The Coronavirus crisis will have a major impact on ski resorts this winter. The pandemic will force ski resorts to find ways to reduce face-to-face interactions between guests and staff, and the cancellation of J1 visas will make it difficult for ski resorts to find sufficient staff to handle day-to-day operations. For most ski resorts, automated ski access technology can help alleviate these challenges.
“Automated ski access technology has long been an important management tool and guest amenity that improves the skiing experience,” said John Keefe, SKIDATA Vice President. “No one foresaw that it could also promote public health or help resorts overcome staffing challenges, but in today’s world those added benefits will be essential to mountain operations.”
SKIDATA introduced RFID access control to the ski industry as a revenue management tool that provides data about lift and resort utilization. It also offers operational efficiencies and reduces the risk of lift access fraud. Automated access has also proven to be a popular user amenity that dramatically improves the guest experience.
The benefits of ski access technology start in guests’ homes and extend to the slopes and lodge operations. Guests have the option to purchase lift tickets online from the comfort of their homes and print their tickets or have them sent to their personal mobile devices. For skiers who prefer to purchase RFID passes and tickets, SKIOSK™ stand-alone ticket kiosks can permit guests to purchase lift tickets that can also be used for lodge access without standing in crowded ticket lines. In addition to being more convenient, remote and SKIOSK™ purchasing also promotes public health by allowing skiers to avoid crowded lines to purchase lift tickets.
On-slope access readers also promote public health and help alleviate staffing challenges. The readers are located at the entry to ski lifts and automatically read guests’ RFID tags and bar code enabled lift tickets. The technology significantly reduces face-to-face interactions between guests and staff, and these interactions can be further reduced when resorts utilize automated check point technology in conjunction with remote monitoring tools like Operation Center/Gate Service displayed on a tablet or desktop computer. In addition to promoting public health, automating the lift ticket reading process also helps overcome staffing shortages caused by the cancellation of J1 visas because staff who may have been assigned to lift lines can be reassigned to other tasks.
“Automating lift ticket reading benefits both skiers and mountain operations,” said Keefe. “The Coronavirus has everyone looking for outdoor activities that are safe and healthy. Skiing can provide the perfect solution this winter, and by minimizing face-to-face staff/guest interactions, ski access technology can make skiing safer, healthier, and easier to manage.”
SKIDATA is an international leader in the field of access solutions and their management. Almost 10,000 SKIDATA installations worldwide in ski resorts, stadiums, airports, shopping malls, cities, spa & wellness facilities, trade fairs and amusement parks provide secure and reliable access and entry control for people and vehicles. SKIDATA places great value in providing solutions that are intuitive, easy to use, and secure. The integrated concepts of SKIDATA solutions help clients optimize performance and maximize profits. SKIDATA Group (www.skidata.com) belongs to the publicly traded Swiss Kudelski Group (www.nagra.com), a leading provider of digital security solutions.