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Information is Powder

Enhanced information system delivers major uptick to ski resort guest experience

To make the most of the downhill ski experience, skiers and boarders need information. Real-time lift and trail statuses, weather, a dynamic trail map and resort information are essential to creating a positive and safe day on the slopes. Alpine Media Technology delivers the goods with LiftDigital, a unique visual “tablet” device that sits along the bar on chairlifts and in gondolas.

LiftDigital represents a tremendous improvement over the standard “info boards” that skiers can access at the base of runs before they head out. Resorts are seeing the benefits and coming on board in an effort to deliver best-in-class service to guests. One operator, Alterra Mountain Company, owner of 14 year-round mountain destinations in the U.S. and Canada, has partnered with Alpine Media to offer the LiftDigital system to resort guests. For the 2018/19 season, Alpine Media Technology was featured at Alterra Mountain Company’s Winter Park Resort and Steamboat in Colorado.

Alterra saw that skiers were spending up to 75 minutes each day on the chairlift. With Alpine’s All Mountain Platform (AMP) – a system that uses LiftDigital – gondola and chairlift passengers can now have access to relevant, real-time content; allowing them to maximize their day. LiftDigital provides digital trail maps, lift open/closed status reports, trail status and grooming reports, weather information, resort events information, emergency messaging and even live camera feeds to show traffic and road conditions. AMP rounds it out by providing this same content to large indoor and outdoor displays across the resort and a mobile app.

According to Ryan Blanchard, director of brand partnerships for Alterra Mountain Company, the technology has given the resort operator the ability to drive ongoing, useful and desirable content to help skiers maximize their time at Alterra destinations.

This view is echoed by C.A. Lane, general manager of Winter Park Resort in Colorado, “We are excited to better inform our guests no matter where they are on the mountain, and we believe this new platform will help our guests have a much more efficient day. And, when the need arises to put out any emergency messaging, we can now get it out immediately with extensive coverage.”

Keep your phone in your pocket

Skiing is all about getting out into nature and experiencing the wind on your face and the brilliant gleam of snow crystals. Alpine Media gets this. According to Jeff Connors, Alpine Media co-founder and chief engineer, the Alpine team was very sensitive to the total guest experience when designing the LiftDigital platform. 

“Our system has no sound and the LiftDigital screens lay in low profile on the lift bar, out of the direct line of sight. This makes useful and relative content just a glance away without disrupting the views of some of the world’s most beautiful resorts,” he said, noting that the team at Alpine Media are avid skiers themselves. “Our mission from the beginning has been to provide resort guests with as much useful, real-time information as possible to help them navigate their day and be able to keep their phones in their pockets while doing so. It was very rewarding to see several years of research and development come to life at Winter Park last year, with guests embracing our platform.”

The idea from the outset was to create a one-stop-shop where all the information pieces would go to a single portal for distribution to all points at the resort. “Guests are their most attentive when they are on the chair or on the gondola,” said Garin Gustafson, marketing director, Alpine Media Technology. “We saw this as an opportunity to create an information system that was all encompassing yet unobtrusive,” he said, reiterating that there is no audio component, only video.

The trail map on the right screen is always in view while the left-side screen rotates among six content categories. Gustafson reports that last year Alpine Media undertook a five-chair test at Winter Park in Colorado. The success of the test earned the company a long-term contract with Alterra. “There is much room for growth both in terms of content development and our footprint. Our goal is to cover the U.S. resort market before heading into the E.U. and other international regions.”

Alpine Media Technology is headed by trio Freddie Peyerl, Gerrit Van de Kemp and Jeff Connors. While each comes from different career backgrounds such as financial services, pharmaceutical consulting and aerospace engineering, each were avid skiers and could see the power of a centralized digital information site on the mountain.

According to Van de Kemp the concept was born out of their experiences skiing in the mountains, “The three of us were on a ski trip together and a simple discussion on the growing presence of gas station media systems led to a weekend-long brainstorming session surrounding the idea that digital information systems on chairlifts could provide a great number of benefits to maximize guest experiences.”

Alpine Media’s website says it all when it states: “Information is Powder.” Help resort guests discover more powder, more carving, more ski excitement with better real-time data when they need it most. Check out to get the drift on this new resort system.