Copper Mountain launches Waze-like app for real-time ski updates
September 5, 2013
Sherpa guides skiers through the mountains
Colorado ski resort Copper Mountain has rolled out a mobile application that will guide guests through the terrain with hands-free expert advice and GPS services.
The Sherpa app will be available for the 2013-2014 winter season and it will improve its data by user input. Skiers will be able to turn the app on, plug in headphones and receive audio tips throughout their skiing without having to press a button.
“Sherpa takes the focus away from bragging 'me’ and focuses more on the ‘we’, making all guests feel like a local with getting the inside scoop,” said Dwight Eppinger, director of marketing at Copper Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain, CO. “Sherpa will treat every guest the same, feeding insider information and wisdom to anyone with a mobile device.
“Copper believes in sharing and working together for the best possible experience for all guests,” he said. “We realize the inherent nature of skiers to hold on to their ‘stashes’ close, so we will leave it up to each individual to choose what they want to share and who they want to share it with.
“The first release will focus on mountain intelligence from long-time employees and select guests, [and] future releases will open the content creation up to everyone. We’re really excited to see how guests use Sherpa and to see if they’re willing to create an ‘open source’ mountain.”
Sherpa provides relevant information to skiers based on their location using GPS. Once a user turns the app on, Sherpa will continuously provide tips, directions and other information through voice recordings.
The app will let a skier know which trails have fresh snow and which are groomed. This allows skiers to plan their day based on real-time information.
A screenshot of Sherpa
Additionally, the app will let users know about promotions and event updates, including traffic wait times and road closures.
Similar to the social traffic updating app Waze, Sherpa will eventually gather information from skiers themselves to add to the app’s database.
The app will be available for free in Apple’s App Store starting November 1. By mid-December, the app will also be available in Google Play.
Sherpa can locate the exact position of a skier
Many different apps have been utilizing smartphones’ GPS functions to offer relevant information to consumers.
Fiat Brazil, for example, recently used Waze to push out relevant information that helps drivers find a place to take a break during heavy traffic (see story).
7-Eleven also used Waze along with The Weather Channel to provide location and weather relevant offers to consumers (see story).
Sherpa takes GPS to a whole new level and provides an all-encompassing location-based experience for skiers.
“Mobile is the direct way to connect with our guests when they are experiencing our mountain,” Mr. Eppinger said.
“Copper Mountain skiers and riders, with Sherpa, can set their settings accordingly and tell us exactly what information they want and when they want it,” he said. “Local knowledge and insight is now in one hands-free mobile application for all skiers and riders to Copper Mountain.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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