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The One Number That May Make EpicMix Time a Completely Brilliant Marketing Move…for Now

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A few weeks back Vail Resorts announced that it was adding lift line wait times to their mobile app.

Vail Resorts EpicMix

It’s a simple move but one that reveals an extremely valuable number that, previously, could only be discovered by physically going somewhere.

With the value of a ski purchase often based on the value one gets from the way their time is spent, this is a potentially significant change. One worth a closer look.

How it Happened
There aren’t a lot of public details about how this works. All we know is that:

“EpicMix Time uses anonymized, crowd-sourced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals to estimate lift line wait times.”


“Similar to apps showing traffic flow, like Google Maps or Waze, we’re applying unique and sophisticated analytics to aggregated, anonymous location data generated by smart phones and other mobile devices across the distinct topography and layout of our chairlifts to calculate reliable wait time information for our guests. We are truly leading the travel industry in how to incorporate technology into the guest experience.”

Though this TechCrunch article describes something very similar and may be the partner VR is using.

This is important, because it appears they are doing this completely independent of any RFID infrastructure associated with the current EpicPass and EpicMix systems.

In other words, any resort with the money and initiative could do the same without the investment required to recreated EpicMix as a whole (assuming their lines get long enough to need wait times at all).

The One Number
In that sense, VR is testing out something for everyone else. If it works, other resorts can replicate. If it doesn’t, well, they won’t.

But the value of this system in a marketing sense may come down to one, simple number: NPS.


If this can raise a resort’s NPS or guest satisfaction by just a tiny sliver, the value of that in terms of future revenue from an increased return rate will pay for itself immediately.

Step by Step
EpicMix’s tech opened endless marketing possibilities, but they proved the concept with something similar to an MVP (minimum viable product) and have since iterated, one piece at a time, in a way that I think is brilliant.

It’s brilliant because it spreads the PR value out over a half-decade instead of a few weeks. But it’s brilliant because,for all the utility within the platform, each of these features have a hint of novelty and novelty has a shelf life.

By only releasing one feature each year, they always have something for skiers to get excited about.

By so doing, they’ve proved that EpicMix is far from finished, so the only question that remains is: What’s next?

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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