Drones, particularly those that can film video or still photos, present a huge opportunity for ski resorts. With that opportunity come many challenges as well.
It wasn’t many years ago that the only way to get quality aerial images and video was to head up in a plane (tough to get video and not easy for photos either) or a helicopter (better for photos, but need a special mount to get usable video). We even tried a small tethered blimp which could lift a decent digital camera, but it didn’t work out for usable images.
Fast forward a few years and technology has advanced tremendously and a drone that can lift a GoPro (another impressive technological improvement), which can shoot HD video at impressive quality levels, is within the price range of most resorts and people that patronize the resorts. We are now seeing more and more amazing videos and photos of ski resorts that we never have seen before which has made for some great resort and user-generated content.
The part that gives me pause, is that these drones, while they work well, are not infallible, and many people seem to think that because they have flown their drone a few times in a field, or neighborhood park, that they are now ok to fly their drones wherever they choose, over crowds of people, operating machinery (like chair lifts) and roads with moving traffic and the like. This might not sound too bad, but there have already been multiple incidents of drones crashing in relatively controlled circumstances, take a look at this couple on their wedding day:
And when you go to watch a “Great Bull Run”, you would think you might be more concerned with bulls than with a drone:
And for those who choose to fly more powerful models, there can be even more severe consequences, read this article about a New York man who was flying a larger RC helicopter and was killed when it crashed into him, “and the top of his head was sliced off.”
If that hasn’t scared you off, be sure to practice (a lot) with your drone before taking it anywhere near a ski resort, fly where people aren’t and then, follow the directions of the map below to be sure you are flying your drone somewhere that isn’t prohibited:Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr user Don McCullough
I’m not a big fan of point of view (POV) video, as I find almost all POV videos next to impossible to watch more than a few seconds. POV videos have a lot of sudden pans and tilts and are often very bumpy as they follow the head movements of the shooter, or the handlebar or pole that the cam is mounted on and no matter how smooth a shooter tries to be, things inevitably get bumpy.
There’s a new algorithm being worked on that should help solve these issues. Check out First-Person Hyperlapse and let me know if that doesn’t look like a very elegant solution to the problem I described above?
Bravo Microsoft, now please work on a version for those of us not using Windows, thanks!Photo credit: Flickr user Stephan Ridgway
Nike probably has the marketing budget of every ski resort in the US put together, but if resorts could all pool their resources and create campaigns like what Nike does…watch out, because if you haven’t taken a look at Nike’s recent football (ok, soccer) campaign videos on YouTube, you should, check out the preview video below and for the really good stuff visit their My Time is Now interactive piece – it’s pretty amazing how much interactivity is in it, with player stats, slow-mo, shopping and there’s even an embedded Sonic the Hedgehog “tunnel”, certainly ideas galore in this piece. And oh, the video below just has only 14.3 million views – no stats I could find for the interactive version).
I’ve posted impressive avalanche videos in the Resort Marketing Blog before, but no wet snow avalanches yet. Until now, check out these two separate clips about this monster which took out a ski lift in France last week:
A news segment – click the “CC” button to get English subtitles
And even crazier, here’s a video shot from the lift taken during the slide, yikes!
Use this as a reminder that wet snow avalanches, while not as impressively fast as their dryer snow counterparts, can still be very powerful and destructive and deserve respect – be careful, in particular if you’re heading out into the backcountry this Spring!
Wow. I’ve been so busy with the start of the ski season that I’ve neglected the Resort Marketing Blog long enough that the Travelers commercial folks were able to edit and post up the ad that they filmed partly in our backyard just 3 weeks ago…very cool (and yes, I will be back blogging on resort marketing topics soon):
(updated on April 19, 2012 due to Travelers making their update ‘private’)
If you’re wondering, the song is What I Want for Christmas by Orba Squara
Yes, La Niña, the weather pattern that brought many areas of the country more wonderful snow than what they knew what to do with is purportedly back again. To make sure I don’t cause any awful reversal of the weather gods, I’m off to drink a toast to them and do a few special sacrifices to make sure things stay on course. In the meantime, as I posted a clip of a great snowboard movie for the season already, here’s a ski movie, appropriately enough called, “Attack of La Niña” enjoy!:
Is it me, or does it seem like there’s suddenly a flurry of interesting news in regards to airlines and flying. Now, for many ski resorts, this probably isn’t that big of a deal, but for destination resorts, I think it’s news to keep an eye on.
First off, is the fact that Google has finally unveiled their first integration of their purchase of ITA Software in their new Flight Search. I do like the speed and user interface (super clean, but with some real guts as you click down), but am pretty disappointed in the quality of results – as an example, it’s adamant that I can’t fly from SLC to RST (where my parents live) even though I get 1400 results when searching the same route on Kayak? In any case, the features are slick and are better presented than anything I could describe in this slick video:
The second, and nowhere near as ‘neat’ news, is that airlines are planning cut back on their flight capacity, more than usual for the upcoming winter months, with even Southwest Airlines holding off on expanding its fleet at all. The potential for higher fares is not as big as threat to destination ski resorts as the fact that it will be even harder for ski and snowboard vacations to find empty seats to even get to the resorts. Here’s hoping the airlines are judicious in their winter flight planning and keep plenty of capacity to all the winter destination gateway airports…
Perhaps because I’m not fully back into the swing of blogging, and because with a 4 year old that still is quirky about her sleep habit, I have to saw that I loved this book when I first paged through it and now with “Bad Motherf*cker”, Samuel L Jackson doing the reading of it, I feel that this video needs as much exposure as possible. Enjoy, but be aware that it’s NSFW, particularly if you don’t have headphones:
EDIT 6/19/11 – it appears that the original video wasn’t appropriately licensed content and was pulled, so here’s the teaser:
and download Samuel L Jackson’s audio reading for free from Amazon.com (Audible.com version).