The 7/15 CCSAA Round Table Zoom Call was centered around the ski area rental operation.

Please remember that his is a very fluid situation and that we are discussing solutions for the situation we believe we will be in as winter nears.

We understand that every Nordic center presents its own set of parameters and limitations, and that there will not be a one solution that fits all Nordic centers.  We also are concerned with any reduction of capacity and are looking at how to create new systems that do not rely on cutting our existing skier capacity or any revenue stream.

Call Audio:  Rental Operations in the COVID-19 Environment – 7/15/20

Interestingly, many ski areas were  not overly concerned about flow at the rental area and are not planning any kind of reservation system.

Below are simple take a ways from the call:

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    • Brittany Perkins – Programs Manager of the Crested Butte Nordic Center, CO
    • Nick Mahood – Nordic Director, Woodstock Nordic Center, VT
    • Richard Hodges – Nordic Director White Pine Nordic, UT
    • Robert Lazzaroni – Salomon Nordic Director

Discussion

  • The conversation began by asking our panelists about the % of day ticket sales that also included rentals. That number ranged for 40% to 85%.  Understanding the number of skiers that also rent could be helpful in looking at your payment stations and how to space out your customers in your space.
  • Biggest challenge of existing rental operations includes:
    • Space in the rental shop
    • Time to fit boots and explain how the equipment works
    • Running out of equipment during peak times
  • Solution for making your rental shop more efficient
    • Reduce the number of same person rentals over the course of the year
      • Offer multi day rentals
      • Move frequent rentals to owners of new gear
      • Buy your rental gear now
    • Reallocation of existing space
      • Utilize unused indoor space to expand your footprint providing more square footage for guests
      • Utilize outdoor space when possible
    • Create more space
      • New buildings, yurts
      • Neighboring building not used for your operation
    • Create a reservation system
      • Simple – call or email the Nordic center
      • Use an online system similar to what restaurants and golf courses use.
      • Simple proprietary system
      • Sophisticated online reservation system and inventory management add on.
      • Other discussion
        • Equipment turns
          • Many felt that equipment could be turned multiple times after sanitizing. It was noted that boots may be wet as a result of the sanitizing solution, but many wet boots were rented in previous years also.
          • How best to disinfect,
            • Follow the CDC guidelines for approved disinfectants
            • UV Light systems
            • Ozone Systems
          • Adding a boot fitting barrier similar to a sneeze guard
        • Elements for future discussion
          • If you have a reservation system, what do you do about walk ups?
          • During those peak times, how will you manage the guests to keep staff and guests as safe as possible?
          • Similar to ticket sales, it is important to get equipment renters inside where the retail shop is.
          • Push purchase as a better option than rentals for those multi renters
          • What messaging will you use
          • Issues with boot fit and guests not knowing their shoe size
            • Fischer Scan Fit

 

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