Mountain News: Vail Resorts has social media option 

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Vail Resorts this winter will introduce a new technology called EpicMix for use at all of the 89 chairlifts at its four resorts in Colorado and also Heavenly, at Lake Tahoe.

The technology allows skiers and riders to monitor their lift rides, vertical feet skied and number of ski days with chips embedded in their season passes and lift tickets. This information will be collected with radio-frequency scanners at each of the 89 lifts at the company's five resorts.

The Denver Post explains that skiers, using smartphones or personal computers, can track their runs - sharing their information on Facebook and Twitter, if they want.

The technology also will alert skiers if their Facebook friends are skiing and show their location on the mountain.

"Talking about the day becomes a big part of the ski vacation and the ski experience," Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, told the Vail Daily. "We've been trying to find ways to let people engage in that dialogue, but not interfere with the experience."

He presents EpicMix as a way to extend the ski experience beyond the ski day, but also beyond the ski vacation. "People will be able to look at the runs they did weeks later, just like looking at photographs.


Durango's exceptions stand out

DURANGO, Colo. - Numbers remain squishy, but all evidence points toward an increasingly diverse population in Durango and its hinterlands. Four-fifths of people are white non-Hispanics, which may not seem all that terribly diverse. After all, Durango was once part of Mexico and even now sits relatively close to both the Ute and Navajo tribal lands.

Still, the evidence turned up by the Durango Telegraph suggests a greater melting pot - or at least a stew. Many of those who would count as being minorities in Durango stand out in that crowd, but they don't seem to object.

Consider Kathy Huntsinger, a native of the Dominican Republic, who arrived in Durango after a stint in New York City. "I never feel uncomfortable. People are always curious and interested in where I'm from," she said. "I think there's only one other Dominican person here."

Another person who stands out, despite this increasing diversity, is Amita Nathwami, who practices a form of medicine native to India, from which he comes.

"Some people go out of their way to pretend they don't notice that I'm not American. I sound American, but I do have a different colour of skin, my culture is different, the way I think is different. It's not something to ignore. We are different. We need to embrace our cultures."

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