Snow resorts across America seem to be making a major push to overhaul their infrastructure with technological advancements. That’s evident in moves like Big Sky Resort announcing North America’s first eight-person chair and Winter Park’s new chairlifts with built-in screens.
Vail Resorts is looking to one-up their fellow competitors, as the operator of 11 mountain resorts and three urban ski areas worldwide introduced Emma to the world. The first digital mountain assistant, Emma is essentially a text-based version of automated helpers like Siri and Alexa.
Launching at nine resorts for the 2018-2019 winter season, “Emma offers guests an unprecedented breadth of information tailored to each resort,” the release announcing Emma stated. “Emma's got you covered on topics such as snow conditions and lift line wait times, parking and in-resort wayfinding, ski school, lift tickets and equipment rental options, on- and off-mountain dining and activities recommendations and more.”
An alpha version of Emma will be available at some point this month to a select set of users, but the nine resorts that Emma will be at for everyone next winter season are: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada.
Rather than a voice-based assistant (or even as an app), Emma can help guests simply by texting. According to Vail Resorts, “Emma uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to answer a wide range of guests' questions about their ski vacation. As Emma interacts with guests, her knowledge base and insight will continue to expand through both human and machine learning.”
The goal is to make a better overall guest experience while increasing efficiency with wait times, lift lines and more. Stay tuned for more information about Emma and we’ll be sure to provide more information about how to use Emma once it’s available.
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