It’s an all too familiar scenario: you wake up early for first tracks on a powder day, grab a prime parking spot, and finish putting on all your snow gear before walking over to the lift. The lift attendant attempts to scan your pockets to no avail. Much to your frustration, you realize you left your Epic Season Pass at home.
Bewildered and annoyed, you head to the nearest lift ticket window, where you wait in line to have a new pass printed. By the time you reach the hill, you’ve missed out on pristine, untouched snow.
Vail Resorts intends to eliminate this problem by allowing its guests to activate a digital version of their season passes or lift tickets directly onto their phones, according to a news release on September 28th, 2022.
The company is expected to “soft launch” the new technology with initial testing this upcoming ski season. The new feature will roll out to all guests at Vail Resort’s North American ski resorts for the 2023/2024 winter season.
The innovation will allow guests to activate their lift tickets or season passes on their phones directly from the initial point of purchase or pass renewal. The days of waiting for a season pass to arrive in the mail or standing in line at ticket windows are coming to an end!
You might be asking, “will I have to pull my phone out of my pocket each time I get on a chairlift?” The answer is no: Using Bluetooth® Low Energy Technology, skiers and riders will be able to keep their phones in their pockets and get scanned hands-free.
In addition to added convenience for guests, the technology will reduce waste from printed passes, lift tickets, and RFID chips. The move toward digital passes also supports Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise Commitment to Zero: the company’s sustainability goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030.
Vail Resorts announced its EpicPromise in 2017. Since then, the company has made significant strides towards achieving its goals of zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net operating impact on forests and habitats.
“As a company focused on investing in the future of skiing and riding, we believe that digital innovation, more than ever, will be key for delivering a great guest experience on-mountain,” Vail Resorts Chief Information Officer Tim April said in the 9/28 news release. “We are excited for the more seamless arrival experience this technology will provide for our guests and look forward to unveiling it across our resorts.”
Printed passes will still be available for individuals without smartphones or those who prefer leaving their phones at home.
Real Estate of the Summit will continue to provide updates on this topic – including when and where the digital pass technology will begin initial testing – as Vail Resorts updates the public. Make sure you’re subscribed to our monthly Summit County real estate newsletter to stay up-to-date on stories like this, featured listings, community news, and more!