As you know it’s no longer safe, efficient, or practical to rely solely on your winter activities and offerings. We at Skitude are no stranger to helping resorts adapt their resort into a year round destination, so we would like to share some of the tips and tricks we have learned along the years of experience so you can make the most of your potential.
Here are our top 10:
1. Become digital
Every minute our world is becoming more digital and technical. We are all aware we will have to jump on the digital train at some point, so why not now? Going digital will allow you to reach the younger generations now- by choosing to offer a digital aspect today you will attract them now and they will continue throughout their lives to return to your resort, pairing this with the moment you become a year round resort will change their mindset- not only do they see mountain resorts as winter only ski destinations but now they see them as year round camping, biking, hiking, skiing, and destination resorts… Simply because you reached them at the perfect moment the year round destination is now normal/expected to them. Besides, with Forbes’ prediction that 50% of all online purchases will be done through mobile apps by 2022, you’ll want to be ready and well equipped for that. Luckily Skitude is designed to specifically guide and support the mountain industry through digital transformations and harnessing technology to make customers happier, which means increased sales.
2. Provide a year round application for your customers
Almost everyone owns a smartphone now, so why not meet your customers where they are at: through their phones. This works especially well if they are already using your winter app- switching to the summer version is automatic upon the end of winter.
Your summer app will allow you to:
- Provide easy access to all of the information regarding your summer offering.
- Format everything the way your winter resort is done: the same application with the same format just summer offerings instead of winter.
- Boost customer engagement and visits.
- Interact with your customers and provide another sales channel to them.
- Reduce app uninstallations after the winter season and stay connected with the visitors.
3. Showcase your resort as a year round mountain destination
One of the most crucial aspects of transitioning from a winter destination to a year round destination is marketing to customers that you are no longer a winter-only resort. The moment you change your customers’ outlook/image of your resort is the moment they will start seeing your resort as a year round option and showing up year round. With Skitude these are just some of the ways you are able to promote your activities through the app and your website:
- The Skitude social network allows users to post photos at your resort and show the worldwide community what is happening. Your feed will now be a wide array of year round photos showcasing your dynamic offerings. Social networks start trends- utilize that and get more people to your resort.
- Our partner resorts are provided with the tools to promote their own summer activities through customized marketing kits that include graphics for social media to promote the brand image and activities as a year round resort.
- The app allows you to harness emails of customers that you can use to send out targeted email campaigns. It also allows you to send out targeted push notifications to your customers to announce events, provide special offers, and showcase your activities.
4. Provide guests easy access to the tickets for your activities and events through multi-channel online sales and reservations
One of the most important aspects of your summer offering is the capacity to make it easily accessible and available to customers. Providing them with a seamless purchase and reservation experience will be the defining part of getting them to your resort. Online sales is the way to do that. We partner with resorts to help them offer full online sales through their website and the app, the online shops feature:
- A capacity management module that allows you to customize the number of tickets for sale. This improves operations and safety for everyone.
- Dynamic pricing which will increase revenues while your customers feel they are getting the best deal.
- The ability to book multiple activities in one place.
The sales conversion rate for our in-app sales solution is 10 times higher when compared with an online shop linked through the app.
5. Create safe & fun events
To encourage customers to visit your resort, think outside of the box and create events that will benefit not only your resort but also your local community and customers. Offering more events at your resort will also showcase the offering you have for your other activities. Here are a few examples of what you could do:
- Know of a good food truck in your area? Why not ask them to come to your resort for a weekend so families can enjoy the mountain scenery paired with a great meal.
- The simple investment of a projector and a white sheet at your resort could create traditions for family movie night events. Have a nice grass picnic area or outdoor seating? Utilize that for the area and you won’t even have to invest in seating.
- Another easy event could simply be strategic for when you know a natural phenomenon is going to happen. A meteor shower is a great way to host a ‘star-gazing’ night where customers can enjoy a viewing experience away from light pollution.
- Consider hosting a concert for live music. Have a staircase landing big enough for a band? Use that as the stage. These events don’t have to take large amounts of investment, sometimes they just require a bit of creativity and up-cycling.
- Invite a restaurant or a wine cellar/brewery to do a ‘takeover’ of your resort kitchen or restaurant with wine or beer tasting. Good coverage for the local restaurant and an exciting switch up from what customers are usually expecting.
There is always the option to donate part of your funds to a charity of choice, it’s a win-win situation when you can use your platform to help out a good cause and many customers would be happy to know that part of the proceeds are going to something they can feel good about.
Utilize your application to market these events. You can easily edit and change banners within your app so that the first thing your customers see when they open the app is information about the live music and food truck that will be at your resort. Target customers by utilizing the email list generated from your app to send offers such as a free meal voucher for the food truck that will be there. Send a push notification to your customers reminding them of the title of the movie that will be played on the big screen at your resort that day.
6. Summer map
We all know that a good ski resort experience always goes hand in hand with a great map to guide you along the way. Think of the same concept but with your summer offering and a digital map that is fully interactive and clickable. This will seamlessly provide info to customers on your summer offerings, show them that you are dynamic with your terrain and that you can offer more to them. Winter map? Now it’s summer.
Here’s an example we built with La Molina in Spain:
7. Create a year round link and interactive connection with your guests
Extend the actions of the tourist office well beyond its physical reception points by making a year round application available to your customers. The app works when you don’t, giving customers access to your offerings and information 24/7 even from the couch. The stability of the application is a guarantee of the customer promise. This dynamic link with your customers will:
- Provide your customers the ability to track their activities throughout your resort and see a 3D map of their activity for the day, including statistics and the option to replay it and post it to social media.
- Allow you to easily adapt your application and your offering, striving for a continuously improving connection and relationship with your customers year round.
8. Add on more activities to your offering
Sometimes the hardest part of this is just getting yourself to begin the project. There are many different activities you could offer your guests and some have little effort and investment needed. Here are some additional activities to consider:
- Frisbee golf
- Drone landing site (Why? You may ask… drones have become increasingly popular in pop culture. Providing a small concrete section with an X painted on it would encourage drone enthusiasts to come to your resort = a wider range of guests, and you’ll receive free media coverage when they post the drone footage on social networks).
- Photo-op locations / murals: Something as simple as a local artist painting an interactive mural on the side of one of your buildings (i.e. angel wings) could have your resort go viral and become filled with people just for the insta photo-op. If not a wall, imagine a beautiful arch that people could stand in for the photo.
- Mountain biking
- Mountain carts
- High ropes course
- Hiking trails
- A lookout at the top of a lift (Consider keeping 1 lift open all week or maybe just for the weekend)
9. ‘Summer rewards points’ / summer rewards programs
Encouraging your guests to come to your resort by providing incentives is a win-win situation for both parties. We partner with resorts to create custom aspects to their applications, here are a few examples of some ideas that could make the difference in your summer season:
- Every dollar spent by a guest at the resort in the summer could provide them a percentage of cash back to spend in the winter.
- By creating challenges and utilizing the tracker, guests could be encouraged to make more tracks at the resort in the summer by being rewarded with a free ski pass for the winter or even a gopro or a free meal at a neighboring restaurant.
- The higher number of visits or kilometers of activity tracked at your resort in the summer could lead to customers entering into exclusive rewards clubs for free and future discounts for purchases within the resort.
10. Set the tone for your summer offering by providing the smoothest and easiest user experience
By focusing on the guest experience at your resort the rest and success will come simple. Providing just some of the solutions we mentioned above could make or break your year round offering. Happier guests mean more returning customers, more purchases made, and above all a sense of security to you knowing that your resort will have income and guests all year round. Let Skitude handle the details for you.
Our resort partners have committed to providing the experience of a lifetime for customers and are already reaping the benefits.
Contact us today and we’d be happy to begin a project with you.