Caberfae Peaks, celebrating its 81st season this winter, is a family run ski resort located in Cadillac, Michigan. Since the early 1980s, the Meyer family has owned Caberfae Peaks, pouring its heart into the resort with continuous developments and maintaining its reputation as the “Midwest Ski Capital”. The resort is currently operated by Pete and Tim Meyer, who handle Sales & Marketing / Rentals / Ticketing and Mountain Operations / Grooming / Snowmaking, respectively. Needless to say, both men wear many hats.
Caberfae Peaks first started selling lift tickets on Liftopia.com during winter 2008-2009 and began using Catalate’s white-label ecommerce platform, Cloud Store, as one of its first adopters. A few days before his season pass launch in 2011, Pete serendipitously met Catalate CEO, Evan Reece, at a conference, and shared that he wanted to take his season pass sale that August online. By the end of the conference, the two struck a deal, and Pete was up and running with his passes on Cloud Store a few days after that. That winter season, Caberfae started selling date-specific tickets online on its own website as well using Cloud Store.
Since Caberfae Peaks’ first-season on Cloud Store, it has seen growth in online ticket sales average 53% year-over-year each winter for the past ten seasons, and consistent growth in annual skier visitation. Despite being an old school resort in many ways, Caberfae Peaks continues to dazzle its visitors with improvements year after year, which is possible as a result of the resort’s ability to grow its revenue and visitation. Major improvements over the past ten years include advancements in snowmaking, new chair lifts, and a completely renovated hotel and base area.
Since its first season on Cloud Store, Caberfae Peaks has also seen its percentage of ticket sales sold online grow from less than 5 percent to over 50 percent. As the resort has moved towards greater advanced sales, Tim is able to use data from Catalate to more effectively plan the resort’s operations.
Now that we sell much of our revenue online, we’re able to make important operating decisions in advance that we couldn’t do otherwise, such as plan staffing levels, and make snowmaking/grooming decisions,” says Tim Meyer.
While Tim focuses on infrastructure upgrades (like installing a new triple chairlift last winter), Pete works with Catalate to develop and implement a dynamic pricing strategy each season for Liftopia.com and Cloud Store to maximize pre-sold online bookings. Liftopia.com helps Caberfae Peaks reach an audience it couldn’t reach alone with a clear return on marketing spend, allowing customers who might not necessarily know about it otherwise to discover the resort. In the summer months, Caberfae Peaks sells Golf Memberships, Tee Times, and Season Passes through Cloud Store as well. When asked what he likes most about Cloud Store, Pete quickly says, “I like that this is something I can outsource. The system works, and it works really well. There is no doubt we’ve seen growth in our business.”
As a small resort who doesn’t use a Point-of-Sale system at all for ticketing, Cloud Store was the best choice for Caberfae Peaks years ago, and continues to be today.
“Cloud Store provided us a technology option independent from the legacy POS software available” said Pete Meyer. “We really use Catalate as our POS, even collecting skier rental information ahead of time so we can set rentals the night before and delight our guests.”
Caberfae Peaks aspires to remain a leader in dynamic pricing and technology. The Meyers recognize that revenue and skier growth, driven partly by pricing-empowered e-commerce, enable them to continue to make Caberfae better than ever, and providing the best ski experience in the Midwest is their ultimate goal.