Resorts’ Video Strategy Snowballs with Array of Brightcove Features
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The company’s subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The company’s luxury resort subsidiary RockResorts manages properties across the United States and the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts.
We needed a video solution that served as a platform across all of our sites and facilitated content aggregation. Brightcove allows us to produce content, quickly publish it to the site and continue to interact and engage with guests on a day-to-day basis.”
Director of Interactive Marketing for Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts’ video strategy began with professionally produced video brochures featuring the company’s resort mountain properties and amenities. As Vail Resorts acquired more properties, it expanded its online presence and altered its video strategy to include more real-time, journalistic video content. Each of Vail Resorts’ six properties is represented online by an independent website, with two additional websites: Snow.com, which hosts updates on mountain conditions and resort packages for its six properties, and Buzz.Snow.com, an interactive community where snow enthusiasts can post and share user-generated content. Vail Resorts sought an online video platform that would facilitate content aggregation of both professionally produced and user-generated video content across all eight websites and corresponding social media properties.
Brightcove online video platform, Fall 2008.
- Doubled website traffic
- Facilitated monitoring of user-generated content
- Simplified content aggregation across all sites
- Increased views by 800 percent year-over-year
Integrated, Flexible, Advanced
Company-wide Media Integration
As the 2008-2009 ski season began, Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer, Rob Katz, reallocated 80 percent of the marketing and advertising spend from traditional media to digital, including video, online and social media. The expanded video strategy went beyond the professionally produced “visual brochures” that featured the resorts and amenities to fund user-generated ski, snowboard and weather-related video content. New video formats included 360o video and immersive, journalistic videos by locals capturing real-time footage on Flip Video™cameras, helmet cams and other devices, and videos detailing the mountain experience.
“We needed a video solution that served as a platform across all of our sites and facilitated content aggregation,” said Mike Slone, director of interactive marketing for Vail Resorts. “Brightcove allows us to produce content, quickly publish it to the site and continue to interact and engage with guests on a day-to-day basis.”
Vail Resorts has developed its own media outlet by integrating its existing print magazine and a TV station located near the Vail and Beaver Creek resort properties. Combining its dynamic media assets with Brightcove’s fast publishing and easy distribution capabilities allows the company to provide content to a widespread audience and complements Vail Resort’s company slogan, “The Experience of a Lifetime.”
“We want to provide a unique experience at every touch point, and to do that, it has to begin as soon as a visitor logs onto one of our websites,” Slone said. “Video is an incredibly powerful way to connect ‘The Experience of a Lifetime’ with our customers and lets them virtually encounter the mountain before they even arrive.”
Facilitated Content Aggregation
The enthusiastic community of locally based skiers and snowboarders in the Vail, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek areas became an even greater asset for showcasing “The Experience of a Lifetime.” Beginning with the 2009-2010 ski season, Vail Resorts contacted its passionate and social media-savvy customers who were already capturing and sharing their mountain experiences with family and friends through their social networks. Vail Resorts selected many of these locals to be a part of its “Snow Squad,” a team of skiers and riders chosen to update Snow.com and Buzz.Snow.com with excerpts from their blogs, Twitter feeds, photos and videos taken right from the mountains. Brightcove’s quick publishing, simple tagging features and analytics make the continuous flow of content more manageable for Vail Resorts’ staff members.
“The exhilaration of skiing or riding is taken to an entirely new level when you’re seeing it in a high-energy video,” Slone said. “You’re almost breathing it, feeling your heart beat because with many of these videos it feels like you’re there.”
Flexible Mobile Sharing Options
In addition to social media sharing, Vail Resorts is expanding its video strategy into mobile applications. In the fall of 2010, Vail Resorts introduced EpicMix™, a digital application that guests can access online at their computers or via a free mobile application that can be downloaded for the iPhone, Android or other smart phones.
EpicMix passively captures guests’ activities at each resort by using state-of-the-art radio frequency (RF) scanners installed at 89 lifts across all five mountain resorts. An RF-enabled chip embedded in Vail Resorts‘ season passes and lift tickets will automatically track guests’ lift rides, calculate vertical feet skied, days on the mountain and accomplishments earned by collecting commemorative digital pins.
“As early adopters of the technology, EpicMix has provided a great opportunity for us,” Slone said. “We’re looking forward to launching some impressive updates for this application in the near future.”