It is hard to believe we have been working on Liftopia for 7 years now, and it certainly has come a long way since the first few years of working out of dining rooms and closets (true story). Those of you who have known Liftopia since the start are likely quite familiar with many of the things Liftopia does, but once in a while we realize that most people only know about what we do from the skier/snowboarder perspective, when a ton of the work we do is a bit behind the scenes with our resort partners.
Most people who know about Liftopia know our website, and many are also familiar with our iPhone App. You might have also heard of some of our other initiatives, such as our Where I’ve Skied App on Facebook that lets you compare the resorts you’ve been to with the ones your friends have visited. But a key thing to understand about our business is that in order for us to provide good value to folks like you, we also have to ensure we build value for our ski area partners by growing their businesses, making their lives easier, and helping them identify more ways of providing value to customers.
With that in mind we wanted to give you a quick look under the hood at Liftopia and show you one of the more significant products we have built – a product you would never see unless you worked at a ski resort.
At Liftopia we help people spend more time doing the activities they love by helping our partners run their businesses more effectively. To accomplish this we use data and technology to benefit both ski areas and customers at the same time. One example of how we use technology to help resorts is the recent launch of a product called Partner Intelligence – an analytics solution that helps resorts identify new and different ways of offering value to consumers using real time data out of the Liftopia Platform.
Many of you know that Liftopia has always allowed resorts to control their ticket prices and quantities in real time, but without data it is difficult for resorts to understand what the correct offer should be for customers. The Partner Intelligence component of Liftopia gives resorts a real time pulse of the state of their ecommerce business, and aims to better prepare resorts for customers’ arrivals so that you spend less time picking up tickets and more time on the slopes. Our partners now see sales performance for yesterday, today, this month, and this season. This data means resorts understand which prices are working, they know which products are most appealing to customers, and they can compare their performance relative to other resorts in their region. Our partners can log in and identify in real time when customers want to go skiing and where they are coming from, and then fine tune their value offerings in a matter of minutes. These tools are all designed to fulfill the underlying goal of Liftopia’s business, which is to enable folks to enjoy more time on the slopes in a way that is beneficial to skiers/snowboarders and the resorts they are visiting.
We often joke around that if skiers and snowboarders got exactly what they wanted from ski resorts it would mean cheap prices, no crowds, top notch snowmaking/grooming, and gourmet food at fast food prices. Unfortunately this would be a recipe for resorts going out of business, and it would most likely result in the degradation of the ski/snowboard industry. We believe that if we help our resort partners run their businesses more effectively, the overall ski/snowboard experience will improve, as resorts’ success means continued investment in only the highest quality lifts, snowmaking, grooming, and chili cheese fries.
Our ski resort partners run tremendously sophisticated operations and work their butts off during a very short season. It is crazy to think about the complexity and intellect required just to make snow at a ski resort. Every single day, resorts take into account temperature, relative humidity, water pressure, wind speed, snow gun placement, air pressure, nozzle type, time of day, weather forecast and countless other factors to maximize the efficiency and resulting snow quality for your arrival – and making snow is just one of many pieces of the puzzle (lift operations, grooming, instruction, etc). Partner Intelligence is another aspect of Liftopia’s effort to bring sophisticated software technology up to speed with resorts’ hardware/infrastructure. The result of this effort will be the highest value products and service to skiers and snowboarders who buy online.
We are fortunate to work in such an amazing industry where our customers, partners, and employees are so passionate about what it is we do every day. We’ll keep working hard to improve our value to you and to our partners, and we’ll see you out on the hill enjoying the results of our partners’ hard work.