skip to main content

Season Passes (All)
Does a Trial Season Pass Have a Place in Golf or Ski? Methinks it might.

divider image for this post

A season pass changed the way I ski…for the better.

Rarely at this stage of life can I justify a full day on the mountain, but by having the flexibility to sneak up for a few runs when the opportunity presents itself, I’m able to:

  • Head up to the mountain at the drop of a hat
  • Stay for as little or as long as I want with no guilt
  • Never wait in a ticket line on a powder day

Sometimes I only ski a total of maybe 40-50 hours a season, but the quality of that skiing and the ability to fit it around my schedule (and only pay once) has created much better seasons than when I was skiing hundreds of hours a year.

Preaching to the Choir
You guys all know this, right? You know how awesome it is to break outside of day tickets.

But here’s the thing, if I never would have had a season pass, I might have assumed as much in theory, but I never would have experienced it in practice. So while the concept of a “trial pass” can seem strange on the surface…

…the more I think about it the more I like it.

Sticking Point
I think the sticking point here is that with skiing a trial of 30 days may be used during the first part of the season when conditions are fare from their best.

But if there is correlation between quality of skiing and how long someone is still stoked on their day of skiing, that may help highlight the most valuable part of a season pass. In other words, if they have a pass that lets them leave (guilt-free) at 11:00am when the crowds pick up and conditions worsen, maybe that’s the perfect time for them to have it.

Remember also that these passes aren’t free.


So if you can sell someone a pass that lets them ski during the early season, shows them the light of the full pass, and is primed for an upsell…well…I see a lot of promise.

Ski and Golf
While there is certainly promise with ski, I really like the idea with golf.

While on the surface it seems the same “come for an hour” principle doesn’t apply, ask anyone who has lived on a golf course and they will tell you otherwise. Once you have the pass, you realize that you don’t have to play 9 or 18 to get value. Have an hour? Play 3, drive back to the clubhouse, call it a day.

Just like ski, paying once and having an unlimited pass opens a world of opportunity.

But, again, you only know that once you have a chance to experience it. That’s where this concept really shines.

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.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.