As we get into this time of the year, we are all taking stock of our pre-commitment sales efforts.  Good or bad, successful or needing retooling, our pre-commitment products are an important part of our business.

The CSC asked a panel of 3000 skiers and snowboarders some questions relating to their motivations to purchase and we have some interesting insights to share.

Respondents were asked to rate key factors influencing their decision to purchase a pass and this is what they told us:

1) Value for money – 78% score of 8-10; Mean Score of 8.3. This means the pricing of your season pass is REALLY important so before you jack up the price of your seasons pass next season, make sure your pass purchases feel that they are getting good value for your pass and you aren’t simply making a price increase. Ensure that you don’t add too many restrictions to the use of the pass so that purchasers feel as though they can use it enough to justify the cost to purchase.

2) Ski area location close to home – 67% score of 8-10; Mean Score of 7.4.

3) Family/friends purchasing – 37% score of 8-10; Mean Score of 4.9.

4) Predicted snow conditions – 25% score of 8-10; Mean Score of 4.8. More important to Intenders (6.0) than Purchasers (4.6) and to those spending up to $700.

5) Status associated with ownership – 4% score of 8-10; Mean Score of 1.4. Marginally more important to those spending $100-$300.

So clearly, value for money is the leader when making the decision to purchase a pass.  But, what actually is “value”?  Some would point to the total package of access to the lifts and the perks associated with the pass, but the research showed 3 key considerations.


When specifically asked about three factors related to value, most did not say it was all about price and only price, rather they seemed to consider their expected number of visits at full ticket price and run a break-even assessment and/or time of visits and the implication of blackout dates. Consumers don’t mind paying for something that they know they will use and benefit from.

  • A breakeven assessment – 87% Yes. While still most important, it was of lesser import to those spending $100-200 than those spending more than $300.
  • Lack of blackout days – 45% Yes. Of greater importance to Intenders (62%) than Purchasers (42%), of least importance (35%) to those spending $900+.
  • Price – and only price – 30% Yes. More important to those spending $100-300 (45% Yes), especially compared with those spending $900+ (20% Yes). Marginally more important to Intenders (37%) than Purchasers (29%).

And so, as we ramp down our pass sales for this year and get ready for a fantastic winter, what should the big question on your mind be?  We suggest, “ how does the cost of your season pass, and the benefits and limitations fit with what skiers/boarders are likely to spend?”


Click Here to Download the Report