I’ve been riding snowboards for nearly 20 years. Why? The epic nature of rushing down the hill, the steeps, the powder, the friends I make along the way. But, what is the Future of Skiing and Snowboarding. More importantly, how will the ski area operations evolve.
A friend sent me a video from Doppelmayr Garaventa – the world’s largest ropeway manufacturer – about their concept for a SMART Ropeway. While the press release is targeted towards potential customers as opposed to the average gondola/tram rider, the video teases some features which could radically alter our collective gondola-riding experiences.
Design-led speculative futures can be really useful. The video is not that excited to be honest. Put everything your smart phone can do on the window of the gondola. It does get interesting when you consider the ecosystem of sensors, infotainment, mountain conditions, and other data points.
Back in 2018 I had the chance to present the plenary keynote at the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA) in Lake Louise, AB, Canada. I spoke in detail about how mountains will change and how modern life is different with technology, the changing demographics and expectations of visitors, Modern Mountains (and their use of Solar, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Electric Vehicles), and the power of storytelling to create ‘self-transcendence’.
While I was there I got a chance to get up the mountain (within 30 minutes of completing my keynote – which was awesome. I realized that the biggest costs for ski hills is running the lifts and snow making operations. Both require electricity, and ski hills have the opportunity to install solar infrastructure to reduce costs and become more sustainable. See my thoughts here.
A few weeks ago I also found myself back up on Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, Canada and had a few more thoughts on the state of play of ski hill operations and how to create a more sustainable ecosystem.
What is the Future of Skiing and Snowboarding? The mountains are facing ever-changing weather phenomena and erratic seasonal snowfall. We may have to travel further to get was we really seek. Ultimately that is enlightenment.
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Nikolas Badminton is the CEO of EXPONENTIAL MINDS and an award-winning Futurist Keynote Speaker, researcher and author. His expertise and thought leadership will guide you from complacency to thinking exponentially, planning for longevity, and encouraging a culture of innovation. You will then establish resiliency and abundance in your organization. Please reach out to discuss how he can help you, and read on to see what is happening in the world this week.