Monday, March 15, 2010

Trail Name Comparison

I have recently noticed how trail names can impact how a ski resort or even a specific bike trail is marketed. Take for example the two ski resorts of Ski Brule and Mount Bohemia. My brother AJ and I recently skied both of these resorts back to back. Ski Brule is marketed as the number one family resort in the Midwest. Mt. Bohemia is marketed as the most challenging and totally legit ski area in the Midwest. Yep, these two are polar opposites.

There are many factors that go into the creation of the different images that these resorts wish to present. The way they maintain their runs, structure their facilities, and the different events that they advertise all play a part in creating the desirable image in question.

While at first it may seem trivial, a large contributing factor to what kind of image a resort has is how they name their trails. For instance, a few of the names at Ski Brule. One of the runs is named “Timberdoodle”. Seriously, “Timberdoodle?” How cheesy can you get? Their most challenging run is the similarly named “Double Doodle.” Not quite as bad, but still pretty atrocious.

In comparison, Mount Bohemia bolsters their hardcore images with the names that they assign their runs. In keeping with the history of the region, many of the runs are named with a mining theme. Respectable, but those are not much of a help or hindrance to the image of the resort. The name “Extreme Backcountry,” while somewhat cheesy, is a really honest representation of that intense “Triple Black Diamond” area of the resort. Moving from there, the alien themed “Outer Limits” begins to add some eeriness. The image-through-names is culminated in the specific run names of the “Haunted Valley” area. The gruesome sounding “Thirsty Vampire” and “Cursing Werewolf” create a totally different vibe than any name with the word “Doodle” in it.

The names of different ski runs play an important role in giving a ski resort a specific sort of environment. Has anyone found this to be the case with mountain bike trails as well?


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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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