigh that balance between “too much”, “not enough”, and the arc of transparency we all find ourselves on.

Food for thought.


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FYI: I'll be talking about measuring resort conversion rates during Insight Online on May 26.