Don Williams from Mission Ridge reports that they will host their first Mud, Sweat, and Tears event this September. Don notes that it is the first time the ski area (east of Regina, SK) has held the event, but they know they are upon a proven strategy.
Staging special events is an important tactic for many ski areas. Events can be used for multiple purposes such as creating ambience, diversifying an experience to retain an existing customer base, or attracting new guests. It is important to clearly identify the intent of the event, and the expected outcome. Events have also been used successfully by many areas to introduce winter guests to a summer season…they create a specific reason to visit.
Ski areas must also choose to stage events using their own staff and resources, or by partnering with third parties. There are good reasons for both directions, and many areas use both of them.
Events may often use up available staff resources, especially if the event comes at a time of year (ie:summer) with low staffing levels. This is where third party organisers can prove to be important partners. Event organisers can bring financial resources, event expertise, and often come with access to volunteer pools (this may not always be the case and is important to define in the early planning). A revenue stream can be created by the ski area for the use of the parking, land base, lifts, buildings, and other infrastructure.
The event at Mission Ridge is September 23, 2017. It will make a great topic of discussion at the CWSAA ASM Fall Meeting at Canyon on October 3 & 4, and the Saskatchewan Ski Area Operators Association meeting on October 31 at Asessippi, Manitoba.