Vail Turns To Social Media Technology To Connect With Guests

Vail Resorts, the firm which operates Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly, is going whole hog on the latest technology trends, and said today that it has unveiled a new online and mobile application which uses RFID, social networking, and social badges to allow guests to track the amount of vertical feet skiied and days at the firm's various resorts. Vail said its EpicMix application uses RF chips embedded in season passes and lift tickets, which will digitally capture information about their ski and ride experiences.

The application includes such things as "collectible digital pins" for special achievements and accomplishments, and ability to share their experience with family and friends on Facebook and Twitter. The firm said the collectible digital pins are much like the various awards given in social check-in applications like Gowalla. The social connections into Facebook include the ability to see where other friends are skiing on the mountain, and whether any of their other Facebook friends are skiing, among other information.

Vail said the new applications are free, and can be downloaded for iPhone, Android, or other smart phones. The tracking capabilities are included in all of Vail's season passes and PEAKS lift tickets, and are given to all guests. The firm said that RF scanners are being installed at all of its 89 lifts at its five mountain resorts.