When the 2019-2020 ski season opens, new technology will welcome visitors to one of the lifts at Mary Jane Base.
Each chair of the Super Gauge Express lift will be equipped with multiple digital screens attached to the safety bar, providing real-time information to skiers. Weather reports, grooming reports, lift open and closed status plus marketing and messaging are part of the display programming model according to Gerrit VandeKemp, co-founder of Alpine Media Technology.
The digital displays and the way to power them are the brainchild of Centennial-based Alpine Media Technology. The screens are basic tablets which rotate through information like digital billboards. One cool feature of the new signage screens is the power technology. The units do not have a battery instead receive a charge from installed cables at the base of the ski lift. As the chair circles the bottom of the lift, the system receives an electric charge to power the displays for the next twenty minutes, according to the company.
One of the features of the displays is travel information about I-70 that includes live feeds of CDOT cameras.
“Being able to see what the drive time is going to be allows people to make the decision maybe they should leave the resort a little early. Or if they know they’re going to be sitting in traffic maybe they spend that time at the resort,” Alpine Media’s CEO Freddie Peyerl said.
The screens are connected to wireless internet via 4G and can be changed on demand if a ski lift is closed or to display emergency messages, like road closures or avalanche warnings.
“We can make people’s days more efficient. Help them get more out of the limited time they have in the mountains,” Peyerl said.
Alpine Media Technology is working on installing their system on all 104 chairs of the Super Gauge Express lift at Winter Park, and are expanding to even more resorts this year.
“We put the technology on the resort at no cost to the resort and we recoup our cost through advertising,” VandeKemp explained.
The company’s co-founders say there is still plenty of work to be done during the skiing off-season to finish adding all the new tech by the time the snow starts falling.
Winter Park Resort has been testing the display screen system since 2017. The new power solution should stabilize the system and make it possible to deliver digital messaging throughout the day as long as the lift is turning.