Winter Season on Friday, December 13, 2019 with over $1 million in improvements and additions that will greatly enhance the skier, and overall, resort experience. This season the resort will roll out new technology that impacts lift tickets and snowmaking along with a new restaurant offering and even an app for your phone.
The science of making snow continues to evolve and with new advancements in the technology of snowmaking that makes it easier to make snow. In their efforts to continually improve snowmaking infrastructure to bring skiers and riders a better on-snow experience, Wisp added 5 new Techno Alpine TR8 tower fan snow guns on the most popular ski run on the mountain called Squirrel Cage. These guns have a greater range of working temperatures so it’s easier to make snow in temperatures near freezing, and they are more energy efficient, so they dovetail with the resort’s new Eco Values sustainability program.
To offer a more convenient and streamlined experience for skiers and snowboarders to get to the lifts, Wisp installed a new RFID ticketing and Axess gate system at chairlifts. With the new system, guests will be able to purchase lift tickets online, and they will receive an RFID (radio frequency identification device) card that allows them to reload lift tickets or season passes onto that same card via their mobile phones or computers.
Guests will only have to pick-up the RFID card at any lift ticket window once, and then they can place the card in a left-side jacket or pant pocket and go directly to the chairlift where the RFID card will be scanned at a gate and allow the Guest to pass and load the chairlift.
This technology has allowed Wisp to add more lift ticket options for skiers and riders including new “flex lift tickets” in 4 and 8-hour increments. The start of the flex lift ticket begins once the skier is scanned at an Axess gate for that day. Once the card time has expired, the gate will no longer open and guests can reload another increment of skiing for that day, or any future days, simply by using their phone.
In keeping with the technology upgrades, Wisp will launch a new mobile app this winter that will give skiers and riders the most useful mountain and resort information such as an interactive trail map displaying groomed and open trails, lift schedules, GPS tracking, a calendar of events, and a resort map identifying where various facilities and services are located. The app will also offer push notifications so guests can take advantage of special deals or announcements that occur at the ski area.
The tech-savvy GPS feature of the app will track a guest’s location on the resort map so friends can find each other, record total vertical feet skied for the day and season, and it will even display personal records for vertical feet and distance. For app users who want to see how they compare to other skiers and riders, there is also an overall leaderboard tallying who has skied the most at the mountain.
It’s not all about technology, though. There is also a change in the culinary offerings at Wisp this year.
The Resort will feature the return of DC’s Bar & Restaurant to serve guests lunch and dinner daily in a casual family-friendly atmosphere with an updated menu. There will also be new menus at Wispers Bar & Grill and in the Food Court to greet hungry guests, in addition, all of the lounges will feature a selection of trendy beers and beverages.
“All of these improvements have been made because we wanted to elevate the overall guest experience.
So often we invest in behind-the-scene infrastructure items that many of our Guests don’t see or hear about, but the improvements this year are front-and-center, and I’m proud of our staff for getting all this work completed
this summer and fall. I think our guests are really going to like these enhancements,” commented new General Manager, Ron Hawkes.
“We anticipate opening on Friday with terrain the whole family can enjoy from advanced to beginners. For those who know the mountain, we should have Squirrel Cage, Grouse Way, Wisp Trail, Sunset Blvd and the Wisp Kids Learning Terrain open along with Central Park Terrain Park and the Mountain Park for snow tubing and mountain coaster operations. More terrain will open as snowmaking progresses and weather permits,” noted Mountain Operations Director, Artie Speicher. Wisp began making snow on November 12th which is one of the earliest snowmaking starts in the past 5 years. Hawkes said as long as the weather cooperates snowmaking and grooming crews will continue to go full steam ahead to open as much terrain as possible, as soon as possible.
For opening weekend, chairlifts will operate from 9am – 9pm Friday and Saturday and 9am – 5pm on Sunday. The Mountain Park will operate on Friday from 1pm – 8pm with the Mountain Coaster and 4pm – 8pm for Snow Tubing.
Mountain Park operations will continue on Saturday from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 10am – 5pm. Eight-hour flex lift ticket pricing for opening weekend is $64 for adults; $39 for juniors ages 6-12 years old for Friday and Sunday and $69 for adults; $49 for juniors on Saturday.
Discounted lift ticket rates for future dates are available by purchasing online in advance at wispresort.com, but quantities are limited. The Mission: Four’dable 4-pack of unrestricted lift tickets is still available online at wispresort.com thru December 20 for $209. Rates for the Mountain Park include Snow Tubing at $34 per person per 2-hour session; Mountain Coaster at $14 for a single ride and $19 for double rider.
For the most up-to-date conditions, lift operations and trail openings visit Wisp Resort’s mountain report at www.wispresort.com.