Beginners Win with Never Ever Days
Contributed by Michael Fulton, Canadian Ski Council
If I were to tell you that the average Canadian skier is a university-educated white man in his 40s, would that surprise you? Probably not. That’s been the stereotype of a skier for some time and, in reality, it’s not that far off from the truth. But it’s not a very good representation of what a Canadian looks like in 2019, or will look like in 2029, or in 2039, or…you get the point. Canada is the most multicultural country in the world and our industry needs to find ways to make skiing and snowboarding more desirable and accommodating to different cultures.
So how do we get visible minorities into our sport? Well, we know what fears they have with skiing and snowboarding: worried they’ll suffer a serious injury; embarrassed how they’ll look if they struggle; intimidated that they won’t do it correctly. Yet, our research shows these same people recognize that, if they were to remove these negative emotions and concerns, they think skiing would make them: happy from the sense of accomplishment; surprised that it wasn’t as hard as they thought; exhilarated from the sense of freedom; and proud to get over their initial fear.
Knowing this information, that’s why the Never Ever Days program is such an incredible opportunity to tap into this market. Customers know that the program is designed for people who have never ever tried snowsports, which provides them with the comfort of knowing they’re in a safe environment of like-minded individuals. Plus, there’s value in the offer – a beginner lift ticket, group lesson, and equipment rental for $25 – that makes their first experience more palatable.
Through the first three years of the program, Never Ever Days have statistically proven to be a great entry-level opportunity for Canada’s ethnic population, as well as the younger generation, to try skiing and snowboarding:
- The average age of a Never Ever Day skier in 2018-19 was 28, while the average age of a snowboarder was 23; our industry averages: late 40s
- 60% of participants are women; industry average: approximately 48% women
- 70% are from a visible minority; industry average: 11%
- 91.8% are very or extremely likely to ski or snowboard again because of their Never Ever Day experience
So, how can we get that 91.8% to try skiing and snowboarding again? Through the use of comeback offers. After someone takes a Never Ever Day they’ll receive an offer to return to your ski area. It could be 50% off a lesson, a discounted lift ticket, or a lesson package. It’s really up to you on what makes sense for your ski area.
But this is your opportunity to convert someone who’s interested in the sport and turning them into a regular customer. It doesn’t always take much, either. Greet them when they arrive. Guide them through the intimidating experience to make them feel safe. Help make them feel comfortable, accepted, and proud of their accomplishments. Let them know how welcome they are in the space.
Even better, the CSC provides all of the marketing efforts, including registration, locally targeted ad campaigns promoting your Never Ever Days, a customer support team to handle customer inquiries, pre-written messaging for you to use on social media, public relations campaigns, emailing customers your comeback offer, and even handling customer satisfaction surveys. All you have to focus on is the lesson experience.
Never Ever Days also don’t have to be an everyday offering at your ski area and they certainly don’t have to be run on peak days. What about the first Sunday of each month or every other month? Whichever date(s) you choose, the key point is having your staff aligned about the experience you’re trying to deliver for these Never Evers.
We know how much fun you can have skiing and snowboarding. Let’s help more Canadians experience snowsports and turn Never Evers into Forever and Evers.
Learn more at www.nevereverdays.com
Want to participate in Never Ever Days in 2019-20 or have a question about the program? Contact Michele McGann from the Canadian Ski Council at [email protected]