Hike-to EpicMix Reader Highlights Kirwood’s Exceptional Terrain, Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Innovation
Kirkwood, CA. – January 29, 2013 – Kirkwood Mountain Resort has installed the company’s first solar-powered radio frequency (RF) reader to enhance the guest’s experience with EpicMix, Vail Resorts’ proprietary online and mobile application that rewards users for challenges completed, lifts ridden, and days and vertical feet skied. The reader takes advantage of Kirkwood’s legendary hike-to, inbounds terrain, and is located in the Covered Wagon area of the resort, along the southeastern-most boundary on the backside.
“We have so much inbounds terrain here that is truly special, I think this remote reader is the perfect way to bring EpicMix to life at Kirkwood,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s vice president and general manager. “Our visitors are some of the best skiers and riders around and we wanted a special way to recognize them for doing extraordinary things.”
There are two custom pins explorers can unlock at the Covered Wagon reader. The first is called “Pushing Boundaries” and awards the guest 200 points for reaching the reader for the first time. The second is worth 250 points and is called “CW10.” It is awarded for visiting the reader 10 times in one season. In addition to being remote, this reader is also unique in its user experience. Unlike most EpicMix readers, which don’t require the user to do anything special to record data, guests must intentionally approach the reader and come within five feet in order to be read.
This is Kirkwood’s first full season as part of the Vail Resorts family, and thus the first season offering EpicMix technology to its guests. Which means that there will now be cold, hard stats to validate the wild claims of vertical feet skied at Kirkwood. A revolutionary technological advancement for the ski industry, EpicMix automatically captures and uploads all mountain activity to a dashboard. Using RF scanners at the base of every lift and RF technology built into every Vail Resorts season pass, Epic Day Card and PEAKS card, skiers and riders can follow their days on the mountain, track vertical feet, see where they rode, earn EpicMix pins for achievements and collect points.
The Covered Wagon reader is totally solar-powered and can withstand 125 mph winds and temperatures of minus-28 degrees. It required special USDA Forest Service approvals and is placed in the snow so there was no trenching, digging or blasting done.
“This is not only a great story for a ski area, but a great technology story in general,” said Vail Resorts chief information officer, Robert Urwiler. “There aren’t many RFID applications in remote, rugged areas, with no network and no power. This application was built for us. You can’t find it in a catalog. It’s another great example of Vail Resorts re-imagining the guest experience through the use of technology.”
Kirkwood Mountain Resort is one of the nation's top destination resorts. Located just 177 miles from the Bay Area along scenic Highway 88, its base elevation of 7,800-feet, assures skiers more annual snowfall than any other resort in North America. Kirkwood is recognized by winter purists and national media alike for the quality of its snow and terrain variety and is a true skier’s destination. Known for its pristine beauty and action-packed expeditions and events, winter fun includes skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sled dog tours, and backcountry expeditions. An ideal location for weddings and corporate meetings, the Kirkwood Village includes boutique shopping, live music and dining. For more information about Kirkwood Mountain Resort, visit www.kirkwood.com or call 209.258.6000.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
Sally GunterSenior Communications Manager