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Trends Q: Does the time of year a skier buys their season pass impact the likelihood they’ll renew?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

As we’ve covered before, season pass promotions are beginning earlier and earlier in the year, though the impact on overall sales may be negligible. But what about the skiers who buy them? Is a skier that buys as the season ends in April more likely to renew than one who buys in November just before the lifts start up again? The results were pretty interesting. Take a look.

The Goods
We took season pass data for 11 resorts over three seasons to find the answer to our question. We broke pass sales down by month and then found what percentage of those skiers renewed their pass the following season. So, in the chart below, the months indicate when the passes were purchased while the percentage indicates the renewal rate for passes purchased that month.


Clearly, there is a correlation between the two. From an average renewal rate of around 80% for those that buy in April, to just over 40% for December buyers, it’s easy to see the trend. Even for months where few pass sales take place, July and August, the trend is still followed almost exactly.

What This Means
Rather than the month impacting renewal rates directly, we tend to think that spreading pass sales out is almost like segmenting your skiers by dedication level. The ones who buy the quickest are likely the ones who are most excited about the sport in general. They have no doubt they’ll be skiing next year so there’s no reason to wait.

To test this hypothesis, we plan to revisit this data in a couple of weeks to see if the month a skier purchases their pass correlates to the number of times they ski that season. Stay tuned.

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