Ski resorts busted by iPhone app

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|01.12.10

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Ski resorts busted by iPhone app
Want to see past a ski resort's lies? There's an app for that. The iPhone's ability to track snowfall at ski resorts has been well publicized (it even showed up in an official Apple commercial), but apparently there's been an unintended consequence: ski resorts are actually losing money. The UK's Globe and Mail reports that before iPhones existed, people would just call up to the slopes to ask them if there was snow on the trails -- and the ski resorts would more often than not reply that there was, in order to pull in some more weekend customers. It was usually just white lies (no pun intended) -- they'd usually say there was about 20% more snow than actually existed. But now that the iPhone provides a much more objective look at exactly how much powder there is up there, resorts are finding that they can't push that weekend boost any more. And that's cutting into their yearly profits as a whole.

Now, you may argue that resorts being held accountable is a good thing, and according to the article, most of the resorts themselves would agree with you: they weren't in it to outright lie to people, because telling people that there was a foot on the ground when you can see grass would have an even worse effect on their business. But hearing from someone on the phone that the slopes are plentiful is a much different experience than seeing a number in an iPhone app, and it's interesting that the difference is directly affecting resort profits in many cases.

Not that resorts have too much to worry about, especially the ones who have plenty of snow anyway. It just shows you how much the iPhone is still changing all kinds of industries in strange ways.
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