Vail Resorts and World Champion Skier Lindsey Vonn Announce EpicMix Racing to Engage More Kids and Families in Ski Racing Through Social Media
BROOMFIELD, Colo., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Every champion has a story to share and now, with the introduction of Vail Resorts’ EpicMix Racing(TM), skiers can see how they stack up against the greatest American ski racer–Lindsey Vonn–and share it with their family and friends.
Today, Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN) announced the third generation of its wildly popular ski and snowboard application, EpicMix(TM), which, once it launches in mid-December, will provide skiers a new way to experience ski racing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly and Northstar in California and Nevada. With EpicMix Racing, skiers will automatically have their race times compared to ski racing great, Lindsey Vonn, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded based on achievement. Race times, digital medals, overall leaderboards and leaderboards with just family and friends will all be available on both the EpicMix website and mobile application. Race results and medals can then be easily shared on Facebook and Twitter. Finally, the Company has created the Lindsey Vonn Race Series, in which all skiers and riders will be ranked based on their best 10 races of the season. The top racers from across the six resorts will be invited to a grand finale event in April 2012, hosted by Vonn, on the world-famous Birds of Prey World Cup Course at Beaver Creek. Vonn also will provide race tips throughout the season, which will be featured on the web and mobile applications.
“We created EpicMix to bring together the digital and physical experience of skiing and riding and make it easy to share your story with friends and family,” said Rob Katz, Vail Resorts chairman and chief executive officer. “In its first season, we tracked your vertical feet and awarded digital pins for your special accomplishments on the mountain and in the second season, we re-imagined how we captured and delivered your vacation photos. For our third season, we have brought amateur ski racing into the 21(st) century with EpicMix Racing. Working with World Champion ski racer Lindsey Vonn, we have completely redesigned how skiers can fully utilize the latest digital technology to compare themselves against the very best, seamlessly track and share all of their accomplishments and compete against racers from six world-class resorts.”
“Making ski racing fun and engaging for kids and families is an exciting opportunity and a real passion of mine,” said Lindsey Vonn. “Growing up racing, I always looked forward to telling the stories of my races and being able to track my progress and see how my friends were doing. The opportunity to make that happen using the latest technology in social media is absolutely the right next step for ski racing and I was thrilled to be able to work with Vail Resorts to make this happen.”
To support Lindsey’s commitment to giving back to the skiing community for future generations, Vail Resorts will donate one percent of all revenue to create scholarships at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail and other ski racing clubs at its resorts for aspiring young ski racers.
Vonn will bring her passion for racing and online sharing to the EpicMix community by providing tips on how to improve race times, the most effective training exercises, the best post-race stretches and her favorite workout tunes. These tips will be featured on www.epicmix.com.
EpicMix Racing courses will be located at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly and Northstar in Lake Tahoe. EpicMix Racing will be available at Kirkwood for the 2013-2014 season.
How it will work:
- EpicMix Racing courses will be located on intermediate trails at the resorts in comparable locations as they are today and designed to be fun and challenging but not intimidating for skiers of all ages.
- Guests can ski right up to the start gate and quickly purchase and register for their races using their credit card or resort charge with either their season pass or daily lift ticket. Guests will no longer have to go inside or fill out paper forms.
- Lindsey Vonn will set the pace for EpicMix racing at the U.S. Ski Team training event at Vail Mountain in early November 2012.
- For each race, digital medals of gold, silver and bronze will be awarded through the EpicMix application, based upon the skier’s age, gender and discipline. Kids will also earn physical medals after each race.
- EpicMix will adjust each racer’s time for age, gender and discipline and compare that to the time set by Lindsey Vonn and assign each racer a “seconds behind Lindsey” score for each race.
- EpicMix Racing will be integrated into the EpicMix dashboard and will feature a special EpicMix Racing section to track your overall race times, points and medals on EpicMix.com. Vail Resorts guests can also see how their results stack up against other skiers on their social networks.
- Racers of all ages can participate in the Lindsey Vonn Race Series by completing 10 races in the 2012-2013 season.
EpicMix launched in 2010 and experts called it a “game changer” and “one of the most ridiculously cool …” mobile strategies. Six months after it debuted, it won a “People’s Voice” Webby award in the Experimental and Innovation category for mobile devices. When the Company launched EpicMix Photo in 2011, experts again lauded the social media application for changing the vacation photo business, proclaiming that “the days of heading to the photo center and searching through hundreds of photos of strangers and their kids is over”.
The true innovation with EpicMix is that the app and online site allows guests to selectively share stats and information via Twitter and Facebook without requiring skiers or snowboarders to do anything different other than enjoy their skiing and snowboarding experience. Instead of manual check-ins, the RF-enabled pass or ticket allows for automatic check-ins at each lift at all six resorts, which then tracks the vertical feet and rewards guests for accomplishments like riding every lift in one day to earn the Conqueror pin.
Nearly 100,000 guests activated their EpicMix accounts in the 2010-2011 ski and snowboard season which equated to a 15-percent adoption rate. Last year with EpicMix photo more than 200,000 additional guests activated accounts and shared more than two million photos on their social networks.
How to get EpicMix
EpicMix is available to all Vail Resorts guests at any of its seven world-class mountain resorts-Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood-who purchase any lift ticket or season pass this year. Almost every ticket and pass will be enabled with RF technology and allow guests to participate in EpicMix. EpicMix Photo and EpicMix Racing will not be available at Kirkwood this ski season.
Vail Resorts season passes are currently on sale and the popular Epic Pass(TM) is back for its fifth season providing unlimited, unrestricted access to seven world-class resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood as well as at Arapahoe Basin at $659. Visit www.epicmix.com or www.epicpass.com for more information. Once guests purchase their RF-enabled pass or lift ticket, they can simply log on to www.epicmix.com and activate their EpicMix accounts and download the free EpicMix mobile app for the iPhone, Android or other smart phone.
The safety and privacy of guests is the highest priority for Vail Resorts and no information collected through EpicMix will be shared unless a guest “opts in” and specifically chooses to share their information. All information collected through EpicMix is subject to the strict privacy policies of Vail Resorts. Guests can choose to disable the RF chip in their pass to prevent any scanning. Children under 13 participating in EpicMix will have limited features and a connection only to their parents’ account.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company’s subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company’s subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
SOURCE Vail Resorts, Inc.