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Trends Q: How many guests skiing at one mountain actually own a season pass to another?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Last week we looked at one aspect of season passes: how expectations of use compare to actual use. This week, instead of looking at how often passes are used by passholders, we wanted to find out how many people ski at a mountain where they don’t have a pass. We’ll call this phenomenon, “season pass betrayal.” Take a look.

The Goods
Many resorts ask a simple question on their surveys: “do you have a season pass to another mountain?” While the motives for asking may vary, combined they yield an interesting insight about the people riding lifts at your mountain. Over 5,500 survey responses were analyzed from resorts on both coasts. Here’s how it shook out:

For the resorts we looked at, at any given time, about 10% of the skiers on their mountain had a season pass to another resort. While this doesn’t take into account volume or pass types (owning multiple season passes), it’s a pretty interesting statistic to know that this ratio falls around 1 in 10 skiers.

What This Means
Just because someone owns a pass to another mountain doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in skiing at yours. They may even be looking for some variety after skiing the same runs and lapping the same lifts all season.

Big Sky ran a simple, yet successful promotion last winter that offered free skiing to Epic Pass holders. We see offers like this fairly regularly, but the idea that pass holders aren’t set on skiing one mountain each season opens the door for more resorts to try or prioritize similar campaigns to capture a larger slice of this group.

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