Growing the Ski Industry: Attracting Adult Beginners

Like many businesses, ski resort operations are made possible due to business brought in by their guests. Therefore, a major goal of ski resorts is to create more guests by introducing more beginners to the sport of skiing. Children and teens tend to have a pretty easy time joining the sport; many other people their age are beginners too, and their parents pay for their lessons, rentals, and lift tickets. However, it is much more challenging to convince adults to join the sport.


Adults are less likely to join the sport for a variety of reasons. These include fear, high prices, pride, and not having many friends who they can learn with. Fear is caused by the prospect of injury. High prices include the cost of rentals, lift tickets, and lessons. Pride is due to the idea of not being able to keep up or otherwise looking bad in front of their friends. Additionally, it can be difficult to learn or stay motivated without friends who are in the same situation. Even after ski resorts have convinced adult beginners to get on the slopes, retaining them can be difficult. Only 17% of adults return for another day of skiing, and most won’t even tell people they’ve skied previously until they visit a third time. Generally, it takes about five visits for adult beginners to call themselves “skiers”.


Resorts can address these challenges in several ways. First, they can make skiing more affordable, and get adults skiing more often. Many resorts offer packages for new skiers that make this possible. For example, Sunlight Mountain Resort in Colorado offers a $395 package that includes, lift tickets, rentals, and a two-hour lesson for three days. After completing the three days, skiers receive a complimentary five-day lift pass. This helps adults get on the slopes enough times that they are more likely to continue skiing, and it makes skiing more affordable for them. Group lessons and good service has also been shown to increase the likelihood that an adult will continue with the sport.


Steps to Get the True Maine Experience

 If you’re a business owner in the tourism sector and want to know the best way you can provide a more personal experience for your customer, you will find this article particularly helpful. Enjoy!

  Step 1: Know Your Customers.

It’s crucial for any business owner to fully understand the customers you’re targeting. There are so many different types of travelers that visit and all of them expect you to be able to provide for there wants and needs without you even meeting them. To start, study your location(s) and the resources that it has to offer. Knowing what resources your business has to offer will allow you to target the right customer segments. Consider things like: is your business family friendly, are people going to want to plan a family vacation here, or do your resources provide activities that are more oriented for a specific customer only? By deciphering between these things, you will have a much better understanding of how to target your customer.
Here is a link that will explain the different types of customers:

Step 2: Determine the Theme or Story That Best Suits Your Capabilities to Your Customers Wants/Needs.

To determine this, look back to your location and the resources that it provides. First, what attributes make this location authentic? A lot of local towns in Maine represent a long history of the area, how it was developed, and how some of the local businesses operate. For example, you can travel almost anywhere along Maine’s coastline and get a taste of the fishermen’s culture that has been a way of life for local families dating back many generations. This is a great example of showing how tourism businesses along the coast have utilized the deep history of fishing to provide a representation of the locations authenticity. Secondly, determine something unique about your location(s) that can differentiate yourself from competitors. By differentiating yourself you put your business in a better position to target customers looking for a unique experience.

Step 3: Plan the Experience.

It’s crucial that the customer has a positive travel experience from the time they leave their house to the time they arrive at your location. This includes any transportation or equipment needed, any accommodations for the customer, and any activities that are offered. The information about your business provided to the customer and how it is provided to them is key. Determine where the customer will go, what they will do, the activities they will encounter, and how is it unique and authentic compared to competitors? How will the customer be engaged and interacted with? Is there one specific activity or are there several? By targeting these attributes, you are ensuring that the customer’s experience is well-planned and that they are the main focus.

Step 4: Map Out the Flow of Itinerary for You, Your Staff, and Your Partners.

Yourself, your staff, and your partners are what makes or breaks your business. These individuals are the frontline personnel that your customers are going to be interacting with. It’s very important that every staff member or partner understands the vision of the company and the goals they are trying to achieve when dealing with customers. To do so effectively, break each component of the experience into detailed segments that are easy for the staff and partners to understand and reciprocate. Promote safety standards and precautions, as well as a plan to execute such protocols. Plan and prepare for guest limitations (dietary restrictions, handicaps, age issues, etc). Being prepared for guests with any issue shows to the customer that you are taking the extra time to ensure that the experience for these customers is very important to your business.
Here is a link that will help you develop an easy to read and understand flowchart:

Step 5: Know Your Market Positioning.

Knowing your market positioning is very important in order for you to properly target your customers. Knowing whether you are targeting a mass market, niche market, major market or customized market is crucial for deciding how to market your business. To understand what your market positioning is, compare your businesses attributes with these questions: who are your competitors, how are they rated, what makes your business different, what about your location represents a sense culture or heritage, is your location nature-based or does is promote seasonal events, is your business targeting nationally, internationally or both? By determining these questions, you will have a good sense of what your market positioning is and how you can utilize your characteristics to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Here is a link that will help you understand how to determine your businesses market positioning:

Step 6: Market Your Experience.

Marketing your business to your customer is a must and to do it effectively will decide whether you attract attention to your location or not. Break the market into 4 sectors: Business to Consumer, Consumer to Business, Customer to Customer, and Business to Business. These 4 sectors are the ways that your organization’s information is passed throughout the company. It’s crucial that you target all of these sectors in order to effectively market the experience. Also, setting an attractive selling price is very important as a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Here is a link that discusses 7 ways to market your tourism business:

Step 7: Make It Unique and Authentic.

By providing a unique and authentic experience, you are able to connect with customers on a more personal level. Making sure that your customers are learning about your business and are getting hands-on in activities shows to them that your business is going above and beyond to meet the wants and needs of your customers. Connecting with your customers on a personal level makes the experience memorable for them, and they are more likely to share their experience with family, friends, or even post about it on social media. Making your service unique and authentic truly sets you apart from the competitors and proves that you’re providing a true Maine experience.

Step 8: Evaluate Your Progress.

It’s important to evaluate how the company is operating. If things are going awesome, see how you can introduce something new to test out. If things are not operating smoothly, see what you can do differently to make things more valuable to the customer. Or, should you save your money and choose a different path to the desired target market?

8 Essential Steps to Creating a Unique Tourism Experience

As we shift from a service economy to one focusing on experiences the tourism industry has the opportunity to connect with customers on a new level. Instead of promoting the same old tourism services to a blanket audience and competing on price, tourism providers can now create unique experiences that compete on value.  A unique tourism experience isn’t something that can be built in a day and it requires hard work and an understanding of your resources and your customer’s needs. Here are the eight essential steps to take when creating a tourism experience.


  1. Get to Know Your Customers.


If you don’t know who your customers are or what they want for an experience it’s difficult to even get started crafting a successful package. Knowing your target customers profile of likes and dislikes can help focus in on what types of experiences they would be interested in.  Customer profiles can be developed by simply surveying your current customers or by looking at your local tourism market research to gain a better understanding of who is visiting your region.  Using either method allows you to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and craft a better experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.

Now that you know who you are serving and who you could be serving its time to find out what will make our experience special.


  1. What is Going to Make Your Experience Special?

If you create an experience that can be copied by anyone you will be competing for customers on price alone. Understanding what makes your experience special adds value that cannot be copied so easily. Take a look at your community or region and think about what makes it special or unique? Who or what makes people want to visit your location? Are there some lesser known hot spots like restaurants or hiking paths that are only known to locals? Does your area have a historic industry that might allow you to partner with a non-traditional tourism business?

A great example of this would be the Kennebec historic log drives or ice harvesting business. Is there a local carpenter that uses reclaimed wood from those historic drives or someone who can bring the history to life and really engage your audience? Try to balance physical and emotional elements that can give your customers a well-rounded journey.


  1. What Type of Experience Fit Best With Your Business?

Now that you know what makes you special it’s time to refine your options. What elements of your community fit best with your already existing business? Is there a certain experience package that you could develop that fits or adds value to something you already offer? Start by grouping like experiences together under broad titles like outdoor adventures, reliving local history, or eating your way through Southern Maine. Start to think about what customers will leave your experience feeling and how they can share their experience with others. Will they write a review on Tripadvisor or will the share a video or their journey on Facebook for everyone to see?


  1. Plan Your Experience Program or Package!

Now that you know everything you can offer it’s time to plan what you are actually going to offer customers. Try to build your experience around a story or theme that fits with local attitudes. This will give your customers a consistent message throughout their journey. Now that you have a theme or story determine what the core elements or the experience will be. These elements should be the major focus of the program that customers cannot miss!

After you’ve determined your core elements develop a detailed plan that includes where guests will go and what they will do as well as all key players who will be guides or storytellers involved. Make sure you plan activities that will engage customers and immerse them in the story more than a demonstration would.


Ensure that for each step of the journey you have a contingency plan in place so the whole experience does not unravel if one thing falls through.


  1. Find your partners, suppliers, and staff!

With every element of your experience planned it’s time to find the people who are going to make this dream a reality! Find businesses and suppliers who will be your key partners in delivering this experience. This could be partnering with a hotel to use a dining room or a paddleboard rental to get equipment for an on the water tour.


When hiring your staff make sure each employee is ready to help deliver every element of the experience so the customer gets a cohesive message. Make sure each staff member knows their part in delivering the experience and how they fit into the big picture. Develop a detailed strict for each part of the customer’s journey but allow for flexibility so customer don’t feel rushed or miss out. Make sure you train each employee thoroughly and work out any kinks before real customers book. This may take a few dry runs with friends or family members at little or no cost to make sure everything is working efficiently.


  1. Find Your Place in The Market and Determine Your Price!

To determine your price you have to find your place in the market. Determine if you are offering this to domestic tourist, international tourist, or both. You should also decide if this is a niche experience or something that everyone wants to do. Answering these questions will help you define your experience and find its place in the market.


Once you know your place in the market it’s time to decide on your selling price. Understanding what similar experiences in your market are priced at will ensure you do not underprice.


It might be hard in the beginning to determine the value so it’s okay to set an exact profit margin and develop the price that way. Test prices and find what one works best in your market or perhaps develop different price levels for customers who might only want and value parts of the experience.


  1. Market Your Experience.

Market your experience on the best channels to reach your target customers. This will require the development of a detailed marketing plan for each channel you plan to use. Be aware of what customer are saying about your business and change marketing plans accordingly.


Look to your local chamber of commerce or state tourism organization for opportunities to market. Maine has two great websites &  that cater to tourist and can help you market you experience


  1. Deliver and Evaluate Using Feedback.

Deliver your experience and be ready to reevaluate the experience from yours and the customer’s mindset. Continue to identify ways to better the experience from feedback from customers as well as key partners. Use both of these methods to fine-tune your experience and make it the best in the market!

Now it’s time to  go through these steps to create your own  unique experience that customer will book in a heartbeat!

5 Tips To Create A Memorable Maine Charter Fishing Experience.

If you want to learn how to maintain customer loyalty by generating great experiences on a Maine Charter fishing boat, continue reading this post.

1. Make the guest feel welcomed

Be considerate when the guests climb aboard. Ask each client their name, and continue to talk to the client on a first name bases for the remainder of the clients time aboard. Mainers is known for their friendly attitudes. Small talk is a way of life in this State. Use this small talk tactic, and inquire about the clients personal life. Ask clients where they’re from. Ask clients if this would be their

first trip out on the ocean. It’s very important hospitable and to establish a relationship with the clients.

2. Dress to Impress

You’re a Maine fishing guide, dress the part. Guests will be looking at you for knowledge an expertise. A deck uniform should be worn everyday by crew members. The deck uniform should have the name of the vessel embroidered on the back of the shirt. The shirt should be made out of Gortex, which is waterproof and sun resistant. This exemplifies an image of professionalism for the guests to view. Make sure equipment is cutting edge to ensure a status of professionalism.

3. Preparation

When working on a boat, preparation is everything. Pay close attention to weather forecasts and plan the day accordingly. Unfortunately clients will book trips that don’t correlate with ideal weather conditions. It’s important to know where to take clients to fish comfortably in these situations. Perhaps taking clients under a bridge to fish for the day if it’s pouring is the best idea. Being prepared for the day on the water can turn a terrible experience into a memorable one. Make sure the boat is clean, and ready for the day. The bait is caught and placed in the live well. All reels should be oiled, and the drags set to proper tension. Rods should be mounted on the washboard.

4. Make the good moments great moments

If a client catches a fish, make sure that moment is cherished. O er to pull out a camera and snap a photo so the memory can be cherished forever. Be as excited as the client is when the fish is landed. Enthusiasm about the triumph is necessary. It will enhance the atmosphere on the boat, and generate a great memory.

5. Make it Authentic

Incorporate local knowledge of the area when cruising out to sea. Use local Maine folklore and stories to illustrate the surrounding coastline. Clients should experience a localized tour of the area filled with interesting knowledge about local attractions, in addition to going fishing. For lunch, great local food should be served on board. That way clients can get a taste of the local flavor. Lobster rolls from Portland Lobster company would be a great dining option while sailing.

5 Simple Steps To Help Create a Memorable Tourism Experience



     There are many different techniques and methods for destination firms to use while maneuvering through the experienced filled minds of tourists. Finding the right mix of advertising content to display, can differ from each segment your firm wishes to target. What is it that firms can use in order to not only draw the attention of set tourists but to keep them coming back time after time? Here we will venture into a guide to best practices that are used in order to keep your guests happy and fulfilled.


     We start by getting to know your customer. One might ask specifically what it is that we need to know about them. It is important to remember that each guest that you target will be different and in sense will have different needs and fulfillment objectives. Get to know them by asking them questions about their age, and where they are coming from.

     Once you have started to get to know your guests, you can now start to determine what it is that they specifically need. What factors can you implement and display to your guests that will directly help them fill that need? Again, it is important to note that each segment will have different needs.


     Now that you have determined your direct customer needs, you now must a establish a sense of product and service use. Here your customer must be able to fully understand what it is that you have to offer. If a customer is unable to clearly identify themselves with your product or service, there is a good chance that they will become a product of the competition.

     For a customer to truly understand your product or service and to help develop a sense of need fulfillment, a story or theme can be used while relaying your content. By doing so it will help your guests relate to you on a personal level, therefore targeting their sense of emotion. As a result, your guest will become more open to giving information that might be needed to target their needs, making it easy for the firm to relate. A good example to help us understand this concept further are the Disney theme parks.


     Another strong way to relay your content is to make the guest aware of surrounding events that they might be interested in. By doing so, you are not only providing them with helpful insight but also helping them relate themselves to the surrounding area, again, to create enjoyment on an interactive personal level. Levels of creativity are now in the hands of the guest, allowing them to become excited and entertained with the use of customization.


     It doesn’t stop there, selecting key partners with surrounding businesses might be in your best interest. This can positively affect your firm’s ability to expand in the sense of customer interest. Simply because, if a firm(s) has more to offer, the more chance of catching the customers attention. However, you must keep a close relation to your allies and be aware that sometimes, things don’t always work out.

GO, GO, GO!!!

    Now that you have read through the various practices, go out and apply them! Throughout your process, it is important to remember to stay close to your customers and to really develop a full understanding of what they need. In today’s world, everything is needed at the end of fingertips at the best convenience possible. If that’s not delivered directly to the customer, then wave goodbye to your potential customers.

Growing the Ski Industry: The Importance of Small Mountains


Running a mountain is an expensive business. The cost of replacing a lift can be in the millions, and even replacing a T-Bar can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. For small mountains that often charge very little for lift tickets, this cost can make operations difficult. However, big resorts have helped make this cost easier to manage. For example, at Titcomb, Sunday River has stepped in and helped cover some costs when Titcomb could not afford them. Sunday River has also donated money so that students at the University of Maine at Farmington can ski at Titcomb for free.


Resorts like Sunday River do this because they recognize the importance of small mountains. Small mountains help grow the sport. The easier, shorter trails and often less-crowded terrain can be much less intimidating to beginners. Local hills also tend to offer prices that make skiing much more affordable, which is important since most beginners are tentative to invest a large amount of money into a sport they’ve never done before. Additionally, small mountains provide a local option for skiers when no large resorts exist nearby.


Larger resorts feel comfortable supporting local hills because their target markets are usually very different. Whereas smaller mountains tend to target beginners, the local community, and customers with a smaller skiing budget, big resorts target customers who are willing to spend more money (often on longer vacations, rather than day visits) in return for diverse and more challenging terrain options and great service. Basically, resorts and local hills aren’t competing with each other. However, local hills can generate more business for resorts. As beginner skiers at small mountains improve, they may look to ski at places where they can challenge themselves more.


And when skiers look for that bigger mountain, where better for them to go than the resort that supported their local hill?




Instagram Best Practices

Social media is a great marketing tool for many reasons. It’s usually free, it’s easy to use, and you have the opportunity to connect with millions of potential customers. Instagram, for example, has over 800 million users. The visually-focused social media app is a great way for a company to, quite literally, build its brand image. Here are some tips for upping your Insta-game.

  1. Be consistent.

Just like your company has a consistent brand image, your posts should have a consistent style and format. If your brand generally uses very clean-cut images of your product or experience but then starts posting goofy photos of your staff that has a weaker connection to your product, that may be confusing to the customer. (Not that posting goofy photos of your staff is wrong – if having a fun staff is part of your brand image, then post your goofy photos. But if you’re trying to create a brand image that is more formal and professional, then try to stick to that.)

  1. Keep the words to a minimum.

Instagram is a visually-focused social media platform. Therefore, posting photos that contain many words in the image is not recommended. If you really want to post an image featuring writing, then keep the word count down to just one or two keyword or words that get to the point (for example, “Sale”). Use the image to capture the customer’s attention. Then, any more information can be included in the caption.

  1. Take photos of people.

Photos of people are more relatable to the customer and tend to get more likes. Take this opportunity to feature photos of people who are enjoying your product or service – it will encourage viewers to picture themselves in the customer’s shoes and cause them to associate your business with a positive experience.

  1. Make it easy for your customers to find you.

There are many ways to do this one. First off, make sure your company name is on your Instagram handle. The company profile should also be public so that any potential customer can see your posts. Make sure to add your location when you focus and include hashtags that are relevant and specific to your company. Also, make sure to add a link to your website in your profile.

  1. Interact with your followers.

This is a great way to build your customer relationships. Respond to comments made on your photos, and like photos in which your company is tagged.

  1. Use Instagram business tools

Business profiles are a free Instagram feature that recognizes pages as businesses and adds a contact button to your page for followers to use to get in touch with your company. The Insights tool provides information about who your followers are and which of your posts get the best responses. Your company can also promote its best posts on the app as ads. When promoting a post, the promoting tool even allows you to pick a target audience.