Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ride the Alps in Switzerland this Summer

On April, Switzerland Tourism has launched its new summer tourism campaign that this year revolves around the bicycle. The reason: one of five guests ride bicycles in Switzerland during his summer vacation. On the saddle of a touring bike, e-bike, mountain bike or racing bike, guests immerse themselves in the Swiss nature this summer. For them, Switzerland Tourism introduces a number of product innovations, including the new racing bike event series "Ride the Alps".
Swiss roads lead through breathtaking mountain landscapes and over mythical Alpine passes. The event series "Ride the Alps" offers a first class cycling experience: on selected dates -10 events this year-, pass roads are reserved exclusively for cyclists. These include the Granfondo San Gottardo in July, the Ride the Alps Vaudoises on the Col des Mosses - Col du Pillon - Col de la Croix in August or the FreiPass am Klausen Pass in September. The event series will be continued and expanded over the next few years.
Best conditions that meet with great demand. Bicycling is popular. In summer, around 1.5 million or 19.4 percent of the guests ride their bicycles during their holidays in Switzerland. In the summer it is even 19.4% of all guests. Here, cycling benefits above all alpine tourism: more than two-thirds of the bicycle rides take place in the Alpine region. Another important fact about cycling: Between the younger people under 34, the sex ratio of the tour and mountain bikers is almost balanced.
A big future trend is E-biking. In 2017 the bicycle sales in Switzerland have increased massively compared to the previous year - by a whopping 38 percent for e-MTBs. E-biking allows longer driving distances, more altitude and more cycling in general, as even older or less athletic guests can dive so actively into the Swiss nature.



There are more than 12,000km of standardized, signposted cycling routes throughout Switzerland. Signposts for cycling routes are red and feature a white bike pictogram. The red signposts are supplemented by a standard system of route information panels (stickers) with route names and route numbers. Single-digit numbers indicate national routes, double-digit numbers regional routes and triple-digit numbers local routes.
The many attractive paths along river banks and lake shores, with only minor uphill sections, are a special highlight. Cycling routes use roads and paths that are particularly suitable for bikes: they normally have a hard surface and see little traffic. On roads with a lot of traffic, the routes usually follow cycle paths or cycling lanes with safe road crossings and turn-offs. Cycling routes don’t make any special requirements of users.
"In order to respond to the different needs of touring cyclists, mountain bikers and female cyclists, we have created a dedicated landing page on MySwitzerland.com for every type of bike", explains Samuel Zuberbühler, Marketing Manager. "There you will find thematic best-of routes, multimedia reportages, bookable offers, bike-friendly hotels, and events, as well as useful tips such as safety tips". It does not matter whether cycling is the main or secondary activity of the holiday and whether a booked tour or even planned Holidays are in demand. Campaign-specific content is also played via various internal channels such as social media and newsletters, as well as through market representations in 26 countries. In total, ST is investing CHF 45.5 million (including staff costs and partner contributions) worldwide for this precision all-round marketing.
Here you can choose between all the National, Regional and Local SwitzerlandMobility cycling routes.
If you are cycling, you will appreciate accommodation where the bike is also welcome. Here, too, Switzerland Tourism has been offering a solution since 2016: 85 Swiss Bike Hotels form a hotel category of Switzerland Tourism and Hotelleriesuisse and are characterized by their high degree of bike-friendliness and additional service. Often the hosts themselves are enthusiastic cyclists.

Switzerland Tourism, together with the tour operator Eurotrek, has created three easy-to-book offers for mountain bikers, touring and racing cyclists. There are four days on selected routes on the road - the offer includes route description, hotel accommodation, and luggage transport.

Discover Switzerland by bicycle and you will experience the country from another perspective. Pure, intensive and unique.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Ikon Pass


On January 25, Alterra Mountain Company announced its 2018-2019 pass product, the Ikon Pass. North America’s top mountain destinations have joined together to offer skiers and riders the Ikon Pass uniting 12 destinations from Alterra Mountain Company and 14 premier destination partners.
The Ikon Pass gives skiers and riders the opportunity to access nearly 50,000 skiable acres of unique terrain across the continent, with pass privileges that range from full unlimited access to a set number of days that vary by destination. From a week-long vacation to unlimited days, the Ikon Pass was built with the guest in mind, to provide the best experience possible. With 26 destinations, in nine states and four Canadian provinces, the Ikon Pass is the gateway to a like-minded community, enduring memories, and the most iconic destinations in North America.
The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of seven industry leaders - Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Alta Ski Area, Boyne Resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, POWDR, and Snowbird. Each demonstrates integrity, character, and independence that is reflected in their mountains and guests.
Alterra Mountain Company’s destinations are Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe, Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures.
Ikon Pass partner destinations are Aspen Snowmass, Copper Mountain Resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Big Sky Resort, Killington Resort, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, SkiBig3 (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Mt. Norquay) in Alberta, Canada, Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Canada and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont.
"The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of like-minded mountain destinations across North America where incredible terrain, unique character, and local traditions are celebrated,", said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer for Alterra Mountain Company. "We’ve curated a community of iconic destinations. We believe this new pass offers tremendous opportunity and appeal to mountain enthusiasts who have a passion for outdoor adventure".
The Premium Ikon Pass includes unlimited full-season access to 12 resorts plus 7-days each at the partner destinations. These all come with zero blackout dates, for an early season starting price of $899. Discounted Child Passes (12 and under) are available since April 9, 2018, for $199 with the purchase of an Adult Ikon Pass.

Alterra Mountain Company, the joint venture of affiliates of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company, is a community of 12 iconic year-round destinations, including the world’s largest heli-ski operation. The company owns and operates a range of recreation, hospitality, real-estate development, food and beverage and retail businesses. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado with destinations across the continent, we are rooted in the spirit of the mountains and united by a passion for outdoor adventure. Alterra Mountain Company’s family of diverse playgrounds spans five U.S. states and three Canadian provinces: Steamboat and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Stratton in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario; Deer Valley in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Mountain Collective Pass


In the summer of 2012, four of the premier independent mountain destinations in the West (Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows) created an alliance to form the Mountain Collective, offering a groundbreaking pass for the 2012-13 season: the Mountain Collective Pass. After the acquisition of Whistler by Vail Resorts in 2016, the Canadian ski resort joined the Epic Pass for the 2017-2018 winter season.
This is a completely new concept for a ski pass and gives winter enthusiasts the freedom to access some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world", said then Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing, Aspen Skiing Company. "There’s been an incredible spirit of collaboration amongst the partners to bring this historic alliance and innovative new product to life".
In 2013 Mammoth Mountain, Snowbird and Whistler Blackcomb joined the Mountain Collective Pass.
The Mountain Collective is an unprecedented collaboration between the best independent ski destinations: Alta Ski Area, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sunshine, Big Sky Resort, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Lake Louise, Mammoth Mountain, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush Resort, Sun Valley, Taos Ski Valley, and Thredbo Alpine Village.
"The Mountain Collective successfully captured the imagination of mountain travel enthusiasts looking for variety, flexibility and affordable access to the best independent resorts in the world," said Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing, Aspen Skiing Company during the presentation of the Pass in 2013.
The pass is available online through an exclusive technology, distribution, and marketing partnership with Liftopia at the website. The Mountain Collective Pass cost $ 409. Typically if you visit one destination for six days or more the pass will pay for itself.
The Mountain Collective Pass is available for children (ages 12 and under), under the same terms for just $1. The kids' Pass must be purchased with an adult Mountain Collective Pass.
The Mountain Collective returns for the 2018/19 season with the alliance of the world’s best resorts. This unprecedented collaboration represents a powerful opportunity to experience the ultimate winter.
For the 2018-2019 winter season, skiers and riders who join the Mountain Collective receive two free days of skiing or riding (32 days total) at each destination, unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets thereafter, and exclusive lodging deals. There are no blackout dates with the Mountain Collective Pass or the 50% off lift tickets.
With the Mountain Collective, it’s now possible for passionate skiers and riders to claim thousands of vertical feet and chase ideal winter conditions across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.
The 2018-201919 Mountain Collective Pass is valid during the 2018 ski season at Thredbo, and Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.
The Mountain Collective Pass also grants limited access to 3 affiliates destinations: Chamonix in France, Niseko United (Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, Hanazono, and Annupuri) in Japan and Valle Nevado in Chile. You can use your 2018-2019 Mountain Collective Pass at Valle Nevado within one calendar year of the purchase of your Mountain Collective Pass.
In Chamonix Mountain Collective Passholders receive is two free, one day, "Le Pass" lift tickets. The Chamonix Le Pass ski pass gives you access to all Chamonix's ski areas (with the exception of the top of the Grands Montets).
In Japan affiliate, Mountain Collective Pass Holders receive a 2-day All Mountain Pass for any day of the Niseko United season.
The Mountain Collective Pass gives access to 16 (3 affiliate destinations) mountain resorts in 5 continents and 7 countries for skiers and snowboarders.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Vail Resorts Epic Pass Returns For The 2018-2019 Season


Ten years ago, on March 18, 2008, Vail Resorts, the leading global mountain resort operator, changed the landscape of the snow sports industry with the introduction of the Epic Pass. This pass cut the price of skiing by more than half of other lift access and provided unlimited, unrestricted skiing and snowboarding to five resorts – leading many in the industry to call Vail Resorts “crazy”.



Vail Resorts came up with the idea of a single pass that would be good at all its ski resorts, so people could have a season pass at home and then enjoy free skiing on a once or more annual vacation to another ski area. That was the basic idea, but in the past decade, the pass and its benefits have been expanded repeatedly including partner resorts and various scaled-down cheaper versions of the pass (Epic Local Pass, Epic 7-Day Pass, and Epic 4-Day Pass).
Last year Vail Resorts sold a record number of its passes, close to 700,000.
The Epic Pass remains the only product of its kind that is good beyond North America. The United States. Canada. Australia. Japan. France. Switzerland. Italy. Austria. No other season pass gives skiers and snowboarders access to so many celebrated resorts around the world than the Epic Pass, including unlimited, unrestricted access to 15 mountain resorts and limited access to 46 more. Priced at $899 for the 2018-19 winter season, the Epic Pass remains unmatched in the mountain resort industry for the variety and value it offers skiers and snowboarders.
Ski or snowboard unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for only $899. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days of skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; and Perisher in Australia for the 2019 season. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Pass holders will receive seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates at Telluride in Colorado and at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Nakiska in Alberta, and Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec), and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy.
On March 14, Vail Resorts announced that Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire will join the industry-leading Epic Pass in a long-term alliance beginning in the 2018-19 winter season, bringing the total to 64 mountain resorts in 11 states and provinces and eight countries for skiers and snowboarders.
Purchasing a 2018-19 season pass by Sunday, April 15 ensures that skiers and snowboarders will lock in the lowest price, combined with the best benefits, such as 12 total benefit tickets for friends and family to use: Six “Buddy” tickets at a flat discounted rate for friends and family to use and six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets are offered with eligible season passes.
"Crested Butte is a perfect complement to the unique family of resorts offered on the 2018-19 Epic Pass with its legendary terrain and historic mountain town. Okemo is known as a great family-friendly resort and together with neighboring Mount Sunapee and Stowe Mountain Resort, provides three great options for skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast. We strive to offer guests the greatest value and variety in their ski and snowboard vacations and are thrilled to now be able to offer access to 64 of the most celebrated resorts around the world", said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.
"We are proud to join the Epic Pass in a long-term season pass alliance with Okemo, Mount Sunapee, and Crested Butte. Our focus on guest service, reinvestment in our resorts and outstanding ski experiences both in New England and the Rocky Mountains aligns well with the Epic Pass and Vail’s remarkable line-up of resorts. We expect this partnership will be a significant benefit to our guests and skiers and riders around the world for years to come", said Tim Mueller, president of Triple Peaks, LLC, owner of Crested Butte, Okemo and Mount Sunapee mountain resorts.

Priced at $899 for the 2018-19 winter season, the Epic Pass is the only worldwide unlimited, unrestricted season pass that allows skiers and snowboarders to purchase a season pass next winter at the lowest guaranteed rate with just $49 down now. Purchasing the Epic Pass before Sunday, April 15 also provides skiers and snowboarders with 12 discounted tickets (“Buddy Tickets” and “Ski With a Friend”) to share with friends and family.

Vail Resorts is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Four New Resorts Joins The Powder Alliance For the 2018-2019 Winter Season


The Powder Alliance has added Sugar Bowl Resort, California, Loveland Ski Area, Colorado, Castle Mountain Resort, Alberta, Canada, and Ski Marmot Basin, Alberta, to its list of participating resorts for the 2018-2019 winter season.
Now spanning 4 countries and 2 hemispheres, the Powder Alliance is one of the world’s most powerful reciprocal season pass programs offering top-tier pass holders three days at 19 premier winter destinations.
Powder Alliance Resorts include Angel Fire, New Mexico, Arizona Snowbowl, Arizona, Bogus Basin, Idaho, Bridger Bowl, Montana, Castle Mountain Resort, Alberta, Canada, China Peak, California, Kiroro, Japan, La Parva, Chile, Loveland Ski Area, Colorado, Ski Marmot Basin, Alberta, Canada, Mountain High, California, Mt Hood Ski Bowl, Oregon, Schweitzer, Idaho, Sierra At Tahoe, California, Silver Star, British Columbia, Canada, Stevens Pass, Washington, Sugar Bowl Resort, California, Timberline, Oregon, and Whitewater, British Columbia, Canada.
Anytime season pass holders at each Powder Alliance resort receive 3 days at all the rest, non-holiday. Guests simply show an anytime 2018/19 season pass from a participating Powder Alliance area and receive skiing benefits at all the rest.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, a former member of the Powder Alliance, has entered into a new, multi-year season pass partnership with Vail Resorts beginning with the 2018-19 winter season.
"We just made your winter road trip even more amazing by adding Ski Marmot Basin, Castle Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl Resort, and Loveland Ski Area, four resorts that offer the highest standard of skiing and snowboarding. Whether you are covering the West Coast or hopping abroad to Japan and Chile, these are four mountains you definitely want to check out, if they aren’t already your hometown favorite", said John McColly, CMO of Mountain High, Calif., and Stevens Pass, Wash.
In 2014 the Powder Alliance was proudly named Best Season Pass Program by Ski Area Management magazine. In response to the development of other multi-area pass deals, a dozen Western resorts spread across nine states created the Powder Alliance to offer free lift access to "anytime" passholders from member resorts.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Strategic Alliances in the Ski Business: Season Passes in North America

"A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a vision… A strategy is all about gaining a position of advantage over adversaries".

The North American market is heavily fragmented; however, restructuring has taken place during recent years, with a shift taking place towards fewer, increasingly larger companies. From the 80s until the 2000-01 winter season we have seen a significant decline in the number of stations and ski resorts in the US, down from 735 in 1982 to 546 in 1991 and 489 in 2000. From that year onwards up to the present, we see a stabilization in the number of ski resorts in the US. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) reports 481ski areas were in operation during the 2016/17 season, according to the Kottke National End ofSeason Survey.

Strategic alliances and partnerships are essential in the development of the modern tourism industry.
Ski resorts often use Strategic Alliances to improve their positioning and reputation or to benefit from better distribution or marketing channels.
As competition grows, small and midsize ski resorts need to be increasingly creative about how and with whom they align themselves to go to the market. Marketing efforts must be coordinated to maximize the overall sales of the partners.

"Over the past three years, the ski industry has had a paradigm shift in the way it sells lift tickets, especially season tickets, and has moved to a multi-mountain formula that allows skiers and snowboarders a lot more flexibility at prices far lower than they used to be (...) season passes used to be for people who could drive to a particular ski resort and thus get in a lot of days. This also locked skiers financially into almost exclusively favoring one resort at home and paying full retail when traveling elsewhere. In sharp contrast, today’s passes often make sense even for far-flung travelers who can’t drive to any resortLarry Olmsted, Forbes (March 2014).

Ski Area Management Magazine (SAM) took a look at five of the multi-resort season passes on the market for the 2018-2019 winter season:


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Winning Run Mickael Bimboes. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Mickael Bimboes (FRA-1st Place) was the man to beat today with two massive airs and fast big mountain riding, which earned him his first win on the Bec des Rosses and a 3rd place overall finish for the 2018 season.

Winning Run Arianna Tricomi. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) took to the air in a decisive big mountain performance to claim the highly contested world title race and the Xtreme Verbier win, both being career firsts for her.

Winning Run Sammy Luebke. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place) claimed an unprecedented third consecutive FWT title and Xtreme Verbier win that he cemented with one of the most committed lines of the season, charging into the central couloir with speed and fluidly stomping multiple huge drops.

Winning Run Marion Haerty. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) earned her first career Xtreme Verbier win and a 2nd place FWT overall finish with confident riding, including a final stomp to close-out yet another solid season.