Charlie Herrington, Marketing Manager for the Eaglecrest Ski Area, shows off new radio-frequency identification gates on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, that skiers will use this season to access the chairlifts. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Charlie Herrington, Marketing Manager for the Eaglecrest Ski Area, shows off new radio-frequency identification gates on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, that skiers will use this season to access the chairlifts. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Eaglecrest to unveil new ticketing, tracking system

Hooter and Ptarmigan chairlifts will use new technology

An offseason development at Eaglecrest Ski Area will provide the operation with a bevy of data, including how long a skier spends on the mountain or what they purchased from the cafeteria.

Eaglecrest Ski Area installed gates equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology last month at the base of Hooter and Ptarmigan chairlifts that will communicate electronically with users’ lift tickets to grant access to the respective chairlifts.

[Sneak Peek: Check out the new cabin being built at Eaglecrest Ski Area]

Charlie Herrington, marketing manager at Eaglecrest, said the technology is typically found at larger ski areas.

Fresh snow hits the lower slopes at the Eaglecrest Ski Area on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Fresh snow hits the lower slopes at the Eaglecrest Ski Area on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

“We were overdue on a Point Of Sale overhaul so because we upgraded that, it opened the door for us to get into the 21st century of ski area operations and pursue RFID ticket gates,” Herrington said in an interview on Tuesday.

Axess, the manufacturer of the gates, lists over 30 different U.S. ski resorts with its product, including Alyeska in Girdwood.

The ski area will use hand-held ticket scanners on its other two chairs, Black Bear and Porcupine. In the past, skiers and snowboarders were required to display lift tickets Eaglecrest employees for chair access.

Herrington said the new technology will be a boon for analytics.

Day and season passes will make use of new radio-frequency identification gates at the Eaglecrest Ski Area. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Day and season passes will make use of new radio-frequency identification gates at the Eaglecrest Ski Area. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

“Now we’ll know exactly how many people are here,” Herrington said, “which will go a long way for helping us when is our busy time, what lifts, what’s the flow of the skier on the mountain, how can we make winters better and what do we need to be putting more attention on?”

Season pass use for discounts at the Eaglecrest Grill will also produce data, according to Herrington.

“We’ll know people in this age range really buy cheeseburgers and people in this age range, they’re buying salad wraps,” Herrington said. “Maybe we can use it to help change our food and beverage program and improve that.”

The technology will give multi-visit and flex pass holders the ability to skip the ticket office. In the past, multi-visit card holders would need to receive a print-out ticket. In the case of the flex pass, a new offering in which users get 50% off lift tickets by paying $100 up front, day tickets can be loaded online at store.skieaglecrest.com or by calling the ticket office.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


More in Sports

Courtesy Photos / Eric Hanson
Thunder Mountain High School junior Kiah Dihle runs her way to an eighth-place finish Saturday at the state cross country meet.
Juneau cross country teams end strange season with strong finish

The race was the first and last in-person race of the season.

Courtesy photos / Debbie Lowenthal
Above, Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School students Rayna Tuckwood (right) and Skylar Tuckwood (left) race at the Thunder Mountain High School cross country race course during a regionals meet Oct. 3. Below, Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School students Tim Degener (right) and Finn Morely (left) compete in the boys division.
Juneau runners raring to rout rival racers in state meet

This will be one of the first all-up state competitions since the pandemic began.

Associated Press
                                In this March 2017 photo, volunteer handlers guide teams out of the dog yard and down the chute to the starting line of the 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021, and officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts.
Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021.

The Juneau Mountain Bike Alliance and City and Borough of Juneau are collaborating to finish a new pump track for bicycle riders in Cope Park, due to be finished within weeks, Sept. 16, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Outdoors pump track work is ramping up

Cope Park is about to have a new way to keep entertained.

Coach Merry Ellefson compliments runners on a job well done after a race. (Courtesy Photo / Debbie Lowenthall)
Long-distance running meets socially distanced competition

Team spirit carries Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School’s runners on where others falter.

Matt Boline demonstrates a drill during a recent workout with players in the 12-and-under group workout at Treadwell Ice Arena. (Courtesy Photo / Steve Quinn)
Photos: It’s heating up on the ice

Juneau Douglas Ice Association’s youth hockey season is underway at Treadwell Ice Arena.

Alan Stuart/Pair of Thieves 
                                This photo shows Doug Peterson posed recently in Pacific City, Ore., next to the camper van that will accompany him on a nearly 1,500-mile bike ride to raise awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month. Peterson is riding his bike from the Canadian border to the Mexican border during the month of September, raising money with the support of apparel company Pair of Thieves and awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month.
Oregon man rides from Canada to Mexico for suicide awareness

He will ride across the country during National Suicide Prevention Month.

Capital Kennel Club of Juneau stays dogged, holds first post-pandemic trials

Past events had been scratched — and not behind the ears.

Runners jog through a haze of colored powder as they begin a 5k run through downtown Juneau on Sunday, April 29, 2018. (Richard McGrail / Juneau Empire File)
Some local color: Downtown run is coming up

DBA partnered with the J-D Cross Country team will host the 2020 DBA Color Run.

Israeli Olympic racewalker Shaul Ladany holds his 1972’s Olympic race shoes for a portrait in Omer, Israel, Sunday, July 12, 2020. In an instant, the world record holder in the 50-mile walk was thrust into one of sports’ greatest tragedies and a seminal moment in modern history _ the kidnapping and massacre of his fellow Israeli team members at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The killing shocked the world, gave the Palestinian cause an audience and ushered in a new era of global terrorism. Ladany, a Holocaust survivor, the lessons still linger. He says it taught him to “never be afraid” but become “more careful.”(AP Photo / Ariel Schalit)
Israeli racewalker recalls surviving 1972 Munich massacre

In an instant, he was thrust into one of sports’ greatest tragedies.