Sunshine Village Resort app cuts need for paper lift tickets

Skiers and snowboarders heading to Sunshine Village Resort no longer have to worry about making sure lift tickets are firmly attached to their jackets or pants.

Ski resort near Banff issues about 300K lift tickets a year, not including season passes

Skiers and snowboarders heading to Sunshine Village Resort can now buy and download lift tickets to their phones. (Submitted by Sunshine Village Resort)

Skiers and snowboarders heading to Sunshine Village Resort no longer have to worry about making sure lift tickets are firmly attached to their jackets or pants.

The resort near Banff, Alta. has launched a mobile app function allowing visitors to buy and download lift tickets to their phones, which they say is a first in Canada.

"If you go to an airport you can get your Air Canada or WestJet ticket directly to your phone, you don't have to print out anything," said Sunshine communications manager Kendra Scurfield.

"We were like, if we can do that with airplanes and concerts and hockey games, why can't we do it for skiing?"

The app was launched last year and Scurfield said they continued to work with the developer to incorporate the mobile ticket function.

This weekend is the first time it's been available for the public to use, she said. 

"We had a few people use it [Saturday]."

Along with convenience, Scurfield said another goal is reducing waste.

Each year, the resort issues about 300,000 lift tickets — not including season passes — and Scurfield said they are hoping to reduce that by as much as 100,000 when the app function launches fully next season.

"We wanted to reduce our waste … and make it more convenient so they can buy their lift ticket straight from their phone while they're at home, download it to the app and then present their phone and scan it at the gondola."

A pilot project is underway for the rest of the current season. Sunshine is scheduled to stay open until the 90th annual Slush Cup on May 21, and those who buy lift tickets through the app get a $20 discount.

Any bugs will be worked out over the summer, Scurfield said.

Online ticket sales will be brought into full use next season, which is expected to begin in early November.