Snowbasin was selected among a strong field of ski areas from across the US. The other two finalists were Boreal Mountain Resort in California and Les Sommets in Quebec, Canada.
NSAA launched the initiative in 2010 as a way to pique competition among member ski areas and recognize those who make significant strides to boost conversion rates. The winner is chosen based upon proven results, creative ideas, consistent execution, and long-term commitment to the conversion effort. Several key metrics are used in the judging process, including beginner lesson volumes; quantifiable success of beginner lesson packages; season-to-date sales and repeat sales data collection; and marketing ingenuity and use of new media.
Snowbasin won the honor largely based on the success of its Learn & Earn Program, which is focused on instilling a sense of inclusivity among newcomers and creating lifelong participants in snowboarding and skiing. The three-year program, introduced in 2016-17, provides a roadmap and incentives along the way to becoming a core participant.
Year one of Learn & Earn includes three all-day group lessons, seasonal rental of ski or snowboard equipment, and a season pass upon completion of the third lesson. In the fall, guests are invited to the resort to get fitted for equipment, meet the instructor staff, become familiar with the resort, and get answers to any questions they may have. One hundred percent of last season’s Learn & Earn participants finished all three lessons, while this season’s results show an 81 percent completion rate as of mid-February 2018, when the resort submitted its award application.
Graduates of the year one Learn & Earn program are eligible for the year two program—Learn, Earn & Return—which consists of three additional group lessons, a season pass, and purchase of their own equipment—all for $499 (youth price) or $599 (adult price). A remarkable 71 percent of last season’s never-evers purchased the Learn, Earn & Return program or bought their own season pass this past winter.
Year three of the program (the 2018-19 season) will continue the momentum with a premier season pass, a private lesson, and numerous other special perks.
One unique component of Snowbasin’s application is that the youth Learn & Earn program is offered in partnership with the Davis County Education Foundation, which provides financial support to the public school district in nearby Davis County. A portion of the profits from Learn & Earn are donated to the Foundation.
"It’s fantastic to see the energy and enthusiasm for growing skiing and riding from all the resorts across the country", said Kelly Pawlak, NSAA president/CEO. "The success of Snowbasin’s program is impressive and, along with the other winners of the Conversion Cup, provides a model for areas to consider as they develop and refine their own programs. Congratulations to Snowbasin!".