Conversion Cup Challenge

Conversion Cup Logo

NSAA is calling on all member ski areas to convert, convert, convert! What is conversion? Conversion is simply the process of turning beginner skiers and riders into repeat customers, and ultimately lifelong enthusiasts of the sport. With this, NSAA has developed the Conversion Cup Challenge, a friendly competition among member ski areas that closely aligns with the industry's overall goals to grow the sport.

As NSAA's Growth Model outlines, conversion is not a short-term process but rather a long-term transformation. Yet the current demographics make it clear: Time is not on the industry's side. The Baby Boom generation continues to age and will ultimately hang up their ski and snowboard gear for good. Research shows that if we do not improve our efforts to introduce new participants to the sport -- and convert them to lifelong enthusiasts - overall ski and snowboard visitation figures could decrease by 2.5 percent per season. NSAA's Conversion Cup Challenge is designed as a fun way to pique competition among member ski areas and recognize those who make significant efforts to boost skier and snowboarder conversion rates.

As part of the competition, applicants must provide a detailed overview of their program designed specifically to increase skier and rider conversion rates. Some parameters judges look for when making their selections:

    • Increase in Level 1 lesson volumes;
    • Level 1 lesson volumes in relation to total skier and snowboarder visits;
    • Quantifiable success of multi-lesson packages;
    • Season-to-date sales data on specific learn-to packages designed to drive repeat visitation;
    • Overall data collection capabilities and sophistication;
    • Marketing ingenuity, creativity, use of new media, etc.

The Conversion Cup is a traveling award. The winning resort will claim the Cup for a period of one year, until the next Conversion Cup winner is again crowned at the NSAA National Convention. Winners will receive a Conversion Cup plaque to keep on display at their ski area.

Conversion Cup Challenge Application


Please join us in congratulating the 2013/14 Conversion Cup winner - Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, Pennsylvania.

Camelback’s win is largely due to a straightforward combination of simple messaging and great offers that have led to consistent growth in snowsports lessons at the area over the past four seasons. Camelback has witnessed an impressive increase in learn-to lessons, from 25,082 in 2010/11 to 37,536 as of the March 14 application deadline.

The main reason for the increase is the success of the Explorer Card, a package that offers three 90-minute lessons, three lift tickets, and three rentals for $129, according to Brian Czarnecki, vice president of sales and marketing. The program has grown from 650 cards sold in 2010/11 to 4,742 cards sold during the 2013/14 season.

Geared to first-timers and beginners ages 6 and older, the program not only is a great value but also incentivizes guests to take more lessons. Upon completion of the three-visit Explorer Card, the skier/rider is offered a fourth and fifth visit for $34 each—complete with lift tickets, lessons, and rentals In addition, the resort highlights its terrain-based teaching program in collateral materials, emphasizing the ease of the first-time visit, rental process, and on-snow experience with slogans such as “Take the Fear Out of Sliding!” Camelback also touts its ranking as the Number One Place to Learn to Ski and Ride in the USA (Huffington Post, 2013), a sure way to resonate with newcomers.

Camelback has used extensive web, radio, newspaper, magazine, and digital advertising to
promote the Explorer Card and its “Learn Here, Learn Right” trademarked branding—and the
growth in lessons sold indicates those efforts are paying off.

But it’s not just about lessons sold, said Czarnecki. “Camelback’s focus is on converting the
37,536 skiers and riders taught this year to life-long enthusiasts.”

Past Conversion Cup winners:

2014 Camelback Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania
2013 Mountain Creek, New Jersey
2012 Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
2011 Snow Time, Inc.