By David Schissler – I’ve been in print and digital publishing for over 30 years, largely in advertising sales (it truly is where the money is). I recently learned about a company called Alpine Media Technology of Centennial, CO and their “LiftDigital” display system for chairs and gondolas. My first reaction was; great, now I can’t even get away from ads when I’m on a lift! The idea of such an intrusion on my carving serenity was disconcerting. It conjured up visions of tower sized billboards up and down the lift line or those lame trail maps on chair safety bars. You know, the kind that was generally so scratched it was nearly useless.
Being an opened minded guy I decided to visit their web site to learn a little more about what I now believe has the potential to be one of the better applications of technology to skiing and boarding to date. What changed my mind? Two things. One, digital is already omnipresent on the hill. If you don’t think so ski with anyone under forty. My second reason really did the most to make me be a little more forward thinking. When I saw the type of real-time, on mountain data the system provides I saw the light. This isn’t so much an ad platform as it is a command center for riders. Yes, displays do rotate between ads and mountain info but it’s the quality and breath of the info that make the ads OK. Riders can get up-to-the-minute, real-time info on current and recent snowfall data, grooming reports, mountain stats, travel reports, weather forecasts, lift status, events at the mountain, safety alerts, pricing on tickets, rentals and of course, trail maps. Riders at Wachusett Mountain, MA, Winter Park and Steamboat in CO, and Shawnee Peak in Maine were the first to enjoy the enhanced experience. Alpine Media Technology has a goal of placing digital screens on lifts at 100 North American resorts.
The company’s CEO is Freddie Peyerl, a life-long skier who is sensitive to the mountain environment and the experience riders want when they head to the hills. “We appreciate that it’s a space people go to get away. At the same time, skiers bring their own devices, and they’re looking for the information we’re providing,” he said. “The thing we’re most excited about is the guest communication. We are able to push messages like information about events, which lifts are closed and which runs are opening up,” Peyerl said.
It’s not surprising that Alpine Media Technology is drawing the attention of venture capitalists. They recently raised $1.6 million bringing the total to $3.2 million since the company’s inception in 2017. AMT’s revenue does not come from ski resorts. It sells about 5% of its screen time to advertisers. Alpine Media Technology also has a mobile app providing all of the same info on their displays right on your own device. To see the impressive capabilities of the system, visit https://alpinemediatech.com