Tahoe ski resorts target California and Nevada
October 27, 2008
Tahoe ski resorts are targeting the drive market and “staycationers” looking for ski opportunities close to home this winter.
As resorts prepare for this year’s ski season, marketing strategies are aimed at California and Nevada’s huge population of skiers and snowboarders, most of whom are trying to ski closer to home this winter.
For Alpine Meadows and Homewood ski resorts, marketing has always centered around in-state and Northern Nevada skiers and boarders.
“Regardless of the economy we always try to have dialogue with a lot of skiers in the state,” said Alpine Meadows Public Relations officer Rachael Woods.
Alpine and Homewood currently focus advertising within Tahoe Basin, Northern Nevada, the Bay Area and Sacramento, partnering with accommodations in the Tahoe Basin to bring lift and lodging packages to visitors.
“There are great values to be had this winter,” said Woods.
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While Squaw Valley USA actively targets a similar market, the resort is gaining international press by planning to host media fan trips and a popular European ski tour this winter.
As part of the Free Ride World Tour, Squaw will host the only American stop on a tour featured in Russia, France and Switzerland, an international caliber event that is very visible in European markets.
Squaw will also host international media trips, inviting groups from different parts of Europe to visit Squaw and help the resort get press in high-circulation, daily newspapers overseas.
Despite growing international popularity, Squaw has not dismissed its core market.
“We’ve reallocated marketing dollars in the U.S. and put them into the Bay Area,” said Savannah Cowley, Squaw Valley Media and Public Relations. The strategy hopes to target the “staycation” trend.
Between mid-week pass deals and lift and lodge packages, Squaw, Alpine and Homewood have a lot to offer the drive market and “staycationers.”
Garret Goldman, co-owner of Home San Francisco Real Estate, said he hears of some great deals on Bay Area radio stations.
“I’d like to ride Squaw,” said Goldman, “but I tend to jump around depending on the best deal and what is closest to the rental.”
When asked if Tahoe measures up to destination ski resort standards he said, “I subconsciously think the terrain is better in Utah or Colorado because Tahoe is so close,” later adding, “Don’t get me wrong, Tahoe is unbelievable.”
Like many, Goldman’s ski season is at the mercy of the economy.
“I’ll be out there if I can squeeze some discretionary income out of my bank account,” he said.