Archive for August, 2009

Where’s the Snow?

Park City Mountain Resort (where I work), and it’s parent company POWDR have made a serious commitment to environmental issues over the past several years as our leadership has taken a firm stand that we must do what we can to help slow the pace of climate change. Personally I think it’s vital for us to do so, but also it part because our business is dependent upon the weather on so many levels.

This morning, myself and many of my fellow employees at the Resort, helped the Park City Foundation put on a photo shoot called “Where’s the Snow?” for which we had over 200 people lined up at the top of Payday Lift at 8200 feet, to show where the predicted snow level will be in the year 2050 if we don’t change our current rate of carbon emissions. This photo shoot was held in preparation of a second, “Save our Snow” meeting that will be held in another month, on September 30, 2009 – check out the 2007 Save our Snow climate change report for a preview of what SOS II will present.

I was amazed that well over 200 people showed up by about 7:30am (on a Saturday!) for the shoot. It’s super encouraging to see so many engaged people in our home town. Here are some “behind the scenes” shots I took, hope to see you at Save our Snow II in another month!

Do what you love, love what you do.

DMSLast week, on Thursday and Friday, I attended a marketing summit to which all of the POWDR resorts sent members of their marketing teams to attend. It was great to finally meet many of the people that I’ve communicated with over the years, but the true highlight was getting to spend a full day with David Meerman Scott. We had actually started our conversations with David over dinner the night before (see the photo – I’m the one hiding in the background), but he hit the ball out of the park when he presented to POWDR executives, resort GMs and our marketing teams the next morning. We followed that up with some small group exercises through the afternoon and I know that we all came away with a ton of new ideas and motivation that really invigorated us for the winter season to come.

I’m lucky in that I don’t really need the additional inspiration that I got out of last week, as I have a passion for what I do – it’s almost ironic that I’m wearing a shirt that says, “Do what you love, love what you do.” right now – but I am thankful for a good shot of additional energy before the big run-up to the season. And yes, I was reminded of this all by David in his  post about his trip to Park City, “Do you love your job?” Once again David, thanks for a great presentation, great ideas and great conversation!

Photo credit: Our waiter at Butchers and posted to dmscott’s Yfrog account.

Want to Learn How to Be on Ski Patrol?

Watch this video for a quick tutorial on everything you need to know to join Ski Patrol (let me know your thoughts!):

Tactics and Strategy

StrategyCatching up on blog reading from the past weeks, I came across this post from Seth Godin, “When Tactics Drown Out Strategy.” This rang a bell with me, because he’s emphasizing one the main takeaways that I got from the San Francisco Inbound Marketing Summit, where Susan Rice-Lincoln talked about Social Media being long on tactics and short on strategy.

While many tactics, like Facebook and Twitter can seem simple and easy to jump into, if you’re considering how they fit into your overall strategic objects you’re likely not being any where near as effective, or in some cases counter-productive, as you could be.

Photo Credit:

A Blizzard About Google

blizzard-googleThis past Tuesday, I took a few hours out of my last week of vacation, to attend “All About Google: How to rank higher for more keywords“. In this seminar, Trent Blizzard from Blizzard Internet Marketing lead a great discussion that ranged from basic Google SEO/SEM to many features that people in the tourism industry tend to miss or approach in a less effective way.

I was really surprised to see that there were weren’t that many people in attendance. When I hear FREE for a seminar on a dynamic topic like Google SEO/SEM, my ears perk up. When the topic is refined to the tourism industry, I stop listening and sign up! I’m not sure if it’s the fact that people feel like they’re too busy or that don’t understand the subject matter, but either way, I know that there were a lot of people in the Park City area that really missed out by not attending. I’d also like to give the Dakota Mountain Lodge kudos for valeting my bike, never thought I’d do that, but it sure was cool…

After getting through his intro, Trent was kind enough to forgo any Powerpoint presentations and keep his presentation focused on what was of interest and value to those of us in the room. He did a great job of critiquing each of our websites and then moved on to looking at various search elements such as local, images, news and more. He also listed several sites to help with search/reputation management, including:

  • LinkVoodoo – great tool for ranking the quality of a link from a particular site, but be sure to click on the “Quality Score Tool” in the secondary menu.
  • SEMRush – Trent recommended paying for their service (it’s quite affordable) to track and find new keywords for SEO and/or SEM.
  • TinEye – an image search to see if there are other sites using your images. Good to use, particularly as many sites are ‘scrapping’ the web for tourism content.
  • Copyscape – this site lets you search other sites for your text content, because you don’t want your hard earned SEO copy to be “stolen” by other sites!

There were many other tools brought up, but these were the ones that stood out to me. Thanks again to Trent and Lisa for putting together a such a quality seminar within an easy mountain bike ride of my house!

Photo credit: Me, showing Trent Blizzard in action

Who decided that this is SPAM?

I had a good chuckle this morning when I got this note from my Hotmail account’s “Junk email protection team”

WindowsLive email

Definitely a “Whoops!” when a domain from your own company gets caught up in your automated SPAM filter, guess it’s nice to know that even the big guys can mess up with email marketing now and then…

Market Research – Our Trip to the Bay Area

sanfranciscoI’ve been catching up on things that stacked up during our trip to San Francisco and Palo Alto last week and once again I’d like to jot down a few things about the trip and some recommendations (just sticking with SF for this post).

I have to give serious kudos to the Omni Hotel in San Francisco for making our three day stay there an absolute dream. It was so nice that I didn’t just post a review to one review site, I posted two (well, it will be two if Trip Advisor gets my review up at some point in the near future)! In any case, you could tell that they “got it” at this hotel and hired, trained and kept a fantastic staff that is genuinely friendly and do their jobs better than any hotel I’ve stayed at. I don’t know how they do it, but they should bottle it and sell it!

On the other side, BART needs to put in a ticketing system (at least at the airport) that tells their customers how much they need to pay to ride from where they’re at to the station they want to go to. It’s stupid to ask a tourist to try to figure out how to use the system to print a ticket worth a fare that is written on a piece of paper on the kiosk. Mind you, I was able to get our tickets without trouble (I’ve ridden BART before), but everyone else at the airport kiosks was standing and staring…FAIL! Interestingly, our only other bad customer service situation, was at the airport again. As we were waiting at the gate for our plane to board, the Delta gate agent got on the PA and went through a several minute discourse about how the plane was coming in for a quick turnaround and how we all needed to hurry on, obey the carry-on restrictions and that (oh, the horror) the biz class passengers wouldn’t even be able to get a pre-flight drink because she was in such a hurry to turn the plane. Well, I noticed she didn’t check on anyone’s carry-on, she rushed everyone so quickly that after she scanned out boarding passes we only walked 10 feet before we ran into the line stacked back up the jet way and I think I even saw the biz cabin folks sipping on drinks as we shuffled past. Since the flight was stuck at the gate for at least another 10 minutes after everyone finally boarded, I have to say that the gate agent essentially did a fantastic job of setting low expectations that she managed to deliver impeccably – wish she had taken a lesson from the Omni! BTW, the flight crew might have, as they were polite and the pilots kept us well informed through out the flight.

Sorry, for rambling on about those couple of negatives, here are some recommendations from our delightful trip to San Francisco:

  • Lodging – Omni San Francisco – great service, great property, great location.
  • Dining – Perbacco – we went here on a recommendation from friends. Another great service experience, we highly recommend their Salumi and Pastas – delish!
  • Dining – Aqua – this is actually just a suggestion to stop in, have a drink at the bar and rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of San Francisco. We took an aperitivo here before heading next door to Perbacco and it was a perfect start to our evening!
  • Activity – MUNI – best way to get around San Francisco, buy a multi-day pass for the most convenience, and you still get to ride the cable cars (little K’s favorite part of the entire trip).
  • Activity – Yerba Buena Gardens – this was certainly on of the other top highlights of San Francisco for little K, she loved the playground, the grass and particularly the fact that the carousel had a bunny that she could ride!

Oh, one last tip for those traveling to San Francisco in July, the old saying “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” is definitely true, thank goodness we packed enough warm clothes and we didn’t have to purchase sweatshirts like many we saw!

Photo credit: / CC BY 2.0
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