If you ever have wondered how to alienate a majority of your clientele, the new owners over at Windham Mountain just pulled it off with a single social media post. Earlier this year, the ski resort was sold to new owners, and they promised major investments. Over the last week, the New York ski resort has been teasing some monumental changes on its social media channels.

On Monday, everyone figured out what these vague teasers were about: Windham Mountain is rebranding, and they’re adding a bunch of amenities that cater to luxury travelers.

Over the next couple of years, Windham be spending more than $70 million on projects to make it a four-season destination resort. These investments will include four new restaurants for the 2023-24 season, snowmaking improvements, a major mechanical upgrade to the East Side Express, a new luxury spa, gym and fitness club, an adventure hub, pools, and racquet sports facilities, upgrades to their golf course, and an amphitheater.

Chip Seamans, who’s the President of the Windham Mountain Club, gave their new mission statement in the press release:

“Our goal is to provide the best overall skiing and riding experience in the Northeast. With uncrowded slopes for members and the public, our ski racing and development programs, and extraordinary culinary offerings, we aim to create a remarkable end-to-end experience at Windham Mountain Club.”

A portion of these new amenities and activities will be only available to those who have community memberships at the ski resort, with the memberships likely going on sale in November. Skiing access will remain public, but ticket sales will be capped, and they won’t sell day lift tickets during peak periods. Ikon Passholders will need to make reservations to access the ski resort.

Their tagline for this new era? Say Goodbye To Windham Mountain. I’ve never skied at Windham, and even this slogan annoyed me. It sounds like they’re taking the ski area out back and shooting it. With this rebrand, they announced a new name: the Windham Mountain Club.

They also launched a new website, which is pretty superficial. I’m surprised with this, especially with the beginning of ski season being relatively close. Unlike their previous website, there are not many details about the ski resort. You can still buy season passes (which have become ridiculously expensive) and reserve lodging, but that’s basically all you can do on the website right now.

The website now comes with weird marketing buzzwords like A Rare Time In Rarified Air… what does that even mean?

Reactions on social media tend to give you a good idea of how people are feeling about the change. With more than 350 comments on Instagram, you can say people brought out their pitchforks. Here are the comments that received the most likes:

  • This is the worst possible way to break news. [Do] You think the general public who have enjoyed this mountain for so many years will be open to saying “goodbye”??? Pathetic. I am blown away with frustration. This is nearly unbelievable, but then I think about how somebody who can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for private experience is just too selfish to think about how this impacts SO MANY LIVES. Forget me, who was privileged enough to spend my weekends exploring this mountain from an early age. How about the employees? Or the residents? Or the town? And all of the small businesses surrounding the mountain? Please enlighten the general public on what will happen to them! Thoroughly disappointed.”
  • “You should fire the 12-year-old who made your website.”
  • “Screw this, the last thing the NY ski industry needs is [a] more expensive and less accessible option. Decisions like this are ruining the industry.”

There’s nothing wrong with Windham pursuing richer clientele, as there’s clearly a market for them with the ski resort being close to the New York City metropolitan area. When you do this though, you need to make sure the people who have supported you locally for decades are not left out. Unfortunately, the way they have handled this situation has disrespected long-time guests and locals.

Ultimately, this whole situation is a great example of how not to do a rebrand.

Image/Video Credits: Windham Mountain Club, Federico Brsk/Paramount Pictures

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Have any post ideas or corrections? Reach out to me: ian@unofficialnetworks.com.