Part 1. Introduction: Relative Metrics in Ski and Other Industries

(This is Part 1 of 3 of our Series: Assessing E-Commerce Performance)

So, we’re part way through the season, and you might be wondering, “is my e-commerce strategy working?”. It can be hard to tell sometimes, when so many factors, from pricing to weather to snow conditions, affect online sales performance year-over-year. Rather than assess your e-commerce performance vs. last year, or the year before, we recommend relying on relative metrics to see how things are looking vs. your competitors or the rest of the industry over the same time frame.

While these types of metrics are well-used in other industries (for example, hotel uses “Revenue per available room” known as RevPAR), they are still relatively new in ski. Why does a hotel use something like RevPAR? The quick answer is that it’s a universal comparison metric for an industry full of disparate properties. It allows the comparison of days to other days, months to other months, properties relative other properties, markets to other markets and everything in between.

So, what can we use in ski? The answer is RevPASS. You may remember our introduction of RevPASS last season, but now that it’s been a while, it’s worth bringing up again since it’s time to take a closer look at your season-to-date performance.  Since many of you likely operate hotel properties as well, the table below shows metrics frequently used in hotel (and airlines) and their equivalent metrics in the ski industry.

ConsumptionSeat Miles,
Room Nights,
Tickets, Visits
Average PriceAverage Ticket
Average Daily
ETP, Yield
CapacityAvailable Seat
# RoomsVTF/hr
Relative MetricRASMRevPARRevPASS

As a reminder, RevPASS is a metric designed to compare ski areas using revenue relative to a common denominator (VTF/hr). Vertical feet per hour (VTF/hr) measures a resort’s uphill capacity by the number of skiers that a mountain can move uphill over the course of an hour. It is calculated by dividing revenue by (VTF/hr*days in range) and can be used to compare the relative success of a day, a week, a month, a year, a product type, etc.

In our next post, we’ll show an example calculation of how to use RevPASS to compare your ski resort to others in the industry.

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