Sexy, for sure. Practical? Not even close. Ten bucks says under ten people in the world end up qualifying. This is a great example of how "discount" packages are put together not for reasons of practicality, but for reasons of publicity (just ask our sis VegasChatter about the $250K bottle of champagne). The idea of getting a free pass for next year sounds great -- and will thus attract media coverage -- but in reality it does little good for anyone and is, in part, an empty offer on the part of Hyatt.
What's happening across the industry -- not only with ski packages but with all packages -- is that hotels are front loading their own benefit within the offers instead of relying on their performance to recoup them on the back end via, say, repeat business due to a pleasant experience one had while taking advantage of the deal. No. Today, "deals" are these mega-packages for which you pay $530/night. When you book this, the hotel makes its money right then and there. With $100-off coupons, the hotel must meet or exceed your expectations and entice you to come back before the deal benefits its cause.
Based on this round of submissions we received, we're not so sure ski resorts/destinations really care about attracting budget travelers -- after all, how many $12 apres cocktails can they afford? And we understand that, but isn't the textbook definition of a deal centered around the idea of pushing numbers and giving people experiences they normally couldn't afford? And isn't that what's going to inspire them to splurge in the future when they do have the money?
Consider this an official New Year's resolution: We're done peddling these so-called "package deals." This is a total mea culpa moment for us -- we take responsibility for not coming to this realization sooner. Part of the reason these packages exist is because media outlets such as ourselves have played along and written about them. From now on, we promise to pass on to you only true deals (ski and otherwise) that are actually designed to give people a taste of a property at a discount. We want hotels to show us something -- anything -- that makes us believe that the deals they roll out aren't designed more for the sake of publicity than practicality.
And with that, we bid you a happy 2014 and happy travels.