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A powerful idea inspired by a state that turned a priceless resource into an even better brand.

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My sister and her husband are both in secondary education. Which means that for a couple glorious months each year, their entire family is free from doing homework and desks.

They’ve always made the most of summer vacation, but a couple years ago I noticed a new theme emerging in their adventures: hiking. And, more specifically, hiking in national parks. Utah’s national parks.

Turns out, somewhere along the way they began chasing this:

It’s short (and, honestly, awesome marketing) so watch until the end. Hear that narration?

“This is life elevated, the Mighty Five. Five iconic parks, one epic experience. Plan your trip at”

Instead of selling people on the idea of a park or a couple parks, they are selling all as one unified experience. As not just a trip, it’s an accomplishment.wrapped up into an motivational, achievable package.

If you saw my sister’s family today, you’d see a Mighty 5 sticker proudly displayed in the rear window of their cars.

The Past and Patterns
I’ve seen a few resorts create a similar concept with the naming of peaks or areas within the mountain and then packaging those under the same branded umbrella.

One of my favorites was Sunday River’s.


But I want to suggest a slight variation of this idea today that builds on the Mighty 5 angle of giving skiers something to accomplish.

Before I do, let’s quickly recap a few key characteristics of the Mighty 5 brand.

#1) It’s Just That, a Brand
Time was taken to wrap all of these activities into one clean, memorable, well-designed brand and message.

#2) It’s 100% Doable
Five national parks is something virtually any family can do with a few semi-planned weekends for locals or week-long Utah trip for out-of-staters.

#3) It’s Themed
The shared concept? Family time outside. While they could have talked solely about adventure or vistas, they used family time to tie it all together.

So, let’s take that into skiing.

Here’s what I’m thinking. Instead of creating brands around peaks, you create brands around types of trails. For example:

  • The Vistas: five trails with the best views
  • The Long Hauls: the five longest trails on the mountain.
  • The Groomers: five trails with the best morning snow.

Swap/repeat with glades or themes among names or the GMs favorites or whatever, and you’ve got a few groups of trails to work with.

Note that they’re all doable on even a short day of skiing (5 trails), they’re branded (albeit not that well), and they’re grouped by the type of trail rather than the location.

What this does is two-fold:

#1) Exploration
First, they get people to explore more of the mountain they’re paying to ski. Instead of lapping the same lifts over and over or being attracted by one peak, they spread out and cover a lot more ground.

#2) Accomplishment
But even more importantly, it gives them something to accomplish during their trip or season. Like simply jogging for 3 hours vs “running a marathon,” packaging up an activity into a specific brand changes behavior. It get’s people excited to go one step further with increased satisfaction the reward at the end. It gives them something to talk about.

I’d love to see a resort package up some of their best runs into branded, bite-sized pieces.

Not just to make a 100-run resort more manageable, but to help skiers see more of it and have an even better time doing so than trying to go it alone.

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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