New Products 2013
SAM rounded up a handful of new products for mountain resort operators that will increase operational efficiency, thrill guests, and help provide a better experience for your customers.
MSNOW DRYSLOPE TUBING SURFACE
The Schrab brothers, those Midwestern cornfield tow-in aerialists featured in Warren Miller films, invented mSnow about four years ago when they needed a snowless surface on which to train for freestyle skiing competitions. mSnow has since been used at countless training facilities and backyards around the world for this purpose. The newest product is mSnow Bumper Tubing, a patent-pending system of inflatable bumper tubes and modular mSnow track for summer tubing installations. It’s available in 100-foot sections of track and bumpers. mSnow consists of interlocking tiles made of injection-molded recycled plastic. These can be screwed or nailed to any subsurface.
To speed the ride, mSnow has introduced tubeWax dry lubricant. Rubbed directly on the base of snow tubes, it eliminates the need to water the track, and also minimizes the burn rate of tubes and track, lowering the overall operating cost of summer tubing. www.m-snow.com
OUTDOOR TECHNOLOGY HEADPHONE CHIPS
Outdoor Technology has developed a fresh design for wireless headphones. The wireless drop-in Chips audio system for helmets allows the skier or rider to listen to music or talk on the phone. The Chips fit into any helmet with liners and audio slots, and can be controlled without having to take your helmet off. A minimal two-button design allows for easy operation; easy touch and quick buttons provide track selection, volume adjustment and phone function control. www.outdoortechnology.com
MOUNTAIN PASS ENTRY SYSTEM
Mountain Pass Systems introduces its patent-pending Entry lift maze system, which not only determines the validity of a pass but ensures that the pass or ticket is being used by just one person. For this, the system uses long-range (UHF) RFID technology and bar codes along with patent-pending BodyBiometrics software. The first time a ticket holder approaches the entry gate, ultrasonic sensors start a video of the individual. Image recognition software uses major body joints as biometrics and stores this information along with the ticket RFID. The user scans the ticket barcode with the Entry barcode scanner. The Entry verifies the barcode, collects skier biometrics, and stores the barcode, RFID, and biometric data in a database. On subsequent visits to the Entry gate, the RFID ticket ID is sensed, the linked barcode data is pulled from the database, and the biometrics are compared. BodyBiometrics works for all types of tickets, from season passes to day tickets, and thus largely curtails lift ticket abuse. The cost adds just 12 cents to the paper ticket cost, with a payback period typically less than one season.
Other features of the system: it allows unlimited lift ticket pricing options, such as payment per ride, time durations, specific mountain areas or terrain parks. It is also compatible with resort management systems (RMS) that print bar coded tickets. By attaching RFID inlays to existing ticket stock, existing printers will print bar coded tickets that have unique RFID codes. The system is available in stand-alone and gantry mount configurations. Up to 6 gates can be hung from a gantry. The gantry’s center post rotates to permit easy access for snow grooming. www.mountain-pass-systems.com
LOOPROPE ADJUSTABLE ROPE
Jeff Dahl came up with the idea for Looprope—a flexible cargo tie down system in which loops create pliable attachment points, allowing a custom fastening system with just one rope—in the summer of 2009. Being a guy who was not good at tying knots, it occurred to Jeff how useful a rope would be with hitch knots already in it, as these could be zipped together to create tension. The rope itself is made from ¼” heavy duty stock cord. It comes with two stainless steel LoopClip carabiners to fasten the ends of the rope quickly and securely. Originally designed as cargo tie downs that would be adaptable enough to handle any type of cargo, LoopRope is proving to be useful for a variety of other applications. Patrollers at Mt. Ashland in Oregon use them for tower bag ties. They found that using one rope instead of multiple bungee cords makes raising or lowering the tower bags less labor-intensive and time-consuming. www.looprope.com
PARK DIGGERS TERRAIN PARK RAKE
The Park Digger rake is a project that has seen many improvements over the years, all designed to provide the best possible park tool. That attention begins with the “Reaper” handle. Its ergonomic design allows for use with thick winter gloves and mittens. For durability, the rake shaft passes through the head and is extended onto the face of the rake, to make for a bigger weld at the contact point. Bigger rake heads undergo a lot of lateral forces when in use, and reinforcing the contact point helps the rake withstand these forces. Many park features incorporate expensive wraps and graphics; the rounded edges on the Park Digger allow staff to work quickly around features without the worry of gouging the graphics. The round edges also help to avoid the temptation to use the rake as a pick, which can quickly end the life of a rake. www.parkdiggers.com
Siriusware Point & Pay System
Siriusware’s new Point & Pay functionality offers guests the ability to make purchases on prepaid accounts through fingerprint authentication at the point-of-sale. Fingerprint authentication eliminates the need for guests to carry cash or cards in order to make salespoint purchases. This is ideal for venue such as waterparks, mud runs or zip line tours, where carrying cash or locating a card to pay can be inconvenient. Scanners capture the fingerprint assigned to the account, and then the finger is scanned at the point of purchase to verify the account and complete the sale. This new feature has been added to Siriusware’s In-House Card module and gives guests all the freedom and flexibility of a stored value prepaid account, minus the card. Incorporating the same transactional and tracking features as Siriusware’s In-House Cards, Point & Pay changes the mode of payment without changing the powerful product configuration opportunities available behind the scenes. Guests can look up balances, reload cards and pay on account using Point & Pay. The peripheral hardware is inexpensive, and point-of-sale scanner setup is straightforward. www.siriusware.com/point-pay
tiburon lockers mobile charging station
From Tiburon Lockers comes the all-new Charge Daddy, an innovative portable charging station that safely, securely, and conveniently charges various types of mobile devices. This simple and easy-to-use smart charging station automatically assigns users a charging bay once credit card authorization has been accepted and approved. Upon opening the door, users can quickly plug in their mobile device, close the door and begin charging immediately. The portable cabinet with kiosk consists of eight to twelve secure compartments and comes as a wall mount unit or pedestal design. Custom expansion models are available. Each unit comes with a built-in HD 10" user-friendly touch screen controller with keyless access to each compartment. The system provides a worry-free secre protection for the user. No sensitive credit card data or personal information is retained and the charging compartment can only be opened by the original user. There is no need to wait nearby while the device is charging. It's 100% safe and secure. Lock it. Leave it. Love it. www.tiburonlockers.com
rAgent Mobile Rental Manager
Get Out Technologies introduces rAgent Mobile, an affordable and efficient way to manage rental inventory. To begin with, an RFID enabled handheld computer/scanner captures your rental inventory at the click of a button. Using the handheld scanner, personnel can process equipment, or stand in front of a rack of skis or snowboards and quickly and easily take an inventory, view history of each ski or board, generate reports, and more. There is no need to individually scan bar codes, get mis-reads, scan again, etc. The system allows personnel to link transactions and capture customer information to expedite the rental process. The system also allows resorts to utilize data for brand management, customer loyalty programs and risk management. www.getoutt.com
HubSpot Social Media Manager
hubWerks is an SEO and “inbound marketing” agency with an integrated marketing software solution, HubSpot. This all–in-one system integrates a resort’s website, all social media channels, email marketing, blogging, content management and guest conversion process into one dashboard. It provides instant analytics above and beyond the standard Google information, allowing resorts to adapt to the changes that Google continually makes to its organic search process. hubWerks’ system is automatically optimized for mobile technology, and continually updated with new features—most recently with a content optimization system to make it easy for non-IT types to employ. www.hubwerks.com
Getoutfitted.com Clothing Rental
Julian Flores, founder of getoutfitted.com, admits missing out on more than a few great outdoor experiences because there were too many barriers to entry... too much gear, too expensive, too intimidating. Thus the idea for getoutfitted.com, a web service that rents ski and snowboard apparel and accessories directly to your doorstep. Clothing rental makes preparing for a winter vacation that much easier for a first-timer or someone who only enjoys one or two ski vacations a year. With free shipping to and from any location in the U.S., customers can gear up for a fraction of the cost of buying. Rentable apparel includes high-end soft goods from Patagonia, Dakine, Obermeyer, Optic Nerve, and Wigwam, and is available for the whole family. Customers can even rent a GoPro to record their trip. www.getoutfitted.com