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How long is the lift queue?
Saturday August 15, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

Vail Resorts in the USA is introducing an App next season in selected resorts that advises on waiting times at lifts in real-time. It is the first time such a service has been offered.

It is being billed as something of a breakthrough.

It is certainly innovative.

Using information from digital lift passes and smart phones the resort will be able to advise people on how long the queues at any given lift might be.

It is to be installed next season at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado.

In 2016-17 it will be rolled out at the other ski areas that Vail Resorts runs in Utah and California.

Accordign to Vail Resorts it will allow people to see lift queue waiting times enabling them to make better informed choices about where to ski and snowboard.

The technology will calculate and display up-to-the-minute chairlift and gondola queues at 55 core lifts and gondolas, as well as 13,600 acres of skiable terrain in Colorado.

Shape of things to comeShape of things to come












"EpicMix Time delivers time transparency to our guests, showing them lift line wait times across the mountain, providing them with information to choose where to ski and ride, and giving them more time on the slopes," said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

"This is just another innovation from our team that introduces more digital technology to the mountain in a way that does not interfere with the guest experience or the incredible beauty of our mountain resorts," she added.

So what do you think?

Good idea or just a gimmick?

Feel free to comment over on the PlanetSKI facebook page.

Lift lines in BreckenridgeLift lines in Breckenridge
















"Providing real-time lift line wait times is a first for the ski industry. It is similar to apps showing traffic flow, like Google Maps or Waze," said Vail Resorts' executive vice president and chief information officer, Robert Urwiler.

Critics though question the accuracy of the information and point out that if everyone sees there is no queue at a certain lift then pretty soon there will be as everyone heads there.

Lift lines in VailLift lines in Vail
















The real test of course will be how accurate and up to date the information is.

It will come from Vail resorts Epix Mix digital lift pass system that was introduced in 2010 as we reported at the time.

It provides a wealth of data allowing people to track their days on the slopes and share their day via social media.

It also gives people access to free digital photos through ski pass information and recording digitised amateur racing statistics.

In addition it offers information and goals for guests enrolled in ski school. 

Plus it offers challenges that allow people to navigate and compete against friends and family on the mountain.

Vail Resorts has been using hands-free ticket scanning for seven years, a system which also allows guests to purchase and reload their tickets both on the web and on mobile devices.

Ground-breaking technologyGround-breaking technology
















For the spirit of the mountains

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