Kelly's Blog: Howdy Neighbor

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's true.  We've teamed up with Stratton to offer the Double Down season pass.  If you haven't heard about it click here for the details:

Many of you have asked for a multi-resort pass and we have had casual discussions for years.  The idea of teaming up with Stratton has been especially intriguing because it is only 20 minutes away.  But something always seemed to get in the way, like Stratton's partnership with Okemo.  And let's face it, we may be neighbors but we are still competitors and trying to grow market share in the Northeast is not easy.  Figuring out how to do a combined pass with a ski resort that you don't own is downright tricky.  How much information do you share?  Who gets the revenue?  Will your system interface with ours?

To give you the full story, let me back up a few months.  Last season when we were finalizing season pass products for 2013-14 we decided to drop the proof of full-time college student requirements on our Higher Education Pass.  As you can imagine, hundreds of college students would show up annually without their letter from the Registrar, itching to hit the mountain but without valid back up.  It was a hassle for the college students, their parents and for our staff.  We rebranded the pass and named it the 1826 Pass because you have to be between the ages of 18 and 26 to qualify, the typical college years.  But you do not have to bring proof of being a college student.

In August Killington and Okemo teamed up and announced the 4.0 College Pass.  We were concerned that some of our college business may head north and the college market is very important to us because there are a lot of schools located very close to Mount Snow.  That is when the union with Stratton was born and quickly we developed the Double Down Pass that is priced a bit higher than our 1826 pass but gives the passholder unlimited access to both Mount Snow and Stratton.

Short term it gives us a great product that can compete with the 4.0 College Pass and in my opinion is better because it gives the college student a pass that is less expensive, with less of a drive and there is no hassle with college paperwork .

Long term it allows Mount Snow to experiment with the idea of teaming up with another resort, like Stratton.  Of course, the announcement of this pass has not been met entirely with praises of, "Genius!  Splendid! and Hooray!"  In the sometimes brash world of social media we were slapped with comments like;

  • Age restriction is bull!

  • I'd even go for a limited number of discounted Stratton day passes with every Mt. Snow season pass.

  • Just because I'm 32 doesn't mean I can afford paying full price for multiple passes!

We get it - we didn't expect a love fest and these are all very good and valid responses.  I will try to answer your concerns with a few Double Down FAQs.

Q:  Other than the Double Down Pass, can any other Mount Snow passes be used at Stratton?

A:  No - there are no other products that will be valid at Stratton.  And we have not negotiated any deals that would allow Mount Snow passholders to go to Stratton and get a deal on a day pass.

Q:  Will there be more Mount Snow/Stratton passes in the future?

A:  We are not sure but the Double Down is an excellent testing ground for future ventures.

Q:  Why didn't you team up with Stratton on more passes or make the age range greater?

A:  As mentioned above, this deal was just created in the last month, well after our entire menu of passes were announced and after the 1st deadline.  And more importantly, partnering with a mountain that you do not own is complicated.  Trying out the relationship with one product is a good way to test the waters without diving in head first.

Q:  What are you doing for all the families who buy several passes and make a substantial investment at your resort?

A:  We have heard from many families and we will work to offer pass products and benefits that are a good value for you.  It is a top priority as we plan for 2014-15.

Q:  If I bought an 1826 Pass and would like the Double Down, can I upgrade?

A:  Yes, call or stop by our season pass office before Dec 15.

Q:  Are you sure you can't pull off some sweet deal for all of us loyal Mount Snow passholders so we can ski Stratton this winter?

A:    Never say never but currently we are not in any negotiations to extend Stratton privileges to any other pass products. 

If you have other questions, please ask.  As I mentioned above, this is an experiment and the only way for us to learn  is to hear from you.


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