First-person view down the ski slope at Park City

Watching athletes compete for gold can be mesmerizing, and even a little intimidating! How do they make it look so easy?!?

For recent games, many of the athletes had to qualify in trials that were held at Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), 2002 host destination and a true pioneer in using IT to improve their operations and customer satisfaction as a Dell enterprise solutions customer. 

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit Park City, Utah and experience the top ranked ski resort first hand. I spent a Sunday skiing the 3,300 acres of the Wasatch Mountains, and then had the privilege of exploring “behind the scenes” with the five-person IT team, who made this guest experience so incredible.

From protecting their guests from internet threats with Dell SonicWALL next-generation firewalls, to speeding up the rental process by offering electronic check-in on Dell Wyse thin clients, the PCMR IT team has taken an innovative approach to increase its operational efficiency and enhance its guest experience.

One of the solutions that stood out was their deployment of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), powered by Dell PowerEdge blade servers and VMware vSphere Hypervisor, that runs SKIDATA, a contactless, radio-frequency identification-based application. Rather than requiring guests to show their lift ticket at every chairlift, guests place the RFID coded ticket in their pocket and ski right through a gate for access, eliminating wait times at the bottom of the mountain.

Here’s an example of how quickly each skier and snowboarder is able to get to the chairlift with the help of RFID coded tickets and a Dell and VMware VDI solution:

 


The app is visible on each lift operator’s tablet and grants (or declines) access for each skier or snowboarder. Additionally, it provides the lift operators with conversation starting information like season ticket holders’ names, hometowns and number of days skied this season, fostering a personal experience. Since deploying the RFID gates, PCMR has been able to grant chair lift access to approximately 27 percent more guests during their busiest times and has been able to reduce the number of employees required for lift access by 30-50 percent.

View of the Dell server rack at Park City Mountain Resort

In addition to enhancing the guest experience, PCMR has also achieved several other business benefits through the end-to-end Dell solution, including:

  • Lowered server costs by $50,000 and annual energy savings of $20,000
  • Deployed voice-over-IP for savings of $1,800 a month
  • Optimized deployment, with the ability to resolve issues in real time.

After checking out the slopes, chalets and shops, the IT team also allowed me to spend some time in their offices and peek into their datacenter, where they house their Dell Compellent SC8000 arrays that are connected to the virtualized Dell blade server environment with Dell Networking MXL switches and Intel Ethernet X520 10 Gigabit Mezzanine Cards.

If you don’t have the chance to see the mountain views in person, check them out from your desk on these live, controllable mountain cams. You never know, you might tune in as one of the medal-winning Park City native athletes is hitting the slopes.

If you’re interested in more information on how Park City Mountain Resort is improving their guest experience through end-to-end Dell technology, visit the case study, press release and infographic below.

 

Many thanks to Ryan Hayes, IT Director; Craig Casey, Systems Engineer; Meg Steele, CRM Business Analyst; Jeff Swindel, Desktop Support Analyst; and Josh Dewey, PC Technician for sharing your insight and hospitality. Your team really knows how to focus on what’s important – the guest!