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Vail offers mobile winter gear guide targeting consumers, sales associates

Vail Resorts tapped agency Razorfish to develop a gear guide application for, which it claims is the most-visited snow sports Web site in the world.

The application for Apple?s iPhone and iPad lets users to get personalized recommendations on which snow gear is right for them and access video reviews from experts on the season?s top gear. They can compare gear side-by-side using an innovative split-screen view and also share their gear picks with their friends via the Facebook integration.

?Leveraging position as an online authority on ski and snowboard gear, Vail Resorts has extended the reach of with the first gear guide app on the market,? said Jonathan Hull, director of emerging experiences at Razorfish, New York. ?It is for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

?There are editorial product reviews by OnTheSnow experts,? he said. ?Shopping for skis and boards is a highly tactile experience for consumers,? he said. ?One of the primary goals of the app is to compliment the in-store ski and snowboard shopping experience.

?The OTS Gear Guide is a tool to assist consumers and sales associates at the point of purchase.?

Mountain News Corp. is the publisher of

Mobile Marketer?s Dan Butcher interviewed Stacey Pool, director of user experience and product delivery at Vail Resorts, Vail, CO. Here is what she had to say:

What is Vail Resorts' and Mountain News Corp.?s strategy behind the launch of the OnTheSnow Gear Guide app for iPhone/iPod touch? is an online authority on ski and snowboard gear. The new gear guide mobile application extends the reach of

It is the first ski and snowboard gear guide app on the market dedicated to selecting gear for skiing and snowboard riding, and one of the first gear guides of any kind for the iPhone.

What is the target demographic?
The app is designed for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, but the iPhone/iPod touch-toting ski aficionados will especially appreciate the comprehensiveness and portability of the OTS Gear Guide.

Is there also an OnTheSnow mobile-optimized Web/WAP site in addition to the downloadable apps?
Yes, we currently have

OnTheSnow also recently announced that it will re-launch its iPhone snow reporting application, which will be free to all users?the previous price was $1.99?and will be releasing free Android and BlackBerry snow-reporting applications.

The applications will give skiers and snowboarders comprehensive snow reports from more than 2,000 resorts around the world.

OnTheSnow is the dominant worldwide source for snow reports, providing information for more news media outlets than any other company in the world.

All of the applications will be available soon.  
OnTheSnow will also launch an iPad snow reporting application that will contain the same robust content featured on the OnTheSnow Web site and in the mobile applications, but with a completely new design tailored to the unique features of the iPad.

This will be the first snow reporting application designed specifically for the iPad and will be available in December.

How is Mountain News Corp. getting the word out about the OnTheSnow Gear Guide app?
We?ll be working on stories with traditional and online media outlets as well as conducting social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter.

We also are integrating ads on the mobile site. 

Are the featured products sponsored placements or editorial?
The app includes editorial product reviews by OnTheSnow experts. They are not sponsored placements.

Will the app include a shopping/commerce/payments feature or mobile coupons/offers?
No, the primary goal of the app is to help customers with their in-store decisions.

Final Take