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Sierra and Northstar Resorts Launch Interactive Trail Maps


Northstar Resort & Sierra Resort Media Alert




Media Rich Map Is One Stop Shopping For Current Mountain Updates

TRUCKEE and SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – January 24, 2008 – Responding to consumers who are increasingly booking their travel online, Northstar™ and Sierra™ Resorts have each launched online interactive trail maps to help skiers and snowboarders plan their entire day on the mountain before they head up to the resorts. Rich media content helps orient guests to the mountain geography so that they may become familiar with the available amenities, as well as chairlift locations, current mountain conditions including open and groomed trails, live weather updates, and weekly video. Additionally, guests can upload videos of themselves skiing/riding directly to the map for sharing with friends and family.

Studies have shown that the majority of web users prefer to absorb information in a graphical, pictorial or video format versus text, hence the growing prevalence of these communication styles on many of the most sophisticated web sites. The essence of the online interactive trail map is to transfer all of the textual information contained in the resort web site onto a visual, geographical representation. Guests can click straight through the content on the interactive trail map to get more information, make reservations or even make purchases.

It is, in essence, an entire web site on a map.

“Our own surveys indicate that the Interactive Trail map is one of the five most popular web pages,” explains Colleen Dalton, E-Business Marketing Director for Booth Creek Ski Resorts. “This demonstrates that time-deprived customers who are planning a vacation, or simply looking for lift status, go directly to the map versus making multiple clicks through the web site to get to their destination.”

According to the 2007 PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey, 51 percent of U.S. travel was booked online. The survey projected that online booking would continue to increase, reaching 56 percent in 2008 and 60 percent in 2009.  “The more we, as a resort industry, can provide a cutting edge web site experience, the better we are able to cater to U.S. travelers who are looking for information and booking their vacations online,” responds Dalton.

The online interactive trail map is the latest manifestation of Web 2.0 in the ski industry. Think of it as an amalgamation of YouTube and GoogleEarth. Cutting-edge technology enables users to upload their own video to pinpoint locations on the map (ala GoogleEarth) and then share them with family and friends (ala YouTube). For example, if a family uses their own video camera to take footage of brother and sister getting fresh tracks down Castle trail at Sierra Resort on a powder day, they can then upload that video to the interactive trail map where it will appear specifically on Castle run. The video is pinpointed on the map where it was taken on the mountain.


Sierra Interactive Trail Map
Open Sierra Interactive Trail Map
in New Window.

Northstar Interactive Trail Map

Open Northstar Interactive Trail Map
in New Window.

View 360 Panoramas

Groomed Runs
See what trails were groomed overnight.

Upload Your Videos
Users can Upload their Videos to the Map

The user video uploads are just one of the rich media features of the interactive trail map. Other valuable tools include 360° panoramas that can be controlled by the web user, videos uploaded by the resort, daily snow and grooming information regarding current mountain co
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