What will the ‘new normal’ be like in ski resorts?

Evolution. If there is something that has characterized humans since the beginning of time, is its ability to adapt to the environment that surrounds it thanks to the development of technology. In a period in which Europe begins the de-escalation towards what they call a “new normal”, all of us who form this great family of skiers are thinking on how to manage this health crisis in the ski resorts and return to the slopes.

And technology, once again, is going to help us in this descent to ‘social distancing’ to tow us into the future. At this point in the season, our eyes are on the Southern Hemisphere. How are our friends from South America, Australia and New Zealand going to manage to open? In what conditions?

Norwegian and American models

Perhaps in the Southern Hemisphere they can follow the initiatives of the Norwegian and American resorts that, without loosening the lock, decided to fight Coronavirus using common sense and the tools at their disposal. For example, in Norway, as Endre Løvaas -Manager of Skitude Nordic- explains in his article on Linkedin, some Resorts adopted the following measures during the month of April, among others:

  • All skipass sales (keycard reload) happens strictly online, and only a limited number of passes will be available for purchase per day. No in-advance purchase, but only on the day of skiing.

  • Gloves are required and buffs or mouth protection are recommended

  • Parking with a long distance between vehicles with maximum capacity
  • Minimum distance of 2 meters between non-family members / non-traveling companions
  • No child under 6 years old can take the ski lift alone
  • Gondola lifts or closed lifts are not allowed
  • Only families can ride together in chair lifts. The 4, 6 and 8-seater chairlifts can only transport 2 or 3 people per chair, and separated, if not as a family
  • No ski rental or restaurant services will open, only takeaway food and drink services, with a strict line system
  • Regulation of the capacity of restrooms with a queue system

Social distancing done right at Myrkdalen Resort as of 25th April

 

For its part, the MT Baldy Resort – California-, after closing at first due to the pandemic, opted to reopen its doors to the public at the end of April by applying strict “social distancing guidelines“. As a result, in addition to adopting the mandatory hygiene and distancing measures, their tickets could, as in Norwegian resorts, only be purchased online.

Online sales and digitization in response

It is evident that government measures are going to accelerate the digitization process of resorts to counteract the collateral damage caused by Coronavirus throws to society. To date, the purchase of ski passes online was an option taken to make life easier for skiers. Now, it may allow them to continue practicing the sport they love.

In this sense, the online sale of ski passes will allow resorts to control the capacity allowed by possible government restrictions by means of advanced sales and to stop selling them when reaching the maximum authorized number.

Online purchases help limiting physical contacts

On the other hand, Skioo technology becomes the great ally of mountain sports since it offers skiers a completely contactless and autonomous experience. With it, you can avoid crowds at the cash desk, thus establishing a safe environment for users and employees. All this thanks to its instant access keycard in post-payment mode, which is compatible with more than 30 ski resorts.

As for restaurants, which could see their occupancy reduced, one solution could be to manage their traffic through virtual queuing and pre-order systems for a take-away service.

Virtual queue on McDelivery Singapore

On the other hand, Skioo technology becomes the great ally of mountain sports since it offers skiers a completely contactless and autonomous experience. With it, you can avoid crowds at the cash desk, thus establishing a safe environment for users and employees. All this thanks to its instant access keycard in post-payment mode, which is compatible with more than 30 ski resorts.

As for restaurants, which could see their occupancy reduced, one solution could be to manage their traffic through virtual queuing and pre-order systems for a take-away service.

Finally, to avoid possible indirect contact between people, you can centralize and provide access to the entire tourist offer and resort information through mobile applications. A measure implemented by Air France aimed at eliminating all its flyers and magazines for their digital versions. In the context of skiing, an important element in paper format is slope maps, and they can be replaced by a digital, interactive, and sustainable format in mobile applications.

Winter 3D Map Skitude mobile

Ski resort 3D Map for mobile

 

Skitude’s contribution to the sector

In 2012, we decided to start connecting skiers and mountain enthusiasts through the Mobile Application Skitude, specifically designed for these groups, offering them more convenience and fun when they visit any resort. And vice versa, connecting resorts to potential customers through the same application, and/or a more personalised own brand application.

Over the seasons, we saw that in many resorts, these applications were becoming their main advertising and communication channels, and for more than the last three seasons, the Apps we make have been ready to allow the purchasing and topping-up of RFID cards and facilitate instant access to the slopes, fully contactless. 

Examples of more than 30 resorts that use the Skitude Resort Instant Access solution. A solution that has also allowed us to create online sales points that can be directly integrated within the resort website.

Along the same lines, in 2019, Skitude incorporated Skioo, an instant access card, into its services portfolio, in post-payment mode, compatible with over 40 resorts internationally and fully compatible with the resorts’ own channels and cards.

The Skioo Pass in three simple steps

Moreover, the ski resorts and the community have encouraged us to continue developing this new generation of maps, taking them beyond their initial purpose on the Skitude app. Skitude now offers one of the most complete and competitive digital map solutions for ski resorts and mountain destinations on the market, with dozens of international resorts trusting in us.

 Example of a 3D Map of a ski resort in winter & summer

Posted by

Héloïse Haake

Héloïse Haake

Skitude Marketing Manager
Member of the Skitude team since 2014 and marketing enthusiast with experience in the Ski and Hospitality sector.

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