The title above comes from Claire Humber’s article I mentioned in this month’s Bob’s Bits. I know many of you think of strategy as terrain expansion, snowmaking upgrades, lift replacements, additions or upgrades, and new lodges or facilities. Yes, these are legitimate expensive things that play into what might be your strategy. However, as Claire states, a lot of things were done during COVID that were not expensive and yet improved the guest experience.
My point is The previous articles in this month’s and last month’s Steep Newsletters speak to potential strategies that are at no cost or minimal cost and yet can fully support strategies of employee retention and engagement, a strategy of building skills in your technical departments, and a strategy of the finest guest service.
Imagine a strategy for Ski Area X wanting to have – All seasonal staff leaving at the end of the season saying that they either want to return or that it was a great year, and they would recommend anyone to come and spend the winter with Ski Area X. Don’t laugh, this is totally doable. Operating strategies take the same amount of effort as do say installing a new lift. The same amount of planning detail has to go into the operating strategy as the new lift. Yes, the new lift is sexier and more fun, but the operating strategy can be as rewarding as the new lift, financially and experience-wise for the guest and staff.
In the USA about 65% of corporate CEOs lose their jobs because they fail to implement their company’s strategies. The point is that strategies are a lot easier to create than implement. However, the past two ski seasons have shown that the ski industry can create and implement new less capital intense strategies that in many cases improved the experience.