A number of New Zealand’s most popular ski resorts will soon be issuing smart card ski passes that visitors can use to access chairlifts, rent equipment, sign up for ski lessons, and purchase food and drinks. The ski pass program is being launched by NZSki, a company that operates New Zealand’s Coronet Peak, Mount Hutt, and The Remarkables ski areas. Similar programs are already in place at Aspen and Alta ski resorts in the US, however those resorts only use the cards to access lifts. In New Zealand, the smart card ski passes will offer a variety of different functions.

The enhanced functionality of these ski passes doesn’t just benefit the skiers. It also provides invaluable information to the resorts about the habits of those skiing on the mountains. For instance, the cards reveal which runs are the busiest, making it easier to determine where and when to send groomers. Knowledge provided by the scanning of ski passes also allows the resorts to make staffing decisions and plan future improvements to their overall operations.
Skiers can hold onto their cards indefinitely. Each card contains the skiers personal info, the details of their membership, and even holds the info about what skis and boots they use so they don’t have to go through the fitting process when renting gear.
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