In a first for Michigan ski resorts, Crystal Mountain is installing RFID (radio frequency identification device) ticketing and gate systems for chairlift access, moving from metal wickets and sticky paper to the newest technology. The improvements will be in place for the 2020-2021 winter season, getting skiers and snowboarders on the slopes safer and faster.
With this new system, guests will be able to purchase lift tickets online and receive an RFID card that allows them to reload lift tickets or season passes onto that same card via their mobile phones or computers.
“This is just one of the new improvements that will enhance the guest experience and guest safety at the resort this winter,” John Melcher, chief operating officer for the resort, said.
Guests will only have to pick up the RFID card once, helping to ensure a safe, touchless and cashierless option for buying a lift pass. Then, skiers and snowboarders place the credit card-sized pass in their jackets or pants pockets and go directly to the chairlift where the RFID chip will be automatically scanned at a gate and allow the guest to load the chairlift.
Once purchased, the card can be refilled online for each ski or snowboard session – and be used year after year, also helping reduce waste.
Austria-based AXESS will begin installing the system this fall.
There were several business drivers in the resort’s decision to move to RFID.
“Safety is our priority,” Melcher said. “This new technology helps create touchless opportunities for staff and guests, as well as maintaining safer distancing by reducing queuing at ticket windows. And that’s important today.”
It will also help skiers and snowboarders load onto chairlifts quicker and more efficiently, which reduces the amount of time spent waiting in lift lines.
The resort plans to create variably priced lift ticket options that will allow guests more flexibility in selecting times and days to ski or ride. Those ticket options will launch in the coming weeks.
Right now, season-long premier passes can be purchased here: https://www.crystalmountain.
About Crystal Mountain:
Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort destination located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City and a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The resort features lodging, dining, downhill and cross-country skiing, two championship golf courses, shopping, award-winning Crystal Spa, Michigan’s only alpine slide, the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park, weddings and a conference center. Visit www.CrystalMountain.com.