Ten ski areas are advertising RFID ticket systems this season.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Radio frequency identification (RFID) ticketing is rapidly expanding in New England, as 5 areas have announced the addition of the technology for the 2017-18 season. Gunstock, Smugglers Notch, Sugarbush, Sunapee, and Waterville Valley are unveiling RFID this season.
Though the technology has origins dating back to the mid twentieth century, widespread commercial usage has taken place in the past few decades, as chips have become smaller and more affordable for identification cards and transit tolling.
The first known RFID ticketing system in New England was deployed at Jay Peak in 2010. As of the 2017-18 season, 10 New England ski areas in 3 states are expected to use the technology.
Though expensive to deploy, RFID in theory can decrease labor costs, as well as reduce theft of service. With RFID passes, returning skiers can pay for their passes online, thus reducing demand on ticket windows. In addition, with seamless lift gates, employees no longer need to manually scan tickets.
RFID technology also allows for easy implementation of multi-resort passes, such as the M.A.X. Pass.
Though theft of service through unauthorized transfers is still an issue, companies are advertising new products that incorporate photo or biometric verification.