Industry News 12/17/2009

TECH: Whistler Programs to Utilize Flaik GPS Technology

Whistler Blackcomb's Kids, Ride Tribe and Private Programs to Utilize Flaik GPS Technology this Winter Season
flaik GPS provides real-time tracking information for additional safety while giving Whistler Blackcomb’s youngest guests a chance to track their day on the mountains

This season, Whistler Blackcomb is outfitting guests of the Whistler Kids, Ride Tribe and private programs with flaik Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking tags, making it possible to locate children and guests on the mountain in real-time, while also recording information such as lifts used, runs explored and more.

Guests of Whistler Kids and Ride Tribe will wear the GPS tag during their lesson and as a result, will be traceable in real-time, while also being able to view interesting statistics from their day on the mountains, including average speed, how much vertical was achieved, number of trails explored and total distance accumulated. Considering Whistler Blackcomb has a total of 8,171 acres to explore and over 200 runs to navigate, there certainly is no shortage of statistics to track.

“Parents this season can look forward to a little more peace-of-mind knowing that we’ll be able to track their children, using flaik’s GPS system, no matter where they are on the mountains. So far, the response from parents and children has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Donna Kerr, General Manager, Whistler Kids. “Our goal at Whistler Kids is to give our young guests the perfect blend of skill development, mountain exploration and fun social interaction in the safest environment possible.”

Along with Whistler Kids and Ride Tribe, those enrolled in private lessons will have the option of wearing a GPS tag as well. The tag itself uses cellular technology via a Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) network and transmits information which is then collected by a central server, enabling flaik to not only pinpoint a guest’s exact location, but also his or her physical relationship to other guests or resort staff as well. Once registered on www.flaik.com, users can view statistics from their day on the mountains and share them with friends and family.

“As the consistently ranked No. 1 mountain resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb has always been an innovative technology leader and offers some of the best Ski and Snowboard Programs for children. As a result, our flaik GPS tracking system is the perfect fit,” says Norman Scott, Executive Vice-President, flaik Inc. “We’re thrilled to be able to enhance Whistler Blackcomb’s youth experience both on, and off the mountains, while giving parents a new tool that provides an additional layer of safety for their children.”

Whistler Kids offers group ski lessons for children ages three to 12, snowboarding lessons for ages seven to 12, as well as licensed childcare for children 18-48 months old. Ride Tribe on the other hand, gives youth, aged 13 to 17, the chance to learn how to ride and ski with a highly-certified professional coach who knows the mountains inside and out, top to bottom. Students are grouped in a session with their peers, based on their ability, and can either focus on the fundamentals, if they’re beginners, or take part in Halfpipe and Terrain Park clinics if they’ve got a little experience under their belt.