Limiting Capacity Article 1 of 4 – Passholder Reservations
Jul 23rd, 2020

How is your resort planning on managing the capacity restrictions that may be necessary this winter?

Capacity restrictions are something we all hope we don’t have to deal with. However, with the current uncertainty, it is best to be prepared.

Most resorts have many different guest types and products to consider when implementing a plan to restrict capacity.  Resort Passholders, partnerships such as Mountain Collective, IKON and Epic, daily and multi day tickets, wholesale and group tickets, buddy tickets, and adaptive guests are just a few that need to be considered.

While sales and reservation processes are key, the guest experience upon arrival will be essential to resort success. For example, implementing processes that require guests to verify products or check in before heading up the lift, may result in lineups with many guests congregating in offices and at ticket windows.

Aspenware’s deep integration with resort point-of-sale systems means we are uniquely positioned to provide solutions that offer a superior guest experience both online and in resort. Aspenware will be taking a deep dive into these different guest types, and how resorts can implement restrictions that work for your guests, and support a contactless experience in the resort.  In this article we will focus on Passholders.

The Resort Season Pass Holder.

Passholders expect that they can show up to the lift, any day of the season, with full flexibility. But this may not be possible this winter depending on the mix of visitors at your resort.

Can your resort support unlimited passholder usage?

Some resorts we are working with are planning their entire capacity strategy around their passholders so they can support unlimited passholder usage. Each resort has a very different product and guest mix so you will need to assess your unique situation and determine if this is a possibility for you.

To determine if this is possible at your resort, you should try and determine what your maximum daily capacity (Daily Max) is.  Determining your daily max is likely a moving target, so you may need to model a few different scenarios.  Once you have your potential Daily Max numbers we recommend you:

  1. Take a look at your visitation numbers from the last few seasons and determine how many passholders ski each day (Daily Passholders). Are there any days in the season when the number of passholders on your mountain is greater than your Daily Max?
  2. Think about your seasons pass sales for winter 20/21. Do you expect to sell more passes this year than you have in previous years? Do you think additional sales will push the Daily Passholders over your Daily Max?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you will likely need to limit passholder usage in some way. Alternatively, if your passes are still on sale you could consider capping the number of passes you sell so your Daily Passholder usage is less than your Daily Max. If there is a huge demand for your passes, you may consider yielding up the price of your pass. This could curb demand and increase your yield on pass products.

After looking at the numbers, if there is enough room between your Daily Max and Daily Passholders to accommodate additional guests, you could allow your passholders unlimited access and restrict your other products.

If you have a very high percentage of passholders that visit your resort and your Daily Max is less than your Daily Passholders, or if you heavily rely on day tickets to increase your yield and revenue, then limiting passholder usage could be necessary.

How you can limit Passholder usage.

If unlimited passholder visitation is not an option you can require that passholders make a reservation for each day they want to ski or ride. You can allocate a certain amount of your Daily Max to passholders and the remainder to your other products.

Aspenware offers the following capabilities for passholder reservations and fulfillment.

  • Aspenware Commerce with RTP|ONE provides the ability to limit a “Passholder Reservation” to only display to guests who have purchased a seasons pass. In addition, Aspenware can add a validation prompt to a reservation product that checks a guest’s eligibility prior to purchase. This prevents the need to verify eligibility in resort.
  • Aspenware Commerce also supports a new calendar view that shows the number of “Passholder Reservation” spots available each day and syncs with the inventory available in your Point of Sale.

With these features, a passholder reservation experience could look like this.

  • Guest logs into a Resort’s Aspenware Commerce Site. If the guest is a passholder they will see the “Passholder Reservation” product.
  • If there is inventory available, the guest can select the date and add this $0 product to their cart. You could charge a small reservation fee to avoid no shows.
  • Aspenware will validate that the guest assigned to the reservation product is a passholder in the POS.
  • Guest completes the order and goes directly to the lift without having to stop at a ticket window to validate eligibility.

Other ideas to deal with limiting passholder capacity include a draw or lottery for the days passholders can ski. Some resorts are considering not offering season passes this season and everyone needs to purchase tickets online in advance. Are there other options you are considering?

Limiting capacity this winter is something that is keeping all of us in the Ski Industry scratching our heads and planning for the ifs and buts. At Aspenware, we are working hard to provide you with solutions to ensure a successful winter 20/21 and we have many options available in our ecommerce platform.

Follow us on LinkedIn to be notified when we publish the remaining 3 articles on Limiting Capacity. Email us at to discuss how we can support limiting your capacity this winter. We are here to help.


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