Scaling Back and Moving Online
A recent article in the September 30 Aspen Times reports on the challenge of promoting winter sports during these uncertain times. The Aspen Skiing Company rethought everything and the resort scaled back their support staff and magazine ad buys.
“Aspen Skiing Co.’s marketing campaign will look significantly different this winter, both in substance and execution,” writes Times reporter Scott Condon. “There will be no national branding such as the “Give a Flake” effort of recent seasons.”
The management company for the mountains of Aspen/Snowmass has let some staff members go and tightened up their strategy in response to the current economic environment.
“It’s definitely going to be a different kind of marketing campaign,” Jeff Hanle, Skico vice president of communications, said Tuesday. “You have to remain flexible and ready to pivot.”
Gone is the campaign urging skiers, snowboarders and other outdoor lovers to “Give a Flake” and get involved in concrete action to ease global warming.
“We’ve moved on from that. That was the plan already,” Hanle said.
The article goes on to state that “an advertising agency was working with Skico officials on a new campaign, but that’s been put on hold. There won’t be any advertisements in ski publications in January, for example, because conditions could change so drastically by then, Hanle noted. The ads would have to be finalized now to run in January.”
“Instead, Skico will remain nimble with messages that will be shared primarily through digital platforms. They will ...focus on education about protocols to keep customers safe from the spread of the coronavirus, trumpeting fresh snowfall and renewing the spirit during a tough time by getting outdoors, according to Hanle.”
The types of visitors the resort typically sees will change this year with fewer international visitors and more “drive-time” domestic visitors. The resort expects guests to stay longer than what would be typical during an average year.
A big part of the marketing effort will be education about the new hands-free procedures that will be in place for everything from ordering food at restaurants to buying lift tickets.
Both the town and the resort are working hard to plan and educate guests on how to have fun and stay safe this winter.