How Sugar Bowl Resort upgraded its e-commerce software with Liftopia’s Cloud Store to take a leap forward in revenue performance. 


+72% increase in pre-sold revenue online

Goals & Challenges

Located at the top of Tahoe’s Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Resort is Tahoe’s closest resort to the Bay Area, drawing beginner and expert skiers alike. Founded in 1939 and rooted in tradition, Sugar Bowl is deeply committed to the guest experience, both on and off the mountain. Historically, Sugar Bowl tried several different e-commerce platforms to sell lift tickets online, but realized the purchasing experience for guests was not easy and feared they were missing an opportunity to book more revenue online, in-advance. Looking forward, Sugarbowl wanted to improve the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of it’s e-commerce platform to make sure their customers were getting the same excellent experience online as on the mountain.

Operating a ski resort in a weather-volatile region like California, Sugar Bowl recognized the value of booking revenue in advance to obtain skier-commitment. Providing guests with the best purchasing experience through Liftopia’s Cloud Store, along with the right pricing at the right time, would increase advanced sales and better insulate Sugar Bowl against unpredictable conditions.

“Liftopia’s Cloud Store is the clear leader in e-commerce to sell our tickets and passes.” said Jon Slaughter, Executive Director of Marketing and Sales. “Not only is the purchasing experience for our guests streamlined and easy, but the backend tools and reporting make it simple for us to handle accounting, redemption and reporting.”

By choosing to partner with Liftopia, Sugar Bowl got the best of both worlds; a best-in-class e-commerce software, in addition to full support teams to design and manage a pricing strategy that encouraged customers to book in advance, for specific-dates.

When Sugar Bowl switched from its previous provider to Cloud Store, it’s top goals were to:

  1. Increase revenue from lift tickets sold online, in advance
  2. Ensure a smooth transition from previous software to Liftopia’s Cloud Store, minimizing disruption of business operations
  3. Improve the purchasing experience for guests online, reducing customer service calls

Solutions & Results

  1. 72.19% increase in pre-booked revenue
  2. 82.30% increase in pre-booked units
  3. NPS score for ease of transaction increased by 36%

After only a single season using Cloud Store, Sugar Bowl was ecstatic with the results.

Jon Slaughter

Cloud Store really outperformed our expectations in terms of both usability for our customers and service for us. With past solutions, we’ve been left to manage the system on our own, but with Cloud Store, Liftopia’s support team helped us day in and day out to adjust pricing, train our staff, and make changes to our products during the busiest time of the year.

Liftopia’s 13+ years of experience in revenue management and pricing strategy, as well as software expertise, gave Sugar Bowl Resort the tools it needed to succeed in a difficult winter. Because Liftopia’s technology powers over 110+ Cloud Stores as well as the consumer website, its partners benefit from product improvements across the entire system and insights across a larger network of resorts. Liftopia is the only partner who could provide Sugar Bowl with detailed insights about its performance vs. other resorts across a variety of key performance metrics.

While Slaughter initially had some concerns about leaving a system Sugar Bowl had used for many years, the transition was smooth. “The Liftopia team did most of the heavy-lifting getting us set up on Cloud Store,” said Slaughter. “Since they work with so many partners, they could share best practices and tips to make the transition go as well as possible for our Guest Services, Accounting, and Marketing teams.”

As we gear up for Winter 2018-19, Sugar Bowl Resort is excited about what lays ahead. On Cloud Store, Sugar Bowl plans to increase its product offering to customers, extending the improved shopping experience to rental and lesson products as well.

Post Author: Kathryn Quinn

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