Liftopia, the startup offering consumers discounts on ski tickets and other snow-related activities, is today launching a new e-commerce platform for the ticket sellers themselves called “Cloud Store by Liftopia .” The service will be offered for free to any mountain resort for use on their own websites (including mobile), starting first in North America, then followed by resorts in Europe. Once up-and-running, Cloud Store allows the resort to sell tickets using variable pricing – similar to how airline tickets, hotel stays and car rentals are sold today.
The idea behind the new system is to give the resorts more control over their ticket prices on a daily basis – and it’s a timely launch, given one of the worst ski seasons in recent history. On bad days, resorts can offer deep discounts to entice skiers to head out. On good days, the discounts (if any) may not be as low.
Liftopia says it has been piloting the program with 15 resorts in North America, including Park City, Utah, Whiteface, Crystal Mountain (Mich.), Mad River Glen, and Bretton Woods. The participating resorts grew their Liftopia revenue by as much as 12x year-over-year, the company is now reporting.
For example, the first pilot resort, a small regional resort, sold more than $240,000 in season passes during October, before there was any snowfall. Another generated $25,000 in net revenue on the first day of implementation, and made more than $11,000 in daily net revenue before the season’s end. A small New England resort sold $15,000 worth of lift tickets in the first two hours following an email blast which pointed users to the Cloud Store system.
The system is powered by the same technology that Liftopia already uses to sell lift tickets online, but is designed for integration into the resort’s own websites using their own branding. In addition, it offers mobile integration, social integration and social sharing tools, support for product merchandising, and, of course, data and analytics to help the resort determine demand and adjust pricing accordingly.
Although the system itself is available for free, Liftopia takes a cut of the tickets sold through the service. The company doesn’t disclose how much, but it’s a sliding revenue share, based on volume.
Liftopia raised $1.3 million in October from First Round Capital, Dave Morin, Chris Sacca, Erik Blanchford and Sam Shank, bringing its total funding to nearly $3 million.
Update: Liftopia doesn’t think it’s fair to call this a white label system, because although it’s built on top of the same tech and lets the resorts do custom branding, the system offers a “more robust suite of tools and analytics” than Liftopia.com did.