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Non Region Specific RFID is not created equally

Tricia

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With the announcement that some resorts are getting new RFID systems this coming season I've been thinking about the differences in RFID gates.

NEW RFID ACCESS:


We've spent some time with the good folks at Axess Americas RFID during some of our industry travel, which I've found fascinating as I listen to what goes into developing a good RFID system.
IMG_8118.jpeg
Our home mountain Mt Rose uses Axess RFID gates which work pretty darn well unless human error is factored in with the pass/lift ticket being in a pocket with another RFID card of some sort or with your phone.

Mammoth also uses Axess RFID and works much the same as Mt Rose.

When at Palisades Tahoe I feel like I have to nearly dry hump the RFID gates to get my pass to work. Not sure what brand their gates are but I'd like to see them change to Axess.

Vail Resorts rip out RFID gates when they buy a resort in favor of their hand held scanners because its their belief that it ads a personal touch with face to face contact with an employee.

What does your home mountain use and what is your experience with RFID?
 

Cheizz

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RFID is and has been the standard in Europe (in the Alps at least) since I got addicted to skiing (2010) and has been a bit longer I think. I have never seen hand scanners used, really. I do think I can recall paper ski tickets on a retractor bungee thingy in a small German ski hill in the early 1990s. Interesting to see that that seems to be a daily situation in North America in some areas.
 

slowrider

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Bachelor has RFID scanners & a big screen for the employees to see. Shows your picture & stats. # days,runs for the day,ect. First day of your ski season, will it work?
 

Posaune

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Vail Resorts rip out RFID gates when they buy a resort in favor of their hand held scanners because its their belief that it ads a personal touch with face to face contact with an employee.

What does your home mountain use and what is your experience with RFID?
I experienced Vail taking out the RFID gates at Stevens Pass. I have not noticed that there is any personal touch to the hand held scanners, and when the RFID was in effect things seemed to go more smoothly.
 

raytseng

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With the announcement that some resorts are getting new RFID systems this coming season I've been thinking about the differences in RFID gates.

NEW RFID ACCESS:


We've spent some time with the good folks at Axess Americas RFID during some of our industry travel, which I've found fascinating as I listen to what goes into developing a good RFID system.
View attachment 213732
Our home mountain Mt Rose uses Axess RFID gates which work pretty darn well unless human error is factored in with the pass/lift ticket being in a pocket with another RFID card of some sort or with your phone.

Mammoth also uses Axess RFID and works much the same as Mt Rose.

When at Palisades Tahoe I feel like I have to nearly dry hump the RFID gates to get my pass to work. Not sure what brand their gates are but I'd like to see them change to Axess.

Vail Resorts rip out RFID gates when they buy a resort in favor of their hand held scanners because its their belief that it ads a personal touch with face to face contact with an employee.

What does your home mountain use and what is your experience with RFID?

Vail uses a custom homebrew rfid that uses uhf, which purposely can scan from a longer distance enabling the epicmix arch and tracking, while most card rfid systems are chosen to be nearfield and need a tap, more like a credit card or room key vs like a car fastpass.

You can quickly imagine most of the obvious pros and cons of each approach.

Most other resorts I've been to on the Ikonpass use skidata systems.you can check out their features on the website.

Just like the ski resort landscape, I don't think there is that much room for many different players, especially if you expect interoperability.
 
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Tony S

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Bachelor has RFID scanners & a big screen for the employees to see. Shows your picture & stats. # days,runs for the day,ect. First day of your ski season, will it work?
Hell, Bachelor has an RFID gate for their nordic area!
 
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Tricia

Tricia

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I experienced Vail taking out the RFID gates at Stevens Pass. I have not noticed that there is any personal touch to the hand held scanners, and when the RFID was in effect things seemed to go more smoothly.
I agree 100%. Not with Stevens Pass since I've never skied there but at other VR. It's not as much of a personal touch as they'd like you to think and in fact is a bit awkward
 

Marker

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I appreciated it when Killington dumped the hand scanners and went to RFID gates. A few of the staff were very friendly when hand scanning our passes, while most were just neutral, with a few unpleasant types, but things just flowed smoother with RFID. The best lifts are those on-mountain with no gates at all even if slower fixed quads and triples.
 

dbostedo

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I have not noticed that there is any personal touch to the hand held scanners

I haven't either when it's busy. But at least a couple of times I can remember when I got there early or with minimal line I got a "Good morning David", or "Have a nice day David" from the scanner. Similar to what Sib is talking about, but they get your name from the hand scanner:

I like the lifty doing the pass scan. Sure, they don't all talk, but some have been there 20 years and it's nice to be greeted by name.
 

Posaune

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My home hill (Baker) still uses bales & tickets and a pass that you have to show with your picture on it, just like in the 20th century! Except most of us pass holders they recognize, so they don't ask for it.
 

KingGrump

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I got a "Good morning David", or "Have a nice day David" from the scanner.

They will often use your name and gauge your reaction. Most people will have some sort of reaction when they hear their name. When there is no reaction, they look a bit harder.

The scanners usually get a bounty for catching skiers using someone else's pass.
 

Andy Mink

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I agree with @Tricia. The gates at Mt. Rose have a very high rate of "let you right through". I generally run into the ones at Palisades expecting them to open. It's like an automatic door that has a delay and opens after you walk into it.
 

Unpiste

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I really don’t understand the thinking behind the new gates on Red Dog at Palisades. They do seem to scan a little better than the other lifts, but only on one side! I watched a few skiers go through backwards so their pass would scan.

The gates at Mt. Rose and Mammoth work much better.
 

Wade

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I can’t believe it has taken this long for Stratton to upgrade to RFID. I don’t think it’ll make any real difference to wait times in lines, but it will hopefully remove bottle necks with lifties scanning barcodes before people get into the maze. These lines to get into the maze some times back up and turn into a sh!t show with people cutting lines from the side etc. so hopefully RFID helps with that.
 

pchewn

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Mt Hood Meadows has the RFID gates. I put my pass card in the pocket on my glove. This way I don't have to "dry hump" the scanner. I just wave my hand in front of the scanner.

Timberline and Skibowl still do the barcode-read of tickets/passes by the lift-line attendant.

I wish the ski areas (or skiers) would solve the problem of not fully loading the chairs. A 4-person chair should never be going up with only 3 people when there is any lift-line at all.

When at Palisades Tahoe I feel like I have to nearly dry hump the RFID gates to get my pass to work. Not sure what brand their gates are but I'd like to see them change to Axess.
 

Daniel

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They will often use your name and gauge your reaction. Most people will have some sort of reaction when they hear their name. When there is no reaction, they look a bit harder.

The scanners usually get a bounty for catching skiers using someone else's pass.
The bounty at Solitude and Alta is $50 per "catch" and has been for a long time. Those tasked with monitoring pass usage (stationed at lower mountain lifts) will typically be seen staring at an iPad resting on a stand inside the electronic gates. Information related to the pass being used and scanned will appear on the screen of the iPad, including a photo, one's name, sex, age, height, and weight. Three seasons ago there was a young guy at Alta who had racked up nearly 200 "catches" just prior to the end of the season and I believe he reached and surpassed that numerical pinnacle on or before closing day. Do the math and you'll see why he was very motivated to be super focused on everyone coming through the gates.
 

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