Conversion Cup Challenge
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.
The Learn & Earn program at Snowbasin is focused on creating lifelong participants in snowboarding and skiing. Importantly, it is a three-year program that outlines the steps along the way for never-evers to become core participants. Overall participation in all Learn & Earn programs grew by 29 percent this season over last season.
Year One of Learn & Earn includes three all-day group lessons, seasonal rental of ski or snowboard equipment, and a season pass upon completion of the third lesson. A welcome session in the fall invited guests to the resort to get fitted for their equipment, meet the instructor staff, become familiar with the resort, and ask questions. The welcome session was exactly that: welcoming. "This welcome session created the feeling of inclusivity for the new sports enthusiasts right away," the resort commented in its application. One hundred percent of last season's Learn & Earn participants finished all three lessons, while this season's results show an 81 percent completion rate as of mid-February 2018. These figures demonstrate the commitment that Snowbasin has to its guests and how successful the program is.
In Year Two, graduates are eligible for the Learn, Earn, and Return program. This effort includes three additional group lessons, a season pass, and purchase of their own equipment-all for $499 (youth) and $599 (adults). A remarkable 71 percent of last seasons' never-evers purchased the Learn, Earn, and Return program or bought their own season pass this winter.
Year Three of the program (2018-19 season) will continue the momentum with a premier season pass, a private lesson, and numerous other special perks. One unique component of Snowbasin's program is that the youth Learn & Earn program is offered in partnership with the Davis County Education Foundation, which provides financial support to the public school district in nearby Davis County. A portion of the profits from Learn & Earn are donated to the Foundation.
Past Conversion Cup winners:
||Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, Washington
||Wachusett Mountain, Massachusetts
||Killington Resort, Vermont
||Camelback Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania
||Mountain Creek, New Jersey
||Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
||Snow Time, Inc.