WHAT WE SAY TO FIRST-TIMERS, how we interact with them, and the types of verbiage and images we convey to them, all contribute to how we are branding the sport and our own ski area, often in ways we may not even realize. We may think we have communications with these new skiers and riders dialed in, but what do they think? Are we making assump- tions about what might lead them to love the sport as much as we do?
Many resorts do a good job of checking in with first- timers, but not all do. This past season SNOW Operating conducted in-person interviews with these guests at resorts in different parts of the country, including Mountain Creek Resort, New Jersey; Blue Mountain, Penn.; Winter Park, Colo.; and Solitude, Utah. In this article we share much of what we learned, and also provide some examples of successful first-timer initiatives.
Here is what guests generally had to say about their motivations to try the sport and whether their expectations were met, along with useful clues about how ski areas might rethink their branding, marketing, and lesson programming.
“The customer’s voice should speak loudest, and any systems put in place should directly address that voice in the
most efficient and effective way possible.”