Holy Queue

VAIL RE­SORTS ROLLS OUT A NEW WAY TO AN­TIC­I­PATE LIFT-LINE WAITS AT A HAND­FUL OF RE­SORTS THIS SEA­SON.

SKI - - FRONT SIDE - By Jon Jay

“Lift lines vis­i­ble from space” is a, shall we say, epic ex­ag­ger­a­tion, and Vail Re­sorts now has the data to prove it. New for this win­ter is EpicMix Time In­sights, an in­ter­ac­tive web­site that shows the ac­tual hourly lift-line wait times for each chair­lift at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck­en­ridge, Key­stone, and Park City dur­ing the 2016-2017 sea­son. Skiers can use this history to get an idea about where to ski and when dur­ing their va­ca­tion, and the com­pany can use the data to find bot­tle­necks and im­prove lift ser­vice.

“Across Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck­en­ridge, Key­stone, and Park City last win­ter sea­son, lift-line wait times ex­ceeded five min­utes only 6 per­cent of the time,” says Robert Ur­wiler, chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for Vail Re­sorts. The com­pany also points out that this statis­tic in­creased to merely 8 per­cent dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year’s holiday pe­ri­ods, and is al­ready in­stalling new high­speed chair­lifts to im­prove these num­bers.

Be­yond his­tor­i­cal data, the new pro­gram gives users tips dur­ing their va­ca­tion about where to go and when, us­ing push no­ti­fi­ca­tions in the EpicMix app. Big line for first chair on a pow­der day? The app can tell guests to hold tight for 15 min­utes to let the early birds dis­perse after the gon­dola gets go­ing, which is valu­able time to prop­erly get your kids suited and booted for the day.

Vail Re­sorts has plans to make this data avail­able in the near fu­ture at their Cal­i­for­nia, Canada, and Ver­mont re­sorts, and to watch time trends through­out fu­ture sea­sons to bet­ter im­prove the guest ex­pe­ri­ence. Big-data col­lec­tion might seem omi­nous, but us­ing data to cre­ate shorter wait times for skiers to get to the goods sounds great to us. Check out how long you ac­tu­ally waited in line last sea­son at time.epicmix.com.

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