SAM Magazine—Jay Peak, Vt., Oct. 11, 2019—The third annual Mountain Technology Symposium, held Oct. 2-4 at Jay Peak Resort, Vt., drew more than 130 ski industry tech leaders and suppliers to discuss the future of technology in the ski industry. A pre-conference survey highlighted that, according to attendees, the biggest resort challenge and the biggest technology challenge were one and the same: point-of-sale systems.
The event opened with a keynote presentation from Jay Peak general manager Steve Wright on leadership in challenging environments and how the increased reliance on technology has made practicing humanity in leadership even more critical.
Several roundtable sessions allowed participants the opportunity to have smaller group discussions on various topics related to technology including:
• peer innovations
• food and beverage systems
• data centralization and integrations
• network security
• digital solutions
• network infrastructure
• digital solutions for mountain operations
Throughout the various sessions led by tech suppliers and tech industry leaders, multiple debates took place on the creation of microsystem ecologies versus monolith systems, which was only spurred on by the announcement of the creation of a Ski Technology Standards Group. This group was created through a partnership between Aspenware, Aspen/Snowmass, Boyne Resorts, Alterra Mountain Company, Inntopia, and Powdr Corp., and will focus on creating a baseline data standard and open API to address the challenges of operating multiple systems.
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Organizers also brought in tech leaders from outside the mountain resort industry to discuss the difficulties of scaling technology. Speakers included Robert Waite of GrubHub and Frank Perkowski of Insight. Nicolas Dube, CEO of Paradocs, also took off his ski industry hat and spoke from the perspective of his position at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Next year’s event will take place the week of Sept. 21 at Big Sky Resort, Mont. More information is available at www.mountainsympsium.com.