Epic Ski School
With a promise to -
VR are continuously generating an increasing database of how people ski the mountain, and profiling them so they know what marketing messages will resonate and what tweaks will have the greatest impact. Anything that they are giving away is a way of increasing the perceived value of their product, generating points of differentiation from competitors and increasingly encouraging social networking recommendation. I doubt the ski it like a local is anything more than marketing fluff so it's probably not something a local needs to get upset about.
Anyone who can't scope a resort themselves is unlikely to be using it to get to stashes first. I wonder if it will be "active and smart" i.e. flex recommendations based on real time lift lines, table occupancy in lodges. If it's "dumb"and has high takeup can't wait for the clusterf**ks of tourists staring at iPhone screens in the middle of the cat track trying to navigate to the bottom of Blue Sky etc etc. Longer term, locals might just find that their strategies for best time for getting a table or finding a quiet lift on a holiday weekend get a bit frustrated if VR use it to try to "smooth" traffic.
Personally I'd be sceptical as to how smart it might be as refining algorithms takes time. Of course if it just turns out to be a gimmick then it's pointless speculating. Sat Nav on the slopes isn't necessarily something we should welcome though as a general principle, some people already have poor situational awareness and probably don't need another distraction.
I don't think any app like this can replace the REAL local knowledge. VR can tell vacationers how to get around the mountain all they want, I doubt they'll have anything included that really takes them to secret stashes.
Not sure it'll offer that much. Might make a an out of the way chair more popular but the true "stashes" typically aren't real runs anyways. Not to mention that the audience using it will more than likely be intermediate/beginner skiers and it won't make much of an impact.
i agree with powderhounder,
EDIT: I read the link, it describes what the thing is going to do. It has 350 itineraries; so it's all static. 350 may sound like a lot, but divide it by the # of vail resorts and starting points and it's not too many at all.
For dynamic data, my guess is at best it just includes the groomer's pick of the day from the daily conditions reports.
I think that is the same Guide feature being discussed. I used it a bit at Vail, and it basically just suggests a plan of attack for the day based on the starting point, skill level, and duration you choose. It wasn't as useful as I had hoped, since it didn't provide for, say, crowd avoidance (not that that turned out to be a problem for me). Basically it just tells you which lifts to take in which sequence, and which runs on each are appropriate for you. So the "local knowledge" is that of someone who knows the trails well - it doesn't do anything about stashes, or unmarked/unnamed runs, or any of that kind of stuff.
If I had no idea where I was, it could be pretty useful, but I'm good with trail maps and got familiar before going there, and found it just as easy to play it by ear.
Yes. The photographer scans your pass and then takes the pic. No charge. It then gets posted to your Epic Mix account. You can then post the low-rez images to Facebook, etc. You have to pay if you want a high-rez version.