Resort Launches Skiing Mobile App
Colorado-based Vail Resorts has introduced a mobile app that allows skiers to track details about their skiing days and rides, and share the information with friends online. The application called EpicMix uses technology embedded on chairlift tickets and passes, to communicate with radio-frequency scanners and calculate the vertical feet skied, runs and days spent on the mountain and recognise special achievements. Guests will have an option to check their progress online or on the mobile app for free and share the statistics and accomplishments automatically through websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook friends will also be updated about their friends' skiing schedules. Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, said no one would see the riders' data unless customers opt for the function, and the company doesn't plan to share the data with third parties. Riders also can disable the radio-frequency chip. Scanners are installed at 89 chairlifts across five mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly in California. Mr Katz said digital media has been a "huge positive" for the ski business, with websites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare helping to reach out to customers and non-customers alike. He added: "This is taking the real experience of skiing and action sports and marrying it with social media in a way that doesn't require anybody to do anything new. "People don't have to take out their phones from their pockets or wear a new gadget."