Vail Resorts cuts ties with SharpShooter |

Vail Resorts cuts ties with SharpShooter

Kathryn Corazzelli
summit daily news
The EpicMix website touts the new featur for users, including professional photos taken on the hill and uploaded to users' EpicMix account page.

After contracting photography outside the company with SharpShooter Imaging for years, Vail Resorts is moving business internally with its recently launched photo feature on the company’s Epic Mix application and website.

The earliest contract Vail has on file with SharpShooter is 2003, Kelly Ladyga, Vail Resorts vice president of corporate communications said in an email. It is unclear exactly how many SharpShooter photographers were working from Vail’s end, since the companies had a vendor agreement, and calls to SharpShooter from the Summit Daily were not returned.

Vail is hiring several hundred photographers across its six mountain resorts for EpicMix, Ladyga said. Preference will not be given to former SharpShooter photographers.

“It seems logical that some of the SharpShooter photographers will be well qualified prospects for our positions, and we welcome them to apply with us,” Ladyga said.

At least one former SharpShooter photographer, Travis Hansbarger, thinks it’s a good move.

“I believe Vail Resorts has the resources to make an amazing photographic experience far greater than Sharpshooter had ever given Vail and its other winter destinations,” he said. He is not applying for one of the new positions, as he is already “happily employed” by the Town of Vail.

According to SharpShooter’s website, it is a nationwide company operating in places like ski resorts, passenger ships, dinner theaters, train excursions and theme parks.

“We’ve had a long successful history of partnering with SharpShooter Imaging and we appreciate the great service they have provided to and memories they have captured for our guests,” Pat Campbell, chief operating officer of Breckenridge Ski Resort said. “We will work with SharpShooter to help transition their employees at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly who are interested in becoming photographers for our enhanced EpicMix product this winter.”

The new EpicMix photo features are planned to launch mid-December. Upon request, the company’s photographers will take portrait and action photos and automatically deliver the images to the guest’s EpicMix account by scanning the guest’s RF-enabled lift ticket or season pass. The application will allow users to see a collage of their ski days – including photos and pins earned – which they can then share on social networking sites like Facebook. The photos are free, with a $19.95 option of purchasing higher resolution images.

Epic Mix, which launched last winter, allows skiers and snowboarders to keep track of their ski days. They can also earn pins for various milestones, track the amount of vertical feet skied in a day and throughout the season, and link all of that information to social networks. The feature is free with the purchase of a season pass or lift ticket to just about everyone this year as the company is moving away from paper tickets and completely switching over to its hard-card passes, all of which have the RF technology embedded within the pass.

Lauren Glendenning of the Vail Daily contributed to this report.

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