After extensive renovations, Owl’s Head ski resort located in Mansonville, QC on the edge of Lake Memphremagaog, reopened for business last month. The new owners, Destination Owl’s Head, partnered with leading Montreal tech company Connect&GO to develop a fully connected guest experience. Whereas traditional lift tickets functioned with a simple barcode system, the new connected alternative uses RFID tags; offering a wide array of convenient features for skiers to enjoy while at the resort.
A smart ski hill
The Owl’s Head experience starts with a customized ticketing platform. Guests can purchase their lift tickets online at owlshead.com, or they may purchase them in person at the resort. Guests can choose the Echo, a rechargeable day pass, or the Ninoxe, a rechargeable season pass for the ski hill. Once they have purchased their pass, guests can register their personalized profile on the digital platform; giving them access to a variety of other resort features. Guests can load funds directly onto their connected RFID card and make cashless purchases with any vendor at the resort by simply tapping their card. They do not need to worry about carrying their wallet around, and can enjoy the convenience of a cashless system. Guests can choose to link their credit cards directly to their pass for simplified payments and also load funds onto their kids’ cards to allow for monitored spending while at the resort.
“The Owl’s Head cashless payment system was developed using the same principles we’ve used at some of our biggest events around the world, and was inspired by the frictionless payment experience offered by Uber” says Alexandre Bourassa, Product Director – Connect&GO.
Security a top priority for Owl’s Head
In addition to the ticketing and payment systems offered by Connect&GO, Owl’s Head resort owners have chosen to use the company’s smart ski portals for access control at the busy ski hill. Using a high-frequency antenna, each skier’s Echo or Ninoxe pass will be detected as they pass through the portal and a lighting system will indicate whether or not they have permission to access the area.
Other user-friendly features, such as self-serve RFID card dispensers and an integration with the resort’s existing locker system will also be included in this first phase of the Owl’s Head project.
Ski&GO an innovative platform
The sophisticated platform, developed by Connect&GO, includes unique features that will facilitate better emergency management at the popular ski hill. Guests can include allergy and blood type information in their personal online profile. In the case of an emergency, staff simply scan the guest’s card to find their registered personal health details.
A first for Quebec
In a market dominated by Austrian companies, Skidata and Axess, Connect&GO is the first Canadian company to offer a connected alternative for ski resorts around the world. According to Connect&GO Co-Founder Dominic Gagnon, “Canada has all the right elements to become a major player in this market. Our winter climate, paired with our exceptional expertise in developing tech for the leisure industry, gives us a clear advantage.”
Connect&GO in Europe
In addition to this strategic partnership, Connect&GO plans to expand its business in the European market with a newly opened office in Paris. In the past few months, the company has developed a cashless payment system for one London’s biggest attractions – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Connect&GO’s flexible payment system is also being used at Folie Douce, a major hotel chain in Chamonix, France. Using Connect&GO’s payment system, Folie Douce will become one of the first hotels in the world to offer a “100% cashless” experience. Since the official opening on December 23, hotel guests have enjoyed using their connected wristbands to unlock their hotel room doors, and make quick, cashless purchases at the hotel.
About Owl’s Head
Located just 90 minutes from Montreal and 30 minutes from Magog, Owl’s Head offers an incredible view of Lake Memphremagog and overlooks the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec. For over 50 years, the popular ski resort has offered 50 outstanding ski runs and acres of untouched woodland. From golf to hiking, appreciating fall colours or spending time at the marina, there are many memorable experiences to enjoy all year round! For more information about Owl’s Head, visit the website: owlshead.com
Connect&GO is a global leader in Guest Experience Engineering packaging the simplest wearable RFID technology with the smartest modular operations management system for the leisure, attractions, sports and entertainment industries. Flexible software modules for Ticketing, Access Control, Point of Sale, Cashless Payments, Gamification, Experiential Activations and Activities Management create a seamless end-to-end guest experience that generates secondary revenues, increases spend-per-head and maximizes guest engagement. Connect&GO has served major amusement and water parks, ski hills and resorts, brands and agencies, festivals and sporting events around the world to integrate easy-to-use wearable technology into the incredible experiences they offer, making it simple for guests to ENTER, PAY and PLAY!
Dominic Gagnon, Co-Founder & CEO
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