Vail Crushes It, Throws Down the Social Media Gauntlet

Most of you know I am an instructor at Vail.  I love vail.  It’s my favorite mountain and has been since 1989 when I moved from Boston.

Last year I wrote my opinion on why I thought Vail and other ski resorts were missing the boat in social media.  You can read it here. I gave a specific example on how resorts could improve the ski school guest experience.  Ski resorts have been slow to adopt social media and social networking and it frustrated me.

I am passionate about skiing and passionate about my home mountains (Vail and Beaver Creek.)  I wanted to see the industry become a bit more progressive and was frustrated they weren’t moving faster . . . that is until today.

Vail crushed it today with the announcement of their new social networking application EpicMix.   Epic Mix uses Vails RF scanner technology (which I’ve also written about here), to track where you are on the mountain, the total vertical you’ves skied, number of days on the mountain and it allows you to share it all with your friends via Facebook, and Twitter.  It’s frickin’ awesome!

Vail just threw down the social media guantlet for the ski industry with this move.  It combines Foursquare like checkins and accomplishment badges called “pins,” with personalized skier data, with the ability to track friends on the mountain, with the ability to share it all on Facebook and Twitter.  It changes the game.

Vail’s EpicMix changes the on mountain experience.  This is why I think it’s so killer.  Vail didn’t just create a me too social media app.  They built something specific to the skiing experience and I love it.  I ski 20 plus days a year over and above the days I teach. EpicMix will be my homebase for skiing. The idea that I can now know how much I skied, where I skied, how to find my friends who are skiing and share it all, is exactly what social media and social networking are all about

Vail rocks, it has always rocked. Vail lured me to Colorado in 1989. It enticed me into buying a mountain home near its slopes. It introduced me to ski instruction and now Vail has just given me a new mountain experience. Thanks Vail. You continue to reward me and all your guests for their loyalty. I can’t wait for ski season now!

A year ago I challenged Vail to “get engaged.” This year they did, in ways far more impressive than could have been imagined. EpicMix has set the bar for social media in the ski industry and it’s high bar!  — Well done Vail Resorts!

(EpicMix will work at all Vail Resort Mountains Keystone, Vail, Breckenridge, Heavenly, and BeaverCreek.)

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