JASPER, AB - One of the most annoying things for skiers and snowboarders is waiting in line. Is it so hard to understand we just want to get on the slopes already?
Ski resorts realized several years ago they had to improve the quality of the skier’s visit. That meant making it easier and quicker for them to get out and enjoy the snow.
Every year it seems Marmot Basin introduces something to do just that. This year it’s the My Marmot Card. The resort already offers the family card, the Sunshine-Marmot card, season passes - but this one takes convenience to a new level.
“It’s actually a pretty simple concept,” says Brian Rode, Marmot’s vice-president of marketing. “The My Marmot Card is primarily to give people convenience and ease of access to the mountain. We’re trying to make getting out on to the slopes easier and more hassle free.”
They’ve done that with the My Marmot Card in several ways.
First, the card is free. It takes about five minutes to sign up online and a few more minutes on your first subsequent visit to the hill. Or, stop in at Marmot’s store in downtown Jasper to get your picture taken and receive the card.
Secondly, you control how the card is used. This is done from the convenience of wherever you have online access. You load your lift tickets online and once you have the card then just park your vehicle and get skiing.
The My Marmot Card is your lift ticket. Rentals and lessons can also be purchased online and loaded to the card.
“You can load as many lift tickets as you like,” says Rode, adding that there’s a 10 per cent discount on every ticket.
“It’s perfect for those people who don’t ski enough for a season pass or are not sure they’re going to ski more than three days to make the Sunshine-Marmot card their best deal.”
The rental process has also become a quick in-and-out procedure with the My Marmot Card. I rented online and it took only minutes to provide the information needed.
After a leisurely drive to Jasper and a relaxing overnight in a superb room at the Best Western Jasper Inn, I arrived in the Marmot rental shop where the skis, boots and poles were waiting.
The boots were a little snug so I asked for the next size up. Two minutes later the ski tech handed me the next size. He took about a minute to make the binding adjustment, I signed the usual waiver and I was gone. In and out in minutes.
The rental reservation area has been expanded to accommodate the weekend morning rush, says Rode.
For families renting equipment the free overnight storage is ideal. Storage eliminates the hassle of putting all the skis, boots and poles into the vehicle or in the rack at the end of the day, taking it all out at the hotel to put into storage lockers and then reversing the whole procedure the next morning.
Even the process of buying ski lessons is possible with the My Marmot Card.
Reserve in advance, Rode suggests. “All the stuff is there and set up when you arrive and at the end of the day you give it all back, they put your name on it. The next morning they pull it off the rack and you go skiing again.”
"Once you get to the hill, there is a morning shuttle between the parking lots and the rental shop," says Erin Reade, from the marketing department.
Marmot will also be offering additional discounts and promotions to My Marmot Card holders during the season. And the resort is looking to increase the functionality of the card with the ability to load cash to the card for purchases like food and beverage in future seasons.
This will be a great option for teenagers, says Rode. Parents can load the card with lift tickets and food and beverages for the day or weekend. It eliminates the hassle of carrying around cash, adds Rode.
Another perk of the My Marmot Card includes the option of switching to a season’s pass, if you find you’re skiing more than you thought you would. Go online, buy that pass and the card instantly becomes a season pass.
“We’re continually taking steps to make it easier and more convenient for skiers and snowboarders to spend more time doing what they love,” says Rode.
What do you think about the newest deal from Marmot Basin? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and tell your friends about it!
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