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Will GST’s Season Pass Marketplace Provide a Boost for Resort Pass Sales?

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I could easily have titled this post, “is this a game-changer”, but I don’t think that’s what going for. Their Season Pass Marketplace isn’t going to miraculously double your sales. Instead, we simply have to ask if it will provide a positive boost for resorts.

According to Brandon Quinn, head honcho at GST, this is the tagline for the marketplace:

“Resorts can leverage our marketing engine for season pass distribution without having to exhaust their marketing budgets…Resorts can create demand by selling limited quantities of season pass offerings and combine them with time sensitive promotions.”

Additionally, he highlights the possibility to combine other products with pass products. Some of his examples were:

  • Unlimited Season Pass + 75 On-Mountain Food Voucher
  • College Pass + 4 Days of Demo Rentals
  • 4 Pack + Free Tubing
  • Weekday Season Pass + 1 Free Advanced Lesson

Bundling season passes with other offers is a topic in itself, one I’ve only touched briefly, but let’s focus on this idea of a marketplace just for season passes.

The Pros
The positive side is that your passes could get extra visibility. How much, that’s tough to say but Brandon did point out that part of the idea was inspired by the fact that much of their traffic came from people looking for season pass options, not lift tickets.

It’s also commission based so the only time you pay is when a sale is made. And the focus, more than just season passes, is getting skiers, who already have a season pass to other resorts, to consider a smaller commitment (such as a 4-pack) to your resort.

The Cons
The cons I mentioned to Brandon are the same ones I’ll share here: the interface. With the exception of the EpicPass that has buyers in over 80 countries, most season passes are purchased locally. For most skiers, the choice will come down to 3-5 resorts that are close enough to make using the pass regularly somewhat realistic.

So, when i try to find and compare passes locally, the setup makes it tricky. Unless a solid solution is found for that obstacle, I have trouble seeing many skiers come out the bottom of the funnel with their preferred pass in hand. Brandon said he is already working to improve it so we’ll have to keep an eye on things as they progress.

I give this a thumbs up for being innovative and trying a new channel of season pass distribution. Creating a solid UI will be important and what kind of pricing strategy resorts use with it is going to be a major piece in determining the success of the model.

Whether it will work as is I don’t know, but it’s an interesting idea to watch unfold.

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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