Colorado ski resort operators turbo-charged technology last season, and many of the upgrades are here to stay | SkyHiNews.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Colorado ski resort operators turbo-charged technology last season, and many of the upgrades are here to stay

Jason Blevins
Colorado Sun

For many years, resort captains have been slow and steady with investment in technology. The behind-the-scenes stuff — wireless networks, point-of-sale and lodging reservation systems, online ticket sales — typically was overshadowed by flashy projects involving new chairlifts and terrain.

The coronavirus turbo-charged ski resort interest in decidedly unsexy technology, which is now a top priority. After a year of resorts doing everything they could to limit crowding with reservations, early purchasing, touchless retail interactions and mobile apps, the 2020-21 season will mark the moment the U.S. resort industry leaped into the modern world.

“We always had these plans for investment in technology, but COVID accelerated everything,” said Erik Forsell, head of marketing for Alterra Mountain Co., the Denver-based operator of 15 ski destinations. “We took a multiyear process and did it in like five months.”



The embrace of technology spread to every demographic and every industry during the pandemic. Shoppers who maybe were reticent about online purchasing quickly learned the ropes of e-commerce. The ski resort industry rode that wave with innovations that will remain a fixture in the ski experience.

“We see this as the new normal,” said John Lilley, who spent seven years building the buy-early technology that anchors Vail Resorts’ entire business plan. He’s now the chief information officer at Aspen Skiing Co.



To continue reading this article, go to ColoradoSun.com.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.