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The 49° North Mountain Resort

Patricia Nemetz (Eastern Washington University)
Wendy Eager (Eastern Washington University)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 1 July 2005



Marketing at ski resorts presents an interesting challenge because of the variety of resort types associated with the industry. At one end of the marketing spectrum are the so‐called destination resorts that trade on an image of glitz and glamour. Much of the marketing talent needed to run such resorts is to be found in large corporate departments that promote everything from upscale real estate to televised events studded with celebrities. At the other end of the spectrum are small local resorts, often owned by entrepreneurs, whose marketing activities are for the most part limited to finding the right marketing mix for the sport itself. In contrast to the myriad of activities associated with larger facilities, smaller resorts tend to focus more on product, price, promotion, and place. An interesting problem develops when smaller resorts seek to leapfrog their current market position by expanding their size. This case study examines the 49° North Mountain Resort, a small, privately owned skiing facility in Washington state that is seeking to expand. Before investing in expansion activities, entrepreneurs must carry out an accurate assessment of market potential and financial risk – by no means an easy task. One possible technique for ascertaining risk is to link a forecasted growth in revenues to improvements in facilities and operations. An entrepeneur with some prior access to a history of market behavior clearly has an advantage over those with only a limited sense of how a radically new product or service is likely to perform. The present study provides data that should prove useful to anyone attempting to judge whether an expansion is desirable. It also describes the marketing mix that has brought some stability to the resort’s financial performance. Market and quantitative data are available for analysis, but are other factors important as well? Should the resort maintain its current marketing mix, or should it target a more lucrative market?



Nemetz, P. and Eager, W. (2005), "The 49° North Mountain Resort", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 48-74.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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