Belleayre needs boost

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Dear Liz:
Our members have several questions regarding March promotions. We think that the 185,000 BOGOs (Buy One, Get One) that you allowed Coke to distribute to their vendors should significantly increase the ticket sales for the month. However, we did an extensive search for any Coke promotion of Belleayre and we were not able to find any. Also, I had a family stay this weekend and they had a kid ski FREE coupon for their 17-year-old. Is this another promotion that we were excluded from?

For the past 10 years, under the Lanza administration, we were given BOGOs to not only promote our places but also Belleayre Ski Center. Our members want to know why we were excluded from what was really our baby? We find it amazing, and not in a good way, that all the marketing programs that Tony was criticized for are being used by our competitors and given to venders at our exclusion. We understand that Coke is paying a fee to help your bottom line, which appears to be your number one priority, but filling our rooms also drops to the bottom line.

In your correspondence, you also stated that you were disappointed in the midweek ticket sales holiday week and inferred that a lower price point made little difference. We find that insulting to our intelligence. It was obvious to all of us that we were going to lose our usual business that week since most of the school districts were not closing because of days lost to the hurricane. We also related that to Mr. Blazer at our private meeting. After the meeting, Mr. Blazer announced during his speech that he made mistakes and we would see changes in the Belleayre marketing program. So far, all we got was Ski Wee, the four midweek-days when nobody was coming anyway.

We are asking you to immediately fix the present situation and allow us to sell BOGO tickets for the remainng ski season to be used on consecutive days as an incentive for skiers to stay over and to make all lift tickets $30 or less good for any day. We are not asking for anymore than what you are giving your vendors. As of now we have almost no reservations for this week and last midweek was disaster as I’m sure you can tell by your ticket sales. Waiting till Easter just doesn’t cut it. In fact, that too is insulting.

While I’m at it, I would also like to suggest that the Belleayre team research the marketing programs of all the ski centers in the five-state area every week and send a report to you. I find it amazing what the other areas are doing. I have been skiing at Hunter for $19 any midweek day. The cost was buying one discounted lift ticket good for any day. Our clients are used to discounts after the first week of March and we are still at 15 percent, which was terrible to begin.

Robert Konefal, president
Belleayre Region Lodging and Tourism Association