Archive for December, 2009

Social Media Upends Ski Resort Marketing

Hmm, some post title eh? Not really. It’s actually the title of an Ad Age video of Vail Resorts’ CEO Rob Katz speaking at the Cable Communicators forum in Denver a few weeks ago. It made some ripples through the online resort marketing community when it was published and Katz does make some solid points in the clip, but more than anything, I think that he’s mainly just acknowledging a global shift in marketing and advertising that is already well underway. While it’s encouraging to hear an industry leader in the ski resort business verbalizing this paradigm shift, as an interactive marketer, I would be concerned if he wasn’t saying these things. What do you think?

The Holidays and Ski Resorts

How is it that the major winter holidays of Christmas and New Years come so darn early in the winter season? Why couldn’t they be in January or February so we could have a bit more¬† time to get things really dialed in before we hit the busiest and most lucrative week of the season? I don’t think that there are many other businesses that have the same crunch to get things ready within such a short amount of time.

It’s even a double edged sword in that we have to fight off weather issues, it would have been a really ‘interesting’ Christmas here in Utah if we hadn’t gotten a 30 inch storm last week, and we also have to wait to get fully staffed up until we can get most of the mountain open, so much of our training is accomplished in a very short time frame.

Thankfully we have a great core group of year round and seasonal employees so that things really do work out for the best, but I can only imagine the difficulties that many of our managers face every year as they bring on staff and almost immediately have to prepare them for dealing with some of the busiest days of the entire season. In any case, it’s just how it goes in the ski resort business, any good stories about getting open during the busiest time of the season?! And, happy holidays everyone!

Photo Credit:


091213I skied w/little K for a few hours and then headed up for a few more hours of steeper skiing with my friend Nathan, not much else to say that can’t be shown through this photo of Nathan – it was good!

Photo credit: Me with my Droid

Work is fun and fun is working

I attended the opening day of Media Post’s Email Insider Summit this past Monday and while I wish I had the time to attend the next two days, just getting to one day of this event made for a fantastic experience. The presentations ranged from actionable and insightful data to visions of where email marketing is heading to discussions of how the post-college generation uses media. But, part of the MPEIS is not just the information coming from the front of the room it is also connecting with other attendees and learning from those interactions – in addition to making great new connections. I managed to do some really good networking (in my preferred manner) and I’d like to share the video I made while doing it:

After getting home from this busy day and crashing onto our couch, I found myself asking, “is what you do fun and do you still have fun doing it?” Guess how I replied?¬† I said, “YES!” What about you?

By the way, for a much better summary of what went on at the Email Insider Summit, with much more detail and insights, be sure to visit the Media Post Raw Blog.

Mobile Compatabilty

Photo on 2009-12-01 at 22.24 #2So, we’re in the process of updating the mobile site at the resort. But, I just realized, after reading a post on the Tourism Keys blog that I’m basically a slacker for not taking advantage of the the tools available by using as the CMS for my blog.

In about a half an hour this evening, I tested out a couple of mobile plugins and settled on the really neat dotMobi WordPress Mobile Pack. This plugin is incredibly easy to setup and get configured, the only glitch was that didn’t initially realize that I still needed to manually setup a subdomain in order for the mobile content to resolve (doh!). There’s also a nifty mobile sniffer and chooser feature, and I’m just now getting ready to dig into the barcode widget they offer. Yeah I’m liking those funny looking 2D barcodes now that I have a phone which can use them.

Guess I needed to “walk the walk” in regards to mobile after starting to “talk the talk” a bit here. Thanks for the reminder Todd!

Photo credit: my MacBook Pro and a grainy Photo Booth shot of
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