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Inspiration Sipapu’s has it even more right than I thought.

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Last winter I wrote about an offer that, as I dug into it, quickly went from “how does this make sense?” to “whoa, this is powerful.”

In a sentence, Sipapu gives you a free night of lodging when you buy a lift ticket. Here’s what I said at the time.

“Millions of skiers have been tempted by a ski vacation, but have never actually taken one. Yet all it would take for them to understand what they’re missing is a single night slopeside. Sipapu’s offer is creating moments for hundreds, if not thousands, of skiers every season.”

It’s such a fascinating little campaign.

North Carolina
Let me set that aside for a second to tell a quick story.

My family just had a week-long reunion on the outer banks of North Carolina. We rented a home in a resort community and had a short walk to the beach on the East and an even shorter walk to the sound on the West. It was glorious.

What’s crazy is I did not expect it to be glorious. And before you East Coasters say anything, let me quickly clarify my relationship with the ocean.

Gregg vs The Pacific
My experience with the ocean had, to this point, always been with the Pacific ocean. And, more specifically, California or Oregon. And I’d never stayed in a hotel that was within walking distance of a sandy beach.

So, the “beach” to me meant:

  • Driving to some parking lot a half mile from the water
  • Braving cold water
  • Trying to make the most of it because it took so much work to get there
  • Being worn out and sunburned by the time we got back to the car
  • Dealing with southern California traffic to get back to the hotel

But after our first day in North Carolina, I had seen the light. I had gotten that glimpse of warm water and easy access to the ocean and staying for just a few minutes if that’s all the time we had and a warm shower being a short walk away.

In that instant beach vacations went from “I don’t get it” to “I want more.”

Seeing the Light
This is the power behind Sipapu’s offer. People are realizing that:

  • Instead of a long walk from the parking lot, skiing is literally outside your door.
  • If you get cold, a warm shower or hot tub is minutes away.
  • Getting tired is okay, take a nap, grab a bite, and head back out.
  • Or just wait for tomorrow, there’s less pressure to squeeze everything into one day.

In effect, Sipapu is seeing empty hotels rooms today as opportunities to generate demand for hotel rooms in the future.

We’re opening the eyes of folks to a different way of experiencing skiing with the prevalence of season passes, but Sipapu – and my trip to the Atlantic Ocean – suggest there may be a huge opportunity to do the same with resort lodging as well.

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Tyler Maynard
VP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research

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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions

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