The White Book was recently at Wachusett Mountain for its Annual Media Day. I always enjoy the visit to Wachusett because this family owned area does a lot of things very well. It’s the only ski area in southern New England with 3 high-speed quads, 1,000 feet of vertical, 100% snowmaking, night skiing, and a top-notch day lodge and restaurant. It feels like a “big-time” resort because it is.
Wachusett never stops pushing innovation. Their latest is getting people who don’t have their own transportation or prefer to leave their car at home, to and from the mountain. Last fall, Wachusett and Uber teamed up to improve transportation options for skiers and snowboarders moving to and from the Central Massachusetts ski resort. And where would Uber pick these skiers up? Why at Wachusett Station of course. That’s right. Wachusett has its own train stop. The MBTA offers multiple train runs to and from Wachusett station every day. For an updated train schedule, visit www.mbta.com. Currently, pick-ups at the new station are every Saturday and Sunday at 10:11 a.m. A complimentary shuttle returns guests back to Wachusett Station to return to North Station in Boston at 6:10 p.m.
In addition to servicing the new Wachusett Train Station, Uber is a viable transportation option for skiers and riders in the greater Worcester metro area traveling to the mountain. To encourage guests to take advantage of the new partnership with Wachusett, Uber is offering riders a $25 “Get to the Slopes” credit on their first ride when the sign up using the code SKIWAWA.
“Wachusett Mountain is already the most accessible resort in New England, located within an hour drive from an estimated population of more than 8 million people between Boston, Worcester and Providence, RI.” said General Manager David Crowley. “We are excited to partner with Uber to grow transportation options, providing an affordable and convenient way to access the mountain if they don’t have a car or choose to leave the keys at home. This partnership improves on-demand transportation options, allowing Wachusett visitors to travel to and from the train on their own schedule.”
Cathy Zhou, Uber Massachusetts General Manager. “Over the last several years, Uber has expanded to communities across the Commonwealth, providing safe, affordable and convenient transportation options and we look forward to building on this growth to serve the Wachusett Mountain community.” For more information, visit www.wachusett.com or www.uber.com.
Each year the National Ski Areas Association presents the Conversion Cup Award to the ski areas across the country that have developed outstanding programs to convert new skiers and snowboarders into lifelong enthusiasts. Wachusett Mountain, MA was awarded first place in the 2016 Conversion Cup Challenge, sponsored by HEAD Wintersports. Wachusett was selected among a strong field of ski areas from across the U.S. The other two finalists were Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, Wash., and Stevens Pass, Wash.
NSAA launched the initiative in 2010 as a way to pique competition among member ski areas and recognize those who make significant strides to boost conversion rates. The winner is chosen based upon proven results, creative ideas, consistent execution, and long-term commitment to the conversion effort. Several key metrics are used in the judging process, including beginner lesson volumes; quantifiable success of beginner lesson packages; season-to-date sales and repeat sales data collection; and marketing ingenuity and use of new media.
Wachusett won the honor based on creative ideas, a logical learning progression—beyond the initial package offer—measurable results, solid execution, and long-term commitment to the conversion effort. Wachusett has been converting new skiers/riders for decades, taking advantage of the large population centers of Boston, Providence, and Worcester that are in the ski area’s backyard. “We see it as our job to create future skiers and riders for the industry,” said Carolyn Stimpson, Wachusett’s vice president of resort services.
Using customer data and analytics, Wachusett has designed various beginner programs that are targeted to specific audiences—augmented with follow-up emails—to help ensure they return. The two primary learn-to programs are the one-day Learn-To-Turn package (lesson, rental, and lift ticket for $99), and a three-day package (lesson, rental, and lift ticket for $199). Those who finish either program receive upgrade offers and coupons to continue their journey to becoming a lifelong skier or snowboarder. Messages with those deals are delivered via email 24 hours later or, for those who do not provide an email address, by direct mail. The number of upgrades from the one-day package to the three-day package is up 65 percent from last season, even in a year when skier visits were down on the East Coast. www.wachusett.com