Wintergreen opens

The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress

Nelson County’s Wintergreen Resort opened for the winter season on Saturday, Dec. 14, complete with more than a million dollars in improvements and additions, including access and tickets for ski lifts and the slopes. Although no figures for turnout were available, resort officials said skiers were not put off by Saturday’s rain. “It turned out to be a great weekend. We had visits from our season pass holders and members who have been itching to welcome the new season,” said Betsy Dunkerton, marketing manager. “We also had newbies wanting to learn the sport … and day skiers and riders.” The resort’s special program offering beginners three free lessons in either skiing or snowboarding was a big hit, Dunkerton said. ABOVE: Skiers ride up a lift Monday at Wintergreen Resort in Nelson County.

This past week, Wintergreen Resort officially kicked off its 2019 ski season.

In a news release from the resort, Wintergreen announced over one million dollars in “new improvements and additions that will greatly enhance the skier and overall resort experience” including newer technologies for tickets and season passes.

Wintergreen installed a radio frequency identification device (RFID) ticketing and gate system at chairlifts.

“With the new system, guests will be able to purchase lift tickets online, and they will receive an RFID card that allows them to reload lift tickets or season passes onto that same card via their mobile phones or computers. Guests will only have to pick-up the RFID card at any lift ticket window once, and then they can place the card in a left-side jacket or pant pocket and go directly to the chairlift where the RFID card will be scanned at a gate and allow the guest to pass and load the chairlift,” the release said.

Other new updates include 10 new energy-efficient snow guns with a greater range of working temperatures and an upcoming new mobile app that will give skiers and riders the most useful mountain and resort information such as an interactive trail map displaying groomed and open trails, lift schedules, GPS tracking, a calendar of events, and a resort map identifying where various facilities and services are located. The GPS tracking feature will track guests’ location on the resort map so guests can find each other. App users can also follow a leader board to see who has skied most at the mountain and follow records set.

The equipment rental shop has new offerings as well and new menus have been added to six of the 10 restaurants.

“These enhancements are part of Wintergreen’s overall strategy and long-term plan to elevate the guest and member experience, harness technology to become more efficient and streamlined in operations, and use this knowledge to better understand our guests’ patterns so we can serve them more effectively,” commented General Manager Rod Kessler in the release.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

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