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Was the Upset Whitefish Skier Wrong in His Viral Complaint? Does it Matter?

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On Sunday, a disgruntled Whitefish Mountain Resort Facebook fan, upset by a $20 price increase, took to the resort’s timeline to vent his frustrations in what can only be described as a language that vaguely resembles English. Okay, I’m being harsh, but take a look:

“so I just heard your passes are up to 580$ ?????? do you realize how absolutely absurd that is? you can ski 6 different resorts for 280$ in the tahoe area, and prices are similar for colorado MULTI resort deals. your prices have gone up every single year since ownership of the mountain has changed, and honestly i have found that hardly anything has improved, if not gotten worse. i love you BIG MOUNTAIN not stupid ass whitefish mountain resort… still the lamest name ever. but seriously 580? i guess bill foley wants his mountain to be 99%er free.”

Who is going to break the news to this kid that, a), the dollar sign goes before the amount and six question marks fail to change the importance of the question and instead make you look like a 14 year old girl asking her friend if a certain boy really does like her?????!??!?! That’s harsh too, I know, but here’s the lesson I take away from this and every other social media situation: it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter how bad his grammar was.
It doesn’t matter how messed up his puntuation was.
It doesn’t matter if he sounded like a teenage girl texting her BFFs.
If doesn’t even matter if he was wrong.

What matters is the fact that 700 people agree with him and 200 had agreed within the first 20 minutes. Why did a poorly written comment gain such traction? I have no idea. But that doesn’t matter either. What matters is that it did.

We’re all still learning how to best reply to situations like this. To Nick Polumbus’ credit (Whitefish’s Marketing Director), he did a fine job. An article about the situation provided a pretty solid recap in which he:

  • Put the feedback in a positive light
  • Outlined reasons for the price
  • Outlined reasons why other places can charge less
  • Addressed other concerns

Was everyone happy with his response? Of course not. There’s this thing about getting riled up, logic goes right out the window. But the response was honest, timely, and clear. That’s about as well as you can do.

Here’s the full response:

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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