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The NSAA Marketing Awards are presented annually to ski resorts across the country for their successful sales & marketing programs that help grow the sports of skiing and snowboarding.  These awards are designed to benefit the entire industry by raising overall marketing standards and promoting sustained growth of the industry. The awards recognize the best in ski area marketing campaigns.

Past Marketing Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 Marketing Award Finalists

Thanks to all who joined us at the 2022 NSAA Awards Ceremony during our National Convention in Nashville, TN, May 14.


Best Overall Marketing Campaign

  • Winner: Jay Peak Resort, Vermont
    • Jay Peak Resort is mutually and infinitely devoted to its staff and guests, and that is on display with this colorful, comprehensive and cohesive campaign across print, video, radio and social media. Using a well-thought-out messaging formula that involved rhyming couplets, Jay Peak drove solid results with its Devoted campaign: the strongest ever season pass sales, a rebound in lodging and vacation bookings that exceeded expectations by more than 50%, and skier visits that were on track to contribute 30% more revenue than budgeted. Judges appreciated that the ski area recognized the realities outside of their campaign, like pent-up demand, that contributed to their success. Also impressive were Jay Peak’s devoted events, and among them, a clever conquesting offering that invites skiers and riders with competing passes to a discounted day on the mountain when their passes were likely to be blacked out. Jay has been doing this for a while, but the discount was even deeper this season — and 500 “Other Mountain Passholders” took them up on this for MLK weekend alone.
  • Boreal/Woodward, California
    • For its thoughtful and thorough Come Home to the Mountain campaign, Boreal/Woodward utilized an impressive number of partners with a big investment in marketing. The ski area’s clean and consistent messaging promotes inclusivity and accessibly while evoking personal adventure and fun. Creating a sense of home at the mountain is a smart play on comfort and nostalgia, and this campaign’s visuals offered a nice callback to imagery and messaging from seasons past. Judges especially appreciated the storytelling videos, the room for of-the-minute announcements — like a lift closure — amidst the structured campaign, and that diversity was on display, with representation across different races, genders, ages, and a targeting of lower household income ranges and new participants. With this campaign, it’s clear that Boreal has a strong command of its audience, segmented into three straightforward groups. This is an example of a well-planned and executed marketing campaign done to the max.
  • Mountain Creek Resort, New Jersey
    • This season, Mountain Creek welcomed its newest team member, Vern the cartoon bear mascot, who is all about living life outdoors. And what a productive new employee he was: Vern managed to create a welcoming vibe for families, give a nod to Big the yeti over at Big SNOW American Dream — creating cohesion between resorts with shared ownership — and help the ski area drive social growth and revenue. The judges liked how well integrated Vern was throughout Mountain Creek’s marketing this season, especially on its signage, and appreciated the Vernon township reference, and playful and educational narrative about black bears being indigenous to the New Jersey area — but, as one of them, Vern can’t hibernate because there’s too much fun to be had on the mountain.
      Although submitted for a different category, judges felt that another Mountain Creek campaign was deserving of recognition with a fresh spin on a visual that’s unique to their local market. The ski area found itself with a sold out pass product and a lot of digital billboard space to fill. What they came up with was a quipy, on-the-fly parody on a locally relevant and well-known billboard.

Most Unique Marketing Campaign

  • Winner: Snowbird, Utah
    • Snowbird knocked its Snowbird Power Systems marketing campaign out of the park with branding that riffed on the wings of the original logo, reorganized to create something familiar yet fresh. The new brand delivers a unique and sustainable message that is so well integrated into Snowbird’s strong, existing marketing with enticing SWAG, visuals, an engaging video and presence across the web, social and email. The campaign also effectively anchored the complex cogeneration process to well-known ski area amenities like the Tram and the Cliff Lodge. Notably, the Snowbird Power Systems campaign simplified the process to foster an easy understanding of its new cogeneration facility — an important sustainability topic that has the potential to come off complicated and dry to the general public — its history and how it’s connected to the ski area.
  • Shawnee Mountain, Pennsylvania
    • Shawnee Mountain impressed this season by stepping up to fill a void in passport programming, implementing the Snow Pass — the ski area’s own fourth grade program for area schools (and homeschooled kids) during 2021–22. Shawnee incorporated some clever tactics to garner more than 1,000 registrants and an attributed revenue of more than $18,000 for tangential programs it marketed with the Snow Pass to make skiing more accessible for the entire family. The ski area required that each fourth grader be accompanied by a paying adult, engaging parents along with their kids. Shawnee also targeted schools and teachers, instead of just their guest database, to spread the message far and wide to potential newcomers.
  • Trollhaugen, Wisconsin
    • Trollhaugen’s Take the Rake campaign combined inclusivity and fun to influence change in one of the most male-dominated segments of ski industry ops. This preseason terrain park, built entirely by women, drew talent from ski areas across the country and paid them to participate, multiplying the impact and inspiration beyond Trollhaugen to set an example industry wide. Judges agreed that this first-of-its-kind, inclusive opportunity needs to be more prevalent in skiing and riding; perhaps the most appreciated component of Take the Rake was its potential to be replicated at other areas, within other departments or during subsequent years. Even better than sparking more events just like it? In the words of Marsha Hovey, Trollhaugen’s marketing director, “That it just becomes commonplace to have women in the room when parks are being designed.”

Best Social Media Campaign

  • Winner: Seven Springs, Pennsylvania
    • Everyone with a social media account and even an inkling of interest in skiing saw this one: A woman fights to descend slippery stairs in ski boots at Seven Springs, stealing the show from what was otherwise a relatively standard daily snow report update. With more than 11 million views on Twitter, close to 130,000 views on Instagram and more than a half million views on Facebook, the struggling skier (aptly named Mrs. Bean) video brought the small ski area some big attention. Seven Springs even managed to keep that momentum going for the Mrs. Bean videos that followed. Judges loved this relatable and believable video, and many kudos go out to the actress for selling the struggle, which could have easily slid into over-the-top territory. While one or two judges thought that this could be considered insensitive or a cheap shot, the fact that it was staged and so effective in the current sphere of viral marketing gets the ski area a pass — as does the rest of this brilliant video campaign.
  • Mountain Creek Resort, New Jersey
    • Mountain Creek used some fun and proven strategies this season to grow its social media following and reach (Instagram 22%, 63% and Facebook 5%, 32%, respectively), as well as implement a new channel, TikTok. By keeping a pulse on pop culture references, the ski area carried on its tradition of entertaining and informing through the timely use of memes, incorporating their new mascot, Vern, into the mix for a 31% increase in Facebook and Instagram reach. Mountain Creek also excels at inspiring and promoting UGC through its own posts and stories for a successful and self-sustaining feedback loop where guests feel recognized and motivated to keep mentioning the ski area. Through a close partnership between the social media and hospitality teams, Mountain Creek was also able to drive guest traffic and revenue this season through F&B and lodging campaigns, with longer visits and increased dining revenues as a result.
  • Wild Mountain, Minnesota
    • Wild Mountain went full send on TikTok with a committed Wild Stallions campaign that could only be found on this relatively new platform. Judges liked the interesting mix of UGC, old movies, gifs and spoofs on pop culture, and appreciated how effectively Wild Mountain drove engagement and built an audience there — the 10-part series grew its following to 2,682 (larger than many of the industry’s biggest players) and received 35,300 likes in just a few months, with 127,000 views in just the last 60 days before submitting their application. Using free footage allowed the ski area to keep costs very minimal, creating awareness and engagement around Wild Mountain’s terrain park for a total spend of $1,788 (video editing and social media promotion).

Best Use of Video

  • Winner: Granite Peak Ski Area, Wisconsin
    • Granite Peak set out to highlight its history without seeming old or stodgy. The ski area absolutely delivered with punny videos featuring a fairytale spin for a clear and consistent theme that highlights all areas of the hill. The Legends of Granite Peak series was entertaining and informative with clean graphics and production value, making for a fun, creative campaign that contributed to some solid season pass growth in both revenue and units sold. With characters like Little Shred Riding Hood and Senderella, who had a ball at Granite Peak (even if she never put her goggles down), and lines like “once upon a pine,” judges thought the clever videos showcased well-developed archetypes that represented unique attributes and diversity of terrain across the ski area, from glades and the terrain park to night skiing. One judge had perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid to an ad campaign: “It made me want to visit.”
  • Alta Ski Area, Utah
    • From Alta’s well-done, highly engaging and educational Steeped in Tradition video series comes an episode covering the phenomenon known as Interlodge. In this video, the ski area takes the viewer through a visual tour that showcases the meaning of the term with footage from last year’s longest Interlodge lockdown event ever, as well as some historical Interlodge happenings and behind the scenes of what makes Little Cottonwood Canyon skiing so special and deserving of respect. Judges appreciated the solid storytelling and editing along with the homage to the past. Alta also did a great job creating different, but all compelling, cuts for this video with several trailers and was smart to work with partners on distribution to garner 125,000 video views in just over a month. Kudos are also in order for the snow safety professionals and the staff who manage guests during Interlodge.
  • Trollhaugen, Wisconsin
    • From a question about why more women aren’t involved in terrain park builds at ski areas to an event where women made up the entire crew instead of being the token member, Trollhaugen’s Take the Rake campaign combined inclusivity and fun to influence change in one of the most male-dominated segments of ski industry ops. This preseason terrain park, built entirely by women, drew talent from ski areas across the country and paid them to participate, multiplying the impact and inspiration beyond Trollhaugen to set an example industry wide. The video component of this campaign was especially impressive as it showcased the build process and the women and sponsors involved, as well as the creative features and riding styles coming out of the final product.

Thank you to our gracious sponsor of the 2022 Marketing Awards, Doppelmayr.