Date of Defense

Spring 4-2010




snow sports, Winter activities


This project was intended to increase the understanding of skiers and snowboarders at Bittersweet Ski Area in Southwest Michigan. Measuring the attitudes, habits, and demographics of these groups should lead to improved marketing and sales for local ski areas. This study consisted of self-administered surveys completed by 74 participants at Bittersweet Ski Area. The surveys were completed in March 2010. The survey included sections to measure ski/snowboard habits, attitudes on skiing/snowboarding, importance of certain ski area attributes, and demographic traits. Recommendations include:

  • Encourage group activities. The majority of respondents acknowledged that they like to ski/snowboard with a group and this could be a good way to attract and retain customers.
  • Those skiers and snowboarders who ski the most tend to consider themselves avid and modern athletes, building loyalty among them is important to retain such a lucrative group of customers.
  • Advertise heavily in Southwest Michigan, but don't neglect areas such as Chicago, IL and Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Promote affordability and convenience as they are the two most important attributes of a ski to many customers.
  • Promote the available family season pass rate. Over half the season pass holders surveyed had dependents in their household.

The most significant limitation was the high sampling error, ±11%, due to a sample size of only 74. The survey was also only administered over the course of one day, limiting the variability within the population.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only