Vail’s Epic Mix Review

This summer Vail Resorts announced their launch of Epic Mix. The ski industry’s first Social Media application.  I wrote about it here.  It is now live and I’ve been playing with it for the past few days.

Epic Mix tracks your vertical feet, the lifts you ride and awards pins for accomplishments, such as skiing on a powder day or skiing so many vertical feet.  Epic Mix also uses Facebook Connect to let you connect with your Facebook friends on the hill.

Here is my Epic Mix dashboard.

I’ve earned 16 badges so far.  I’ve skied 126,000 vertical feet. I’ve skied 8 days at 2 of Vail Resorts 6 mountains.  Two of my Facebook friends joined Epic Mix and were automatically added to my Epic Mix friends list.  Oddly, my wife who is a friend on Facebook and I’ve friended within the Epic Mix app has yet to show up in my friends list.   Hmmmm, not sure what that means. 🙂

Epic Mix is the first full foray into social media by any ski resort in NA.  It’s surprising considering the social nature of skiing.   Being first Vail Resorts had done a good job.  Epic Mix get’s you wanting to log in to see your accomplishments.  I find myself checking in at the end of the day to see what new pins I’ve earned and how many vertical feet I’ve skied.   Epic Mix is a great tool to keep skiers connected to the mountain.  It’s fun and it’s motivating, (because of Epic Mix I have a goal to ski 1 million vertical feet this year.)

Epic Mix is a great way to build a relationship with skiers.  It extends the relationship skiers have with Vail Resort mountains beyond the snow.   This is, without a doubt, the biggest value of Epic Mix.  In the past the experience of skiing as been confined to the snow.  It was hard to stay connected to skiing other than pictures and video’s — Epic Mix has just changed that.

Epic Mix is in Beta, so I expect lots to change over the season and into next year.  It’s mobile application has yet to be rolled out.  A mobile app is critical and will change the game even more.   In addition to the mobile app, I hope Vail increases it’s sharing capabilities.  Currently, the only things users can share are their accomplishments and pins.   User’s can’t communicate with each other, (I understand this capability is coming,) there is no wall, or way to add pictures, status update, add video’s, share powder stashes, organize a meet-up etc.   Giving user more ways to engage with the resort, other users and the mountain itself will make Epic Mix that much better.  Despite it’s current features, it’s really not very social.   I’d love to see a mountain activity stream sharing what people are saying and doing on the mountain throughout the day.  It could help avoid lift lines, find good runs, avoid crowded lunch spots, what specials to order for lunch etc.

I’m having fun with Epic Mix and encourage my ski school clients to get on too.   It’s a great addition to skiing and I’m glad Vail launched it. I think it’s the future of skiing.  I’m going skiing tomorrow and when I’m done I will be checking in to see what new badges I’ve earned and how much closer I am to 1 million vertical feet.

If you ski at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge or Heavenly sign up for Epic Mix and let me know what you think — I think it’s a cool app!

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