Vermont ski resorts team up to form a marketing co-op

‘We don’t have the deep pockets for marketing that other ski areas do … But we can pool our resources’

Small independent ski resorts in Vermont, USA, have pooled their efforts to work as a marketing co-op in a bid to compete with large, out-of-state ski companies. 

Many of Vermont’s resorts are passing into the ownership of large companies who offer season passes to all of their sites, enabling skiers to try new terrain around the country at a far cheaper price than buying passes at each resort separately.

‘The Indy Pass’ is the independents’ response to this. It is aimed at skiers and snowboarders who want a less corporate experience on the snow.

Bolton Valley Resort, Suicide Six, and Magic Mountain have all joined the new Indy Pass, which for $199 (£162) offers two lift tickets at 34 independently owned resorts around the United States. 

The pass takes direct aim at the pricing that studies show has pushed skiers and snowboarders out of the sport. And it rallies the smaller areas against the marketing might of giant companies. 

“We don’t have the deep pockets for marketing that other ski areas do,” said Lindsay DesLauriers, CEO of the Bolton Valley Resort in central Vermont. “They can blast a lot of marketing into major metro areas, which is really expensive. But we can pool our resources.”

The Indy Pass is a project of a Portland, Oregon, advertising agency called Fish Marketing and the 34 resorts. Agency owner Doug Fish said he expects to add more resorts, including two in New England, for the upcoming season. 

DesLauriers said she hoped the Indy Pass would make skiing and snowboarding more accessible to more people and help them discover small, independent resorts they wouldn’t have visited otherwise.