Friday, November 5, 2010

Ski Resorts Launch iPhone, Android App

Going skiing this season?  There an App for that.  With 28 percent of the U.S. mobile market now using a smartphone,  it makes sense that ski resorts should be looking at mobile marketing and social media as the focus of their marketing strategy. And that is exactly what Colorado resorts are doing, from Facebook presence to geo-tagging on Twitter, all designed to inform and make the trip more engaging for the visitor.

Vail Resorts, Inc. for example, will launch EpicMix for iPhone and Android in December, an App that allows skiers and snowboarders to share their ski experience on Facebook as well as publish information on snowfall, slopes etc. If visitors link their Facebook account to EpicMix, they will be able to get alerts about when their friends are on the mountain too and send them messages.

Vail Resorts is also using Facebook for exclusive deals that won't be available anywhere else. They are even taking geo-tagging one step further by utilizing radio frequency identification tags (RFID) on lift tickets and season passes. The RFID tags and new scanners on lift towers let EpicMix track customers' ski days and vertical feet logged, both at resorts in Colorado and California.

RTP, the ski software company, is beefing up the Realski iPhone application that acts as an interactive trail map for dozens of North American resorts. Users hold up a newer iPhone to see a video image of whatever a skier is viewing on the mountain, and tags of nearby trails, restaurants and restrooms digitally pop up on the screen.

Even if you don't ski, it's still a useful App for the visitor who wants to connect with friends both at the resort and back home.  There's also a kid friendly version too.


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