"This partnership not only enhances the ski hills and local tourism industry but also improves the experience for skiers and snowboarders."
Paradocs x L’EST GO
Technological innovation in our industry comes in many different shapes and sizes. Here, it has been presented through an opportunity to optimize the existing multi-day and multi-resort product L’EST GO. The demand for multi-resort passes has grown in recent years, and we saw an opportunity to help develop a product that can set an industry standard in this field. With four major ski resorts in the Eastern Townships, visitors want to see them all and although the mountains are competitors, a profitable opportunity was presented to give the people what they want. This blog will take you through the background and evolution of the multi-day and multi-resort pass that dates back decades, L’EST GO.
With over 70 years of ski history in the Townships, it's no surprise the region is an eastern skiing hotspot. A few decades ago, Mont-Orford, Owls Head, Mont Sutton, Bromont, montagne d’expérience, and Jay Peak came together to create a multi-day and multi-resort ski pass called Ski Dans L’Est. However, as ticketing systems began to evolve and resorts started developing individual practices, the product couldn’t sustain the changes and was terminated, but the popularity of skiing in the region remained strong.
As the years passed, there was an increasing demand from both former customers and the resorts to revive the multi-resort, multi-day pass. In response, the resorts (excluding Jay Peak) teamed up with Eastern Townships Tourism for the 2014/15 season to create a $25 passport card that offered a 25% discount on lift tickets, as well as discounts on partnering hotels, spas, and other tourist attractions in the region. With the product gaining popularity, they decided to launch L’EST GO in 2019. This evolution of the passport allows customers to buy multi-day cards like the original project, that can be used at any of the four resorts. These cards are sold with discounts depending on the number of days that are loaded onto them. The more days purchased, the cheaper it is. Making this the perfect solution for any ski vacation.
When asking Julie Desmarais, the Product Manager, at Eastern Townships Tourism about important aspects of the project, she said “It is always important to consider the realities of the mountains.” As such, effective communication between all parties involved has been a crucial aspect of the launch and ongoing development of the L'EST GO product. Taking into account that all of the resorts have different needs and technological expectations, this project provided the 4 mountains with an opportunity to optimize their product offering and provide a unique and comprehensive skiing experience.
Growing year after year, the project has proven to be a valuable one for the resorts as well as tourism in the region in general. The product is projected to bring in a record amount of revenue this season. This comes after a few fixes and upgrades were made over the off-season including some major software changes that will lead this project into many more years of growth and riding for all.
For the first three years of its existence, L’EST GO was running on two different software systems: one for sales and one for access control. This made it hard to keep information centralized and run an efficient operation. Some of the resorts were using RFID gates whereas others were not, so clients needed to get individual day tickets for every mountain visit and were taking up guest services capacity.
The resorts and Eastern Townships Tourism continued meeting to discuss how to better meet many of the needs of both the ski hills and their customers. These included:
Providing customers with a single card that could access all resorts
Direct-to-lift functionality to allow skiers to skip going to guest services and make their way directly from the parking lot to the lifts
A one-stop-shop system for sales, access control, reporting, etc.
A system that improves communication between all parties
Paradocs became the clear choice for this project due to its flexibility and ability to customize the product to meet the needs of the client. With two of the four resorts already using our MtnOS software system, Paradocs had also gained credibility among the group. Although it was Eastern Townships Tourism that signed the contract, this decision came directly from the four participating resorts. After being chosen to pursue this project in the summer of 2021, Paradocs began implementing MtnOS the following year.
In order to facilitate having a single card to access all four resorts, every resort needed to install RFID gates by their lifts. Some had this upgrade made already and others like Mont-Orford got it done just in time for this 2022/23 season. This means that skiers and snowboarders with these passes, no longer have to present themselves at guest services in the morning and wait in lines for one day of skiing. They pick up their pass one time and from then on, it’s right onto the lift and the snow.
With the previous combination of software systems, both Eastern Townships Tourism and the resorts were unable to have access to both sales and access control information. Eastern Townships Tourism had access to all sales information but couldn’t monitor skier visits, whereas each resort could monitor ski visits but couldn’t see current sales. Now, with MtnOS, all parties have access to this data, and Eastern Townships Tourism now has access to a wealth of data and actionable dashboards, enabling them to identify and capitalize on opportunities for growth and optimization.
This partnership not only enhances the ski hills and local tourism industry but also improves the experience for skiers and snowboarders. With a new fully integrated online store, Eastern Townships visitors are able to purchase their passes directly on the Eastern Townships Tourism website and pick up their card at any of the four resorts. Following their first visit, they never have to worry about waiting in lines again since these cards give them direct access to the lifts and are rechargeable. This function is even applicable year after year unless the card is lost of course.
This project illustrates the power of technology in helping businesses achieve their goals, especially in an industry that sometimes struggles to keep up with technological innovation. The success of this project has sparked interest in the east, but there is no reason why similar initiatives can't be implemented elsewhere. In fact, many ski hills have already implemented multi-resort products, and our goal is to find ways to optimize those operations.
In conclusion, the evolution of the L'EST GO multi-day and multi-resort card has been a successful example of how technology can be leveraged to optimize and enhance the skiing experience for both resorts and customers. With the product having gained such widespread popularity, there is no doubt it is only heading for continuous growth. The success of this project highlights the potential for other ski hills to utilize similar initiatives and leverage technology to create a more comprehensive and convenient skiing experience.
For more information on what MtnOS can do for your resort, visit our product page!
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