Archive for March, 2010

Ski resort season summary

The 2009-2010 Winter Season Wrap

Ski resort season summaryAs this winter season winds down, it’s time for a quick summary of how it’s gone. For those of us in Utah, it was a slow year in terms of natural snowfall but surprisingly, not so bad in terms of business levels. From anecdotal evidence around town here in Park City, it seems like most businesses have done as well, if not a bit better, than last season – a recent Chamber of Commerce lodging tally is showing a year to year increase over last year of 4.5%. In other parts of the Rockies, it seems like the picture is similar, as shown by Vail Resorts’ 2nd quarter earnings report which shows revenues from their mountain operations off slightly at about 1% down year to date. It also appears that drive-to ski markets have fared better than most destination resorts and that many resorts in the East and mid-Atlantic region did quite well due to the substantial snowfall they received over the season as well as perhaps to the fact that some chose to ski and ride closer to home this year.

Any other thoughts as to how the 2009-2010 winter season has gone? Please let me know by leaving a comment below!

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eMarkter Search and Display Chart

Search and Display Campaign Results

The below graph is from a recent post in eMarketer called, Search and Display Advertising Synergies. The article talks to how marketers with limited budgets can benefit from understanding how to leverage online display along with paid search. However, notice how the “Travel” category is one of the few industries in which display conversions are less than those in search? Even though the article notes that the average internet user spends less than 5% of their time doing searches, travelers are much more influenced by search campaigns than other online purchasers. I’m not sure why travel is trending this way, but it’s certainly important information to weigh when penciling in a budget for search and display online advertising for a ski resort.

eMarkter Search and Display Chart

Helmets required?

Should Ski Helmet Use Be Mandatory?

Helmets required?In the past season or so, several ski resort operators have started to either require helmets for employee and or younger guests  and recommend to all guests to wear helmets. However, it now appears that some states, like California, are closing in on passing laws mandating helmet use. I have worn a helmet for several years now, but I do have a lot of trepidation about government requiring businesses to enforce laws – are traffic lights, speed bumps and other mitigation controls on the slopes far behind? Also, studies show that helmets are largely ineffective at the average speeds most skiers and riders travel down a blue run at, which begs the question of do they instill a false sense of safety and confidence in those who wear them? In any case, in light of this pending legislation, please take the quick poll below:

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Ticked off at Toyota

This post isn’t about “resort marketing” in any way. Instead, this is a news video clip that describes what happened to my dad in his Prius last December. White I’m grateful that both my parents walked away from this without any injuries, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating to watch how Toyota continues to try to deny any additional sudden acceleration issues. Hopefully, there won’t be any more horrible incidents before Toyota introduces additional recalls, but it certainly seems like their process is moving much too slowly and that quicker action should have been the appropriate thing to do.

Live Streaming Snow Safety

When the opportunity to ‘ride along’ with the snow safety team presents itself, I jump at it. Which is how I wound up on Pinecone Ridge yesterday morning at a very early hour (not much after 7am) – tagging along to watch our team make the slopes safe for us all to ski and ride. I’d brought along my Droid phone with the hopes of testing some live streaming. Unfortunately the winds on the ridge top were cranking so hard that it was impossible to shoot any of the bombing, but I did get this Qik video of some of the patrollers skiing down afterwards:

The quality isn’t ‘epic’, but to me, this shows that livestreaming  the opportunity to provide unique and real time video connections that can show very interesting aspects of the resort industry.

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