Vail Resorts is gearing up to release the third edition of EpicMix, a web and mobile app system that lets visitors track their activities and share them with their friends using radio frequency-enabled chips embedded in lift tickets and season passes.
This year's edition, slated for a mid-December release, will add a racing aspect to the app for guests at Vail Resorts.
EpicMix is described as a skiing equivalent to the Nike+ app and gives guests of Vail Resorts an easy way to share race times, photos and activities digitally via Facebook, Twitter or through an online EpicMix dashboard.
With EpicMix racing, skiers and riders will be able to compare their race times with professional American ski racer Lindsey Vonn, who will set the pace for EpicMix race tracks this November.
Vail-based Vonn has won four overall world cup championships and a gold medal in downhill skiing at the last Winter Olympics - the first gold in the event for an American woman.
Skiers and riders at Vail Resorts can compete with Vonn completely paperless - the chip in lift tickets and passes will be scanned at gates, registering the racer, and race costs can be paid with a credit card or resort charge.
Though a price has not been set by Vail Resorts, spokeswoman Kate Lessman said prices of EpicMix races will likely be $5 or $6.
The app automatically posts times of skiers and riders to the EpicMix dashboard, comparing times to Vonn and other friends.
Racetimes, digital medals, leader boards and photos will be posted onto the EpicMix dashboard and website.
"We created EpicMix to bring together the digital and physical experience of skiing and riding and make it easy to share your story with friends and family," said Rob Katz, Vail Resorts chairman and chief executive officer.
When EpicMix debuted in 2010, the app tracked vertical feet and awarded digital pins for special accomplishments on the mountain. In it's second year, the app streamlined the collection and posting of vacation photos.
This year, the racing aspect to EpicMix seemed only natural.
"Working with world champion ski racer Lindsey Vonn we have completely redesigned how skiers can fully utilize the latest digital technology to compare themselves against the very best, seamlessly track and share all of their accomplishments and compete against racers from six world-class resorts," Katz said.
EpicMix has been very popular among guests at Vail Resorts, the new aspect to the app will provide guests to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly Resort and Northstar a new way to experience ski racing.
Nearly 100,000 - approximately 15 percent - of guests activated their EpicMix accounts in its first season, resulting in 270,000 posts to Facebook and Twitter. Last season, an additional 200,000 guests activated their accounts, who together shared more than two million photos to those networks.
"Making ski racing fun and engaging for kids and families is an exciting opportunity," Vonn said. "Growing up racing, I always looked forward to telling the stories of my races and being able to track my progress and see how my friends were doing - I was thrilled to be able to work with Vail Resorts to make this happen."