Today, Vail Resorts announced a new feature for its award-winning, multi-channel app, EpicMix™. EpicMix™ Challenges will allow skiers and riders to throw down the gauntlet and compete with friends and family to complete on-mountain challenges at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge or Keystone in Colorado, Canyons in Park City, Utah, Heavenly, Northstar or Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe, Afton Alps in Minnesota or Mt. Brighton in Michigan. The new feature is available now in free iPhone or Android apps or at www.epicmix.com.Using the RFID chip embedded in season passes and day tickets, EpicMix Challenges gathers stats and tracks guests as they enjoy the mountain, and lets guests compete for achievements and share them on social media. For example, the Mile High Challenge is earned by skiing 5,280 vertical feet in a day at a single resort. The participants can track their progress against one another even if they’re skiing different resorts.
"EpicMix Challenges will provide a new, fun, competitive way for guests to experience our resorts", said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "There is a challenge for every type of guest based on their real-life achievements to take at their preferred pace. While it’s part of a larger social media trend, there really is nothing like it in the ski industry".
Challenges aren’t only for expert skiers and riders. There is a challenge for guests of all ages and ability levels. Guests log into any one of the various EpicMix channels (app, mobile web, desktop) and select challenges based on difficulty (beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert), type (vertical feet, lift rides, days on mountain) and length (day, multi-day, season). Guests can join public challenges or invite friends and family to join a challenge. Participants can track their own progress in real time throughout the challenge to see what they have left to complete, and can also see how they measure up against friends and family. Participants can post the results to Facebook for all to see!
Examples of challenges include the 5 Buck Challenge (beginner challenge earned by riding five lifts in a day at a single resort), the 10k Challenge (intermediate challenge earned by skiing 10,000 vertical feet in a day at a single resort), the King of the Hill Challenge (advanced challenge earned by skiing 300,000 vertical feet in a season) and the Vail Conqueror (expert challenge earned by riding all the chairlifts at Vail in a day).
"Skiing and riding have always been about storytelling, and EpicMix Challenges provides another way for guests to try new adventures, accomplish new things and share those accomplishments with their friends and family", said Lynch.
EpicMix debuted in 2010 as an RFID-based system which allows skiers and riders to track their days on the slopes and share their accomplishments via social media, while never getting in the way of the on-hill skiing and riding experience. The RFID chip in season passes and day tickets tracks vertical feet, number of lift rides and other data. Vail Resorts followed the original EpicMix with EpicMix Photo, EpicMix Racing and EpicMix Academy, a ski-school app. Earlier this season, EpicMix Guide was introduced to provide a step-by-step navigational guide to Vail Resorts’ destination mountains.
The EpicMix Challenges app will be available in mid-February 2015. Guests can activate their free EpicMix accounts at www.epicmix.com.