Skip to Main Content

Trends Q: Spring pass sales are up for many, will annual pass sales follow suit?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

For many resorts, spring pass sales are up over last year, but does that mean what we think it means? Are Spring pass sales a solid indicator of annual sales or is it like starting a marathon faster than your normal pace? You’ll hit your first milestones earlier, but that may not translate to a better time at the finish line. It’s a big question, but the data so far tells a very interesting story.

Sales Are Up
We took a sample of 15 resorts, each with more than 2,000 annual pass sales (most with more than 8,000). From those resorts, pass sales between February 1 – June 30, 2012 were up 7% over that same period in 2011. Great news, right? The thing is, pass sales for that period in 2011 were up 45% over 2010.

So, if a big jump in Spring pass sales leads to a big jump in annual sales, the percentage of annual pass sales should stay constant while Spring sales rise. Instead, this is what we see:

Instead of staying constant, the percentage of total sales rose right along with Spring sales. Now let’s look at total annual sales for the same period.

Between 2007 and 2011, total pass sales for our sample of 15 resorts went up 22%.
However, between 2007 and 2011, total Spring season pass sales went up 154%.

Why the jump?
A question we all had was simply, why? Why have Spring sales gone up so drastically during the last 5 years? From what we’ve seen there are a number of reasons:

  • Resorts are pushing that agenda. More resorts are putting more focus on selling passes before the current season even ends.
  • More resorts are using down payment options for passes – $49 now locks in the lowest price on a pass.
  • This is working because of the ancillary benefits offered – Spring skiing access, summer lift access, etc.

What This Means
We’ve learned a few things. First, Spring pass sales have skyrocketed during the last half-decade. Second, annual pass sales have also increased. Third, Spring pass sales could have easily been the catalyst for this growth but it certainly isn’t a 1:1 correlation. Selling 2,000 more passes in Spring doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll sell 2,000 more overall.

Pushing for Spring sales makes sense in other areas as well. Among them:

  • As economists love to chant, money now is better than money later.
  • Most skiers are only going to buy one pass each season. If they buy yours now, they are less likely to buy a competitor’s later.

The list goes on, but knowing that Spring pass sales may benefit total sales gives an extra reason to explore this option.

Don’t Miss a Beat
A new Stash analysis comes out every Tuesday. If you don’t want to miss a beat, use the form below to subscribe via email.

Free Book The Ultimate Guide to Resort Marketing Automation

An illustrated guide to 26 campaigns that generate loyalty, revenue, and satisfaction. Get a free, printed copy for your team.

    Free Printed Copy →         Free Digital Copy →    
collage of pages from the book

Have a question? Just ask.

photo of tyler maynard

Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
Schedule a Call with Tyler→

photo of doug kellogg

Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
Schedule a Call with Doug→

If you're a current Inntopia customer, contact support directly for the quickest response →

Our New, Free Book The Ultimate Guide to
Resort Marketing Automation

An illustrated guide to 26 campaigns that generate revenue, satisfaction, and loyalty.

    Free Download →    
screenshot of Our New, Free Book