A crew of installers from Ski Data are on-site to install the access gates at our lifts in preparation for the season. Following an intense training session for Meadows staff members, the crew proceeded to the Stadium lift where these photos were taken.
In total, 35 gates will be installed over the course of the next two weeks. In preparation for the install, Meadows worked diligently to upgrade the copper wire network serving each lift location with fiber optic - to create a faster and more reliable network. "Fixed" gantries were constructed at Vista, Stadium and the Hood River Express high speed lifts, and "variable height adjustable" gantries were constructed at Easy Rider, Blue and Mt. Hood Express. These gantries allow for nearly 7 feet of travel to adjust the gantry to the changing snow depths. Cascade, Shooting Star, Daisy, Butter Cup and Heather will use "sled" gantries, which can be moved for grooming, and then slide back into place again.
The entire installation is scheduled for completion October 17.
A semi truck rolled into the Meadows parking lot today, carrying the gantries fabricated in Europe in May and June and shipped to Meadows just before the 4th of July. Eleven gantries - five of them "Sleds" and six "fixed" - were fabricated in Switzerland. Our RFID gates (which arrived a few weeks ago) will be hung from these gantries at each of our lifts.
Thanks to Steve Warila for the photos.
Our crews have been busy this summer, upgrading our mountain network from copper wire to fiber optics which will increase data transmission speed and provide greater reliability. Foundations have already been poured for the fixed gantries which will be installed this month.
Teams from Ski Data will be here in three weeks train our crews and install the 35 gates which will be used this season for pass verification at our lifts. The installation is scheduled to be completed October 17 - so if we do get an early snow we'll be ready!
This is a video player featuring our new RFID access gates. Click on "PlayList" on the bottom left side of the player to scroll over the different topics of the videos. Enjoy!
New RFID gates and passes eliminate traditional lift ticket while providing more convenience, accurate vertical feet tracking and innovative products
MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – The traditional lift ticket – a staple on guests at Mt. Hood Meadows and many other resorts – will no longer be used at the resort. Mt. Hood Meadows is installing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) gates at all of its lifts this summer, allowing guests to board lifts without showing their lift ticket. Guests will carry a unique RFID card or pass in their jacket or on an arm band. An embedded RFID chip triggers the gate to open for valid passes, eliminating the requirement for guests to present their pass or lift ticket for hand scanning.
Improving the Lift Boarding Experience - #1 Customer Complaint
Resort Executive Director of Communications, Dave Tragethon expects the new technology will have a significant improvement on the guest experience. “Showing a ticket or season pass for scanning, every time a lift is boarded is the number one guest complaint at Mt. Hood Meadows. The RFID access gates will allow instant and consistent verification, with the card or pass tucked securely in a guests’ pocket. Guests will no longer need to fumble for their ticket, holding up others for scanning. This will improve lift line flow and the overall experience. In essence, we are freeing our guests and our attendants from this challenging task, particularly during stormy weather. The system will also allow our tremendous Lift Operations staff to continue to focus on safety and hospitality for our guests.”
Accurate Vertical Feet Tracking Even on the Upper Mountain
Meadows will install the access gates at every lift, including the upper lifts where in the past the resort did not regularly scan passes. Passholders and guests who “claim” their day passes will be able to track their vertical online - every lift ride, every day, for the entire season.
New Products Encourage Repeat Visits Through Lower Prices
The technology brings with it new products that encourage repeat trips to Meadows, with lower prices.
• A “Reload” card allows the user to “claim” their day on the mountain by registering the card later online. Then the owner can reload the card at reduced rates for future visits, and also keep accurate tracking of their vertical.
• Credit Card Backed “Pay as You Go” passes – These products allow guests to purchase at a low price, and then pay a reduced day rate as they use their pass. Their credit card is automatically charged each day they use their pass at the pre-agreed upon rate, essentially allowing the pass holder to create their own mini-season pass.
The Last Pass You’ll Ever Need – A Sustainable Initiative
The Loyalty Passes issued this season can be conveniently renewed on-line, at the resort, or at the new Portland Sales and Communications Office (1202 NW 17th Avenue) and used at Meadows for as long as the RFID gate system is in place. Passholders will no longer need to have a new pass reissued each season, reducing the traditional PVC card stock cost as well as reducing the hassle and inconvenience of having to purchase new passes each year.
The day passes issued at the resort can be recycled and recoded for re-use on future days, again reducing the need for replacement stock. This is a system designed to eliminate waste that the old “lift ticket and wicket system” created, and significantly improve convenience and flexibility for loyal guests.
The FreeMotion.Gate is designed and manufactured in Austria by SkiData and has been widely used at European resorts for many years. The single-arm gate swings open once a verified pass signal is received. Meadows attendants will be stationed at each gate to assist guests. The gates are scheduled to be installed by October 2012, in time for the start of the 2012-13 season.