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Chairlifts to have digital screens and wifi

 Poster: A snowHead
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In a move that is likely to divide opinion the US resort of Winter Park is planning to install digital screens on the safety bars of chairlifts, and provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for every chair.

The screens will display information such as digital trail maps (an updated form of the printed maps that already appear on some chairlifts in North America), safety tips, weather updates, piste conditions and notifications from the ski patrol. They will also show local adverts and social media promotions.

Personally I prefer to either take in the scenery and/or talk to my lift companions, but this idea does have the merit at least that for American ski resorts it may persuade some of the local skiers to abandon their perverse habit of choosing not to lower the chair safety bar! rolling eyes . It may of course also encourage US resorts to fit safety bars to those chairlifts which don't have any..... Skullie
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If advertising on lifts brings down pass prices then I'm all for it as long as they are visual only. Plus a bit of live information on weather never goes amiss.
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Been discussed at length on Pugski - consensus being sticker them up to stick it to the man or accidentally be holding the sharp end of your pole and have your hand "slip".
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Chaos in the chairlift unloading zones? rolling eyes
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intermediate wrote:
Chaos in the chairlift unloading zones? rolling eyes


One might hope that the designers would have the foresight to disable the screens a few seconds before arrival at the top station. Then again, maybe not.... Laughing
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Alastair Pink wrote:
In a move that is likely to divide opinion the US resort of Winter Park is planning to install digital screens on the safety bars of chairlifts, and provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for every chair.


A US resort with safety bars on chairlifts?
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Tubaski wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
In a move that is likely to divide opinion the US resort of Winter Park is planning to install digital screens on the safety bars of chairlifts, and provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for every chair.


A US resort with safety bars on chairlifts?


I referred to this US phenomenon (safety bars on chairlifts, or rather the lack of them) in the last sentence of my original post. wink
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Alastair Pink wrote:
Tubaski wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
In a move that is likely to divide opinion the US resort of Winter Park is planning to install digital screens on the safety bars of chairlifts, and provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for every chair.


A US resort with safety bars on chairlifts?


I referred to this US phenomenon (safety bars on chairlifts, or rather the lack of them) in the last sentence of my original post. wink

I was obviously too busy trying to think of a smartarse comment to actually read your whole post Embarassed
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So much for getting away from it all.

Please say it doesn't include speakers/sound. Imagine hearing advertising jingles all the way up.

Or some knob shouting down his mobile phone "I am on a chair lift!" where there use to be no signal.
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OK as long as I can play Tetris
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ster wrote:
So much for getting away from it all.

Please say it doesn't include speakers/sound. Imagine hearing advertising jingles all the way up.

Or some knob shouting down his mobile phone "I am on a chair lift!" where there use to be no signal.


TBF I'm not sure you can really call a clanking great chairlift 'getting away from it all!'
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clarky999 wrote:

TBF I'm not sure you can really call a clanking great chairlift 'getting away from it all!'


Actually I find the sound of a chairlift being quite therapeutic - Warm(ish) day, fresh air, sound to the chair - reminds me im on holiday and the sound takes me back to being a kid.

Much like the smell of sun tan lotion the minute summer arrives Toofy Grin
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It's happening in Europe as well. The new Spielboden lift in Saas-Fee has wi-fi in every cabin.

I'm sure a read about cabins in Vail or Aspen having iPhone docks.
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Quote:

The screens will display information such as digital trail maps

adverts more like, especially given that paper maps are becoming more and more adverts with a little map in the middle, and no longer any useful information like lift opening/closing times, bus times, etc.
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At least it will stop that irritating habit of Americans asking where you are from on the lift. Do they not know that lift rides are supposed to be spent in surly silence? I even had an evangelical trying to convert me on a lift in Utah!
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PowderAdict wrote:
It's happening in Europe as well. The new Spielboden lift in Saas-Fee has wi-fi in every cabin.

I'm sure a read about cabins in Vail or Aspen having iPhone docks.


Some gondy cabins in Aspen (Ajax) definitely have iPod docks but who has an iPod anymore? No idea if the current iPhone is the same - it would ill fit Apple's built in obsolescence agenda if it did. They also have a jack socket for normal people.
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Thorney wrote:
At least it will stop that irritating habit of Americans asking where you are from on the lift. Do they not know that lift rides are supposed to be spent in surly silence? I even had an evangelical trying to convert me on a lift in Utah!


That's usually a good opportunity to start talking about what an assclown Trump is (there seemingly being a relatively high correlation between evangelical anything and supporting the oranguantichrist himself - maybe it's the end of days stuff)
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PaulC1984 wrote:
clarky999 wrote:

TBF I'm not sure you can really call a clanking great chairlift 'getting away from it all!'


Actually I find the sound of a chairlift being quite therapeutic - Warm(ish) day, fresh air, sound to the chair - reminds me im on holiday and the sound takes me back to being a kid.

Much like the smell of sun tan lotion the minute summer arrives Toofy Grin


The monotonous clanking can have a somewhat soothing effect, especially compared to the white noise and din of the city I normally get to hear.

And who needs another screen in front of your face. I see people now who cant even lift their heads up from theirs when walking about and expect you to avoid them . Saw someone walk into a tree the other day so focused were they on their phone they. Bounced off it and landed flat on their backside. Lift you head up and look about you.
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I think these could be a good idea - if impemented correctly (sans-audio).

Let's face it most of us are a little data-addicted these days and apps like WhatsApp are a good way to regroup with friends on the mountain and being able to use Wifi rather than mobile data make that a little easier. Of course not everyone gets their phone out and I don't see this will really change the numbers that do, just make life a little more convienient for thoe that do (and so making a reason for someone to pick resort X over resort Y).

I'm sure some people will say they don't need a map because they memorise it with one glance/are part pigeon/can read it without taking it out their back pocket using their bum cheeks but many of us just enjoy skiing around, which does mean looking at the map from time to time, to work out where we are/where the nearest toilet is/where fancy going for lunch. That means either fighting a paper map on the chair (without dropping poles/gloves/map) or worse, off-loading at the top and just stopping to check the map (oblivious to the carnage forming behind). Having an 'off the top' map means you can do all that more easilly on the chair and off-load ready to go (having messaged your friends 2 chairs behind on the Wifi to let them know you're going left and will wait for them at the first coner rather than in the off-load area - well we can dream).

And as someone else pointed out, if ignoring a few ads is the price to pay to keep the lift pass cost down that's fine with me.
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Quote:

And as someone else pointed out, if ignoring a few ads is the price to pay to keep the lift pass cost down that's fine with me.


Spot on. How anyone can be upset by this is a bit baffling. The screens would be there and provide a bit of useful information to those who want to use them. If you don't want to, then please feel free to look in a different direction...
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When I saw the title to this thread and opened it I was expecting the opening post to have been made on April 1st and it was a thread that I had not previously spotted.

This idea is not for me.
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froomie wrote:
Quote:

And as someone else pointed out, if ignoring a few ads is the price to pay to keep the lift pass cost down that's fine with me.


Spot on. How anyone can be upset by this is a bit baffling. The screens would be there and provide a bit of useful information to those who want to use them. If you don't want to, then please feel free to look in a different direction...


Because

a More bar clutter to crack you on the head/squeeze your nads etc
b More potential lift down time to fix the ad system
c Will just be used to sell more stuff rather than useful info
d Moving ads can be very distracting
e Why if you've paid a fair price for your lift pass should you be monetised further

etc etc

I can't see a conceivable way it would improve my experience. Even if it does provide accurate and timely information e.g. on lift queue times all it does is spread that information indiscriminately reducing the opportunity for those savvy enough to have built up local knowledge to benefit. If it served as an emergency alert system only - warning Piste X closed or critical lift Y will be closing in 5 minutes then maybe it has a purpose.
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Quote:

a More bar clutter to crack you on the head/squeeze your nads etc


I would imagine that this will be considered as part of the design process.

Quote:

b More potential lift down time to fix the ad system


Very unlikely. If the system went down then they would just run the lifts as normal and then do maintenance out of hours. Just like every resort does now on non-safety critical issues.

Quote:

c Will just be used to sell more stuff rather than useful info

you don't have to look at it.

Quote:

d Moving ads can be very distracting

You don't have to look at it.

Quote:

e Why if you've paid a fair price for your lift pass should you be monetised further

You don't have to look at it.
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Adding wifi to lifts can only be a good thing for everyone (plenty of resorts already have that of course).

- Skiers get to check weather forecasts and WhatsApp messages to see where their mates are etc (tbf not really an issue in the Alps with no data roaming charges anymore)
- Resorts benefit from the marketing from the increased Instagram/Facebook posts/tags etc

Actual screens with ads on would take the commercialisation a bit too far for my taste though
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@clarky999, Wifi is very useful, having a screen in front of me in the lift is intrusive and, to be honest, without any class at all. A vehicle for the resort and/or lift company to make advertising revenue, none of which I predict will be passed into the consumer in the form of lift pass discounts.

@froomie No, we don't have to look at it, but it will still be playing away in our peripheral vision. Next step is sound as well as vision, and we will be forced to listed to that. At that point I would definitely start looking at a different resort.
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Dr John wrote:

@froomie No, we don't have to look at it, but it will still be playing away in our peripheral vision. Next step is sound as well as vision, and we will be forced to listed to that. At that point I would definitely start looking at a different resort.


And there you have it. No-one is forced to use the lifts or even the resorts in question, so if it really does upset you then vote with your feet. Ski resorts are businesses free to generate revenue as they see fit, and we as consumers are just as free to use the ones we like and not the ones we don't. If it upsets that many people then the resort will probably act accordingly. I'd wait to see what such a development is like in reality first, it could be that an interactive piste map with weather updates lift closures and live queue alerts is a really valuable tool and worth ignoring the odd advertisment for. Nearly all lift stations in major French resorts are already plastered with adverts anyway.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

I can't see a conceivable way it would improve my experience.


In the context of US ski resorts (which is where it is initially being promoted) I can think of two ways:

1. It might encourage US ski resorts to fit safety bars to those chairlifts which currently don't have any
and
2. It might encourage American punters to actually lower the safety bar when they are on chairlifts fitted with them.

Toofy Grin
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Aye. But how many people die each year because they don't have those bars fitted? I'm just wondering, because it's the US and you'd think that maybe the resorts would be careful about stuff like that. So what precisely is the risk? (Don't yell at me: I put the bars down when they're there.)
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According to this report on the family of 3 who fell off a chairlift in Colorado last season "since 2004, there have been three deaths after people fell from chairlifts in instances unrelated to mechanical malfunctions, the Ski Areas Association says." This article on the final investigative report states that Huber's death was the first one in the US related to a lift malfunction since 1993. Interestingly the article refers to the safety bar as a "comfort bar", presumably as the bar has associated footrests and therefore it's an attempt to convince the radical US skiing dudes who disdain to use a "safety bar" (which is for wimps bro) that as it's really a "comfort bar" it's cool to use it.... Laughing Laughing
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Some of the safety bars in the US are badly engineered and I would choose not to use them for reasons of discomfort if no-one else wanted it down. Most of the time if riding solo I'll pull it down. Always pull it down with kids. If with consenting adults and no-one wants it down it doesn't feel like a big deal to me. No-one I have ever ridden a chair with in the US has ever objected to it coming down with fair notice although I've turned a bit of air blue with the paranoid muppets who slam it down before everyone has even sat down properly (To be fair these are mainly in France or when riding a US chair with Euros)
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The best use of the safety bar space I saw some years back at Brekenridge, was they had small panels on the saftey bar bar that had a piste map on it. Simple, useful.
I don't quite recall but it probably had a bit of ad space around it for local businesses in town to advertise.
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I was told that certain US areas didn't have safety bars because that could make them more vulnerable to litigation in event of an upset.

Having been on a fast detachable when the gearbox sized, I would not be here today had there not been a safety bar ...
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Quote:

Having been on a fast detachable when the gearbox sized, I would not be here today had there not been a safety bar ...


Never been in this situation myself but does make me wonder how anybody could ever just sit on a chairlift with the bar up.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
d Moving ads can be very distracting


Good! Maybe the moving ad with distract the smokers from sparking up, almost always at the up-wind end of the bench seat.
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@Mjit, where do you ski? I can't remember the last time someone sparked up on a shared lift.
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Gazzza wrote:
The best use of the safety bar space I saw some years back at Brekenridge, was they had small panels on the saftey bar bar that had a piste map on it. Simple, useful.
I don't quite recall but it probably had a bit of ad space around it for local businesses in town to advertise.


The roll style piste maps on the bar are quite useful. The flat mounted ones encroach into seat space and seem to add a fair amount of weight to the bar.
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@froomie, it was terrifying. We were mid span about 20m above the snow and I had bruises on the tops of my thighs from where I struck the safety bar on the way up...
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