15Oct

Modern Technology is Changing the Face of Travel

Have you ever lost your kids on the ski slope or wanted to make plans rather quickly to meet up?  EpicMix Kids is a cross between Nike+ (tracking your physical activity) and FourSquare (recognition of location-based accomplishments), with the ability to connect and share with friends on Facebook (for users over the age of 13) and Twitter (making connections) – it’s social media for skiers!

EpicMix allows skiers to track vertical feet and runs skied and recognize special achievements by rewarding guests with collectible digital pins.  The mobile app will also alert guests when their Facebook friends are on the mountain, and can be used to send private messages to meet up.   EpicMix is a fun way for families to work together to achieve their goals of runs skied, trails explored, and pins earned.

What is truly unique is the company’s use of RFID technology on season passes and lift tickets to allow for completely passive “check-ins” so that guests can participate without the use of a phone or GPS device, or in any way changing the way they have always skied around the mountain. There is nothing for them to buy or wear other than their ski pass, which has an embedded RFID chip.

Here’s a short list of a few other properties that offer unique technology components targeted at families:

Vail Resorts’ EpicMix Kids– Bring technology to new heights- the mountains!- with EpicMix Kids. Try out the new mobile and online application from Vail Resorts where families can work together to track their runs, progress, and unlock collectible digital pins for special achievements. EpicMix Kids is one of the first social media platforms designed for children under 13. For privacy reasons, children under 13 are only allowed to be “friends” with their family members. It’s available at all Vail Resorts mountains: Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek and Heavenly (in California).

The application is a cross between Nike+ (tracking your physical activity) and FourSquare (recognition of location-based accomplishments), with the ability to connect and share with friends on Facebook (for users over the age of 13) and Twitter.  The application can first be tried when Keystone Mountain opens for the season on November 5, 2010. Stay during one of Keystone’s Kidtopia Festivals and kids can participate in activities including: a glow stick parade down the mountain, disco tubing, glow bug skate night on North America’s largest outdoor rink and an on-mountain barbecue night. “Ski Free Stay Free” package rates starts at just $71 per person per night and includes lodging for four in a two-bedroom condominium and a three-day lift ticket per person. Blackout dates apply. Plus, Keystone introduces the ULTIMATE winter play area with the world’s largest snow fort at the top of Dercum Mountain. The fort will be 60 by 40 feet with 12-foot walls, complete with a drawbridge, lookout tower, and its very own dragon. Kidtopia Festivals will take place: Dec 27 – Jan 2; Jan 14 – 17; Jan 29 – 30; Feb 18 – 21; March 12 – 20. www.KeystoneResort.com / 877-204-7889. For more information, visit www.epicmix.com.

AKA at Atlantis, Paradise Island – Find technology in paradise at this new 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art kid’s club – Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA). AKA incorporates cutting-edge technology for both the entertainment and educational value it provides young adventurers. Throughout the club, kids discover interactive, touch-screen walls, tables and floors, providing creative game play and artistic expression. AKA features themed spaces from a performance room with its own sound booth, to a culinary kitchen, to a computer room with 13 iMac stations for gaming and creative projects.

Partial and full-day participation at AKA is available, as well as special evening programs, including Candy Carnival and Buccaneer’s Bash themed nights.  Prices for AKA programming range from $40 to $65 per session. For more information visit www.atlantis.com.

Gamers delight in Florida – The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida is letting guests take today’s hottest games for a test drive. Vue (virtual user experience) is a unique and sleek lounge at the resort where guests can kick back with the latest in technology and entertainment.  Other hotels may offer gaming technology for their guests, but Vue goes above and beyond with a modern space including everything from Mac stations, iPod docks, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Nintendo Wii, Playstation and more. The lounge even hosts Wii fitness classes and bowling tournaments. And for guests (maybe parents!) who are new to this world, Vue stands out with on-staff gamers that act as your “roadies” as you discover your inner rock star.  Best of all, it’s all complimentary to resort guests. More details can be found at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/Naples.

EpicMix Kids is one of the first social media platforms designed for children under 13. For privacy reasons, children under 13 are only allowed to be “friends” with their family members.

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