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The Two Summer Magnets I’m Still Waiting for Major Ski Resorts to Create

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I have a relatively small social circle. I’ve trimmed my Facebook “friends” list down to a few hundred people and even then most aren’t that close to me.

Even still, I rarely check Facebook and I’m lousy at keeping up with old friends, so when I look at this list of 60-80 people who I know well enough to know their current hobbies, this is what I see:

  • Twenty-two people who are have run marathons.
  • Five people who have run ultra marathons.
  • Sixteen people who road bike regularly.
  • Ten people how have done long (100+ miles), one-day road bike races.

But when I compare that same friend list to the summer magnet I see resorts turning to most often:

  • One person who regularly does lift-served, downhill mountain biking.

…I’m once again reminded of the two magnets I simply haven’t seen yet that, at least from my perspective, have boat loads of potential.

The Problem
The problem all of these driven, semi-successful, semi-athletic people face can be described in three words:

Job. Family. Training.

Almost universally, these people pick an event to ride during the summer and then try to juggle their hobby between family and work to get their butt in good enough shape to reach their goal. So what if you could solve all three at once with a lodging-driven, resort-wide product?

#1) Trail Running Camps
What I’m waiting for is a resort to hire a former (or current) semi-famous runner and develop summer training camps for people hoping to run marathons or ultras. These camps would include group training runs every morning followed by…

  • Advice for people with limited time to run.
  • Nutrition tips for people who eat as a family or go out to lunch a lot at work.
  • Creating a plan for the day they leave the camp until their race.

And they do all this in a way that has these runners finished up by 11am every morning so they can bring their families along and have the rest of the day to play with them.

#2) Road Cycling Camps
The model would look almost identical for cycling. Start the day with group training rides, with maybe a couple tweaks and/or additions:

  • Teach basic bicycle maintenance so they aren’t juggling work and shop trips.
  • Advice on how to make the most out of after-dark trainer time after the kids go to bed.

Again, all of this finished up by 10:30-11:00 so by the time lazy, summer-break kids are ready to go, they are too.

What this does is combine three priorities in their life – Job. Family. Training – into one vacation that juggles all three not perfectly, but in a rather unique, compelling way.

Big & Growing
I’d start building a brand, hire that semi-famous former pro, tie in your elevation if you are at altitude, and start sponsoring and working with major races in your part of the country.

In other words, slowly become the go-to place for family-men/women who have a big goal, but won’t take time off work JUST for that and won’t let neglect family to shave another few minutes off their race time.

I feel like this not only caters to a huge group of people, but the right group of people and one that is only going to grow.

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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