Catalate: From Ski to New Business Verticals

A Note from Rachel Stats, Account Executive – New Business

Rachel Stats, Account Executive

Recently, one of our new waterpark partners asked me, “How did Liftopia go from ski resorts to amusement and water parks?”  It was a valid question, and maybe not one with an obvious answer. Over the past 14 years, Liftopia has established itself as the market leader in revenue management and dynamic pricing for ski resorts. Within the past several years, we’ve brought this expertise to water parks and attractions as the need for scientific pricing strategy has become increasingly important in those industries as well.

By working with ski resorts, many of which offer summer products, such as zip-lining, scenic chair rides and mountain coasters, Liftopia recognized a need within the broader attractions market for revenue management.  As Liftopia CEO Evan Reece notes, “It was a natural progression to explore other high-volume ticketing businesses looking to generate pre-sales through dynamic pricing.”  

There are many similarities you might not expect between ski resorts and other attractions. Both ski resorts and attractions have essentially unconstrained inventory sets, meaning they won’t “sell out”, and there are periods of increased and decreased demand periods during the course of a season.  Of course, the “flavor” of dynamic pricing that should be used varies depending on the characteristics of the business. (Evan went into detail about this here).

Greg Spathias, Manager of Partner Analytics and Enablement at Liftopia, noted that his team “observed similar fluctuations in demand at parks and attractions and ski resorts. Both types of businesses benefit from optimizing pricing strategy for individual days and maximizing revenue over key holiday periods.”

Greg and his team have also found that “all days are not valued equally in the eyes of the consumer”.

“Each day has a different level of demand,” explains Greg. “Our model uses past visitation and observed intent to correctly identify which days should be priced higher and lower relative to other days within the season, and how those prices should move over time.”

The response to Liftopia’s revenue management model and full-service e-commerce platform has been significant.  In the past year, the number of partners outside of the ski industry using Liftopia’s pricing model and e-commerce platform has almost tripled, with more and more new water parks and attractions choosing to partner with Liftopia.  Evan Reece, CEO, believes Liftopia has a unique perspective when it comes to understanding direct e-commerce businesses, attracting different types of high volume ticket sellers.

“We offer something very unique as being both a technology platform and service provider,” says Reece. “There are very few companies that offer pricing or e-commerce services that also have experience actually running a consumer brand.”

As a result of the company’s growth outside of the ski industry, Liftopia has evolved and developed it’s products, adding increased functionality for group tickets and birthday parties, time slots, and hard caps, to name a few. While some of these features were initially introduced to fill a need for e-commerce within the attractions industry, they are certainly applicable to our core ski business as well.

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