Bob Bits for December 2022

Bob Bits for December 2022

‘Tis the Season – Happy Holidays to you all. May the bullwheels spin, the snow fall, and all guests be happy!

The season has begun nationwide, with many ski areas open and more coming online almost daily. The snow has been plentiful in most of the West and only teasing in the East. Snowmaking is king in the Midwest and the East.

The ski area business seems poised for another good year. I don’t know whether it is just the beginning of season pent-up demand or there is sustainability in the industry’s growth from the past year. The installation of new lifts certainly reflects the industries’ belief that the growth is real and that the new paradigm of cheap multi-resort passes will sustain the expansion of lift capacity.

Snowmaking has also seen substantial capacity growth. In some way, that is troubling because we are now becoming even more dependent on artificial snow. The guest expects natural or artificial snow to cover the trails early in the season and throughout the year. It is almost not a choice to expand snowmaking facilities except for a few.

The ski area industry is on the cusp of significant changes in the current operating model. Many will challenge me, but I see headwinds ahead regarding the ski area workforce. I share my thinking below in the article titled What’s Next and Can We Change?

I am also diving into the essential features for ski patrol software to use on the hill as it relates to not just wrecks but how to manage the many patrol tasks and knowing what is where and who is doing what.

NSAA Winter Trade shows are around the corner, and I look forward to speaking with you about MountainOffice, SmartMountain, or anything related to skiing. I will be at Palisaidses Tahoe and Killington with a Steep Management booth.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


Please click on the images to learn more

Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

Please click on the images to learn more.

Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

Please click on the images to learn more.


The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

Please click on the images to learn more.


  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.