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Adored Helps Gunstock Mountain Market to Loyal Customers, Attract New Ones

The all-season resort is one of dozens of New Hampshire and Massachusetts businesses using the beacon-based service to send promotional offers to participating consumers, based on their anonymized location and behavioral history.
By Claire Swedberg

"When Cory came to us, we had been looking at beacons but didn't have the software," says Bill Quigley, Gunstock's director of marketing and sales. "We're already terribly engaged with our guests," he says, noting, for instance, that Gunstock offers targeted e-mails to consistent guests and customers. The resort had also offered an app, but that gained little traction. "There are tons of apps out there," he states.

Therefore, the resort opted to try the Adored app, which offers a much larger following (it has had 10,000 downloads to date), since consumers can use the app at a variety of locations, not just in ski areas. By becoming an active member of Adored, von Wallenstein predicts, the resort will have access not only to existing guests, but to potentially new visitors as well. Since only about 10 percent of those 10,000 app users may be skiers, Gunstock could market to non-skiers, too, based on their behavior. If an individual visits an active outdoor brand store, for instance, and then a coffee shop, Gunstock could offer him or her a coupon for a zipline tour at the resort during summer months.

Gunstock installed Bluetooth beacons at the base of each lift, as well as at its restaurant.
For three weeks in March 2015, Gunstock and Adored piloted the app on the mountain, encouraging visitors to sign up for the app and offering such incentives as a discounted lift ticket for another day. About 200 people downloaded the app during the first weekend, about 5 percent of whom redeemed the lift ticket. Those were encouraging numbers to start with, von Wallenstein and Quigley felt. However, Quigley says, he also saw value in smaller offerings, and so the pilot included $1 off the price of a draft beer at the resort's restaurant. The redemption rate on the beer discount was 150 percent, he reports, meaning that people came back for more.

The beacons are installed at the lifts and restaurant, and remain there now, over the summer, continuing to collect data from those who have downloaded the app. Quigley hopes to begin using the technology to target non-skiers, as well as its existing customers, for the upcoming ski season. If there are only 1,000 skiers among the 10,000 consumers who have downloaded the app so far, he says, "I want those 9,000 people who aren't traditional skiers." But he wants to offer incentives and coupons that are of value only to those individuals who seem, based on their behavior, to be interested. "They've honored us by letting us in the phone in their pocket," he says, adding that his goal is to ensure Gunstock isn't wasting their time with unwanted offers.

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