Baldy Mountain Resort began in 1968 in “Wine Country”—the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Locals have fond memories of skiing at Baldy as children, where the snow is regarded as ski-superior to Whistler, and the destination less touristy.
The resort began to experience financial troubles and eventually went into receivership, closing for the 2015-2016 season. Investors sought to revive the resort with one million dollars, and 150 days of planning and labour for 20 projects, including a new branding identity and new website—in time for their December 1, 2016 launch.
Because the resort would not evolve to its fullest potential for several years yet, we needed to create a brand identity that was fresh, polished, but not so slick and modern as to lead skiers to expect a five-star resort. It would need to be flexible to evolve with the ski resort, and need to remind its already loyal community of skiers of the old Baldy.
Brand identities should evolve as the brand evolves with the culture and its community of users. Such a dramatic event in the life of Baldy Mountain Resort—receivership and new ownership—allowed us to feel free to create something totally new. However, knowing the local community would want to immediately embrace the new resort with their nostalgia, we wanted a vintage look to the brand and something that people would want to wear on t-shirts and sweat shirts like vintage Canadian Roots sweatshirts.
We wanted a logo that was instantly recognizable. The style of typeface harkens back to a 50’s aesthetic. The B is hand drawn and the Y traces the actual slope of Baldy Mountain. Despite the cursive typeface, the clean lines and lack of superfluous flourishes keep the logo gender neutral. It’s elegant, with clear letterforms which allow it to be legible even while very small in size. It’s a design that can last generations and can be played with during the holiday season, by adding a Santa hat to the skier, or a sleigh with reindeer, or children tobogganing, for example.
The colours are greyish in tint, historical, dusty, like vintage photography.
The skier immediately informs the purpose of the brand and can be swapped out for other resort purposes:
We were given an extremely tight deadline for the website and branding identity, but we pulled it off. We are still making changes as we go along. Currently, we are trying out a snow effect to add delight to the user experience, but, you tell us: Are you delighted or distracted? Testing is everything!
The website sells lift tickets, ski school tickets, passes, and more through a custom, intricate WooCommerce set up, using Beanstream as the payment processor.
And of course it remains responsive while on a mobile device.
In just a few short months, Baldy’s website is receiving over 66,000 web visits per month, and Facebook reach is over 76,000, in large part to marketing, event, and social media management by Carmella Consulting. Sales are so high that PayPal froze their account for months because they didn’t believe a brand new company could instantly do so many sales, prompting a move to Beanstream and a call to lawyers. (PayPal is no longer allowed to do this in the US, but they still do this in other countries. Sellers be warned!)
We hope to be able to reveal this year the results of a business proposal we wrote and designed for Baldy, for an exciting future development; in the meantime, we look forward to creating more products and designs for the Baldy Marathon coming this fall. We’re using the coral and yellow from the branding guide, and may be adding a wine purple accent colour to reference the vintner locale, the Okanagan Valley.
Both Lynne and I made it a goal about a year ago to learn to ski (me) and re-learn to ski (Lynne). Is it a coincidence that we had this opportunity to work for Baldy Mountain Resort, or do you believe we manifest our goals? I’m not sure what to believe about that but I can say I envy these skilled skiers and the lucky buyers who will be living at Mt. Baldy after the new real estate development is complete!
We love Baldy and hope you’ll consider them for your next ski or snowboarding adventure!
Natasha Clark, Partner at Risk Creative