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Trends Q: Season pass sales were up in Spring, but how did they look come New Year’s?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

In July, we looked a little closer at the trend of Spring pass sales. From 2007 where sales before July 1 made up just 10% of overall pass purchases, that number quickly grew to 35% in 2011. This year, Spring pass sales again were up 7% over 2011, but would that pace hold come New Year’s? Take a peek.

The Goods
We used the same group of resorts as the previous analysis, the only difference being the inclusion of 2012 data. Here’s what we found when we looked at total sales between Feb 1 and Dec 31 of each year:

This simple answer is this: for the 12 resorts in this analysis, season pass sales dropped 5% this year over last even though Spring sales were up about 7%. The same thing happened in 2008 when total season pass sales dropped 2% overall after Spring sales were double that of 2007.

What This Means
As we mentioned in the first look at this trend, there are plenty of reasons to sell Spring passes – getting money in the bank now and the competitive advantage of being the first to put an offer in front of skiers are just two.

Yet, the one thing the numbers aren’t telling us is that high Spring sales lead to high overall sales. In other words, selling more passes in Spring appears to be just that, more passes in Spring but not necessarily more passes when all is said and done.

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