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Checkpoint Systems reports momentum building for RFID ••• U.S. Navy successfully demos RFID inventory application offshore ••• Steamboat, Winter Park resorts installing RFID technology ••• Target tests beacons at 50 stores ••• Indian Water Park implements RFID-enabled solution ••• Bluetooth beacon shipments to break 400 million units in 2020.
By Beth Bacheldor

Steamboat, Winter Park Resorts Installing RFID Technology

Intrawest Resorts Holdings, a North American mountain resort and adventure company, has announced that RFID technology will be launched at its Steamboat and Winter Park resorts for the upcoming 2015/16 winter season. The solution will employ EM Microelectronic's EM4233 passive RFID chip, which contains 1625 bits of user memory and complies with the ISO 15693 standard, as well as an RFID ticketing and access-management system provided by Skidata.

The QuickTrax card has an embedded EM Microelectronic EM4233 passive RFID chip.
According to Intrawest, all daily lift tickets, season passes and frequency products will be available on QuickTrax cards, which are embedded with the EM4233 IC to enable hands-free access to lifts. When a guest passes through the RFID gate, it will open automatically after registering that person's QuickTrax card. As in previous seasons, the company reports, lift operators will be on hand to assist with the access gates and ensure a smooth and efficient guest experience.

"Always looking to enhance the guest experience, we're excited to roll out RFID technology at Steamboat and Winter Park this season," said Sky Foulkes, Intrawest's COO, in a prepared statement. "Industry-leading guest service is at the core of our resorts, and the RFID technology will improve the guest experience and enhance our operating efficiency."

Steamboat will install RFID readers at its gondola, Christie Peak Express, Preview and Thunderhead Express chairlifts. Installation at Winter Park includes the Zephyr Express, Arrow, Gemini Express, Challenger and Super Gauge Express chairlifts.

The new QuickTrax card will be reusable throughout multiple seasons and can be reloaded online or via smartphone, allowing guests to bypass the ticket office. All guests will also have the option to sign up for Resort Charge, Intrawest notes, thereby eliminating the need to carry cash or a credit card on the mountain. Resort Charge allows guests to make purchases at any resort-operated restaurant, rental and retail location, and ski and ride school, by linking a credit card account to their QuickTrax card.

With the implementation of the RFID system, the resorts will issue and mail new RFID-enabled season-pass and frequency products at no cost, starting in early October.

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