The Steamboat Today article about Colorado's record number of skiers gave statistical evidence to a theory I have had for the past few years.
Andy Wirth, the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s vice president of marketing, and the resort continually overlook the Front Range skiers as a segment that can boost revenues and skier days. The article stated that Front Range skiers accounted for a 6.8 percent increase in skier visits while destination resorts saw only 0.09 percent. Too bad the marketing department has decided to cancel the Steamboat Card, a tool used to lure Front Range skiers in for the weekend. This segment is low hanging fruit on the marketing tree. They have easy access to Steamboat and would make the 1 1/2 hour extra drive if we gave them some incentive to do so. Once here, they would realize how good we have it: great snow, no lines, great people and a wonderful town.
And once here, they would spend money on lodging and in the local restaurants because not many people will come up for the day.
In my opinion, the Steamboat card was not enough. We should try to compete with Vail resorts, Copper Mountain and Winter Park. All offer some kind of low seasonal deal for Front Range skiers. Vail's card for $350 is a great lure for Denver's skiers. The best deal Steamboat offers is a super value card for 10 days at $400.
I don't see many Denver skiers paying that price when they can go to Vail's resorts for cheaper. Wirth will respond that that is not our target market, but it should be.
Having said that, I don't own any American Skiing Co. stock or a local company. So let the marketing department keep their heads where they are so we locals don't have the Summit County lines. But, don't keep raising the season pass rates for the locals when you could be getting additional revenue (and much more for sure) from a market segment a few hundred miles away.