Have you ever set out to plan a ski trip and sure, you find a mountain that looks great to ski, but what about the rest of the trip?
For us, a perfect ski trip has some big mountain skiing, a lot of great après, upper-end accommodations, a bit of shopping, and a wide range of restaurants.
And – that may be/probably is different for you. Maybe you ski in a group, like to cook your meals in, and then head out and dance until the wee hours of the morning. Or, perhaps you have a couple of kids & need a snow park to keep them happy and your idea of ski vacation better have a day at the spa to recuperate & relax.
Ski trip planning realization #1:
One size does not fit all for ski trips
We recently ran across a cool new ski planning website called Arctivity.
Now, before you say, “I already know of several travel sites where I can book a ski vacation,”
I’ll jump in and say, “Yeah, that’s what I thought too.”
But, after playing around with Arctivity, it really is different in one major way…
Arctivity doesn’t assume you know where you want to go when you get ready to book.
With Arctivity you start the process by telling the site what you are looking for in a ski trip and then the Arctivity site returns resort options for you.
Ski trip planning realization #2: Planning a ski trip can be fun
Let’s say you’re sitting in Dallas wishing you were on the slopes (I’ve been there, literally).
Pull up the Arctivity site and:
1. Tell them who you want to ski with. By yourself, with your partner, a group, your family, friends.
2. Tell them what you want in a ski vacation. Casinos, shopping, activities, nightlife, restaurants, spa, snow park, small mountain or big mountain skiing.
3. Tell them where you are (somewhere in North America).
And, voila. Your ski vacation awaits.
A list of results appears, with information about the ski resort, the town and the available activities.
Once you decide on a destination, the site allows you to book hotels and lift tickets on the site. Reservation are booked through third-party booking systems – for example, lift tickets are booked through Liftopia.com
I was interested in who put this together, so I tracked down the Arctivity team – okay, it’s not exactly difficult since they are all over social media and I’ve been known to hang out a bit online.
Elay Carmon, Arctivity’s CEO, was kind enough to answer some questions from an old ski bum about how the site came together and where it’s going…
How did Arctivity come about?
We are four friends who live for the slopes. We met on a ski trip and have been planning ski vacations together for the past eight years. After experiencing first-hand the headaches involved in planning these vacations, we decided to do something about it.
Our initial attempt resulted in what is today the largest online marketing platform for ski vacations in Israel: skibid.co.il. Skibid provides users with high quality content from 150 ski resorts around the world, selling the best ski packages in Israel.
In 2011, my team and I decided to expand our venture into the U.S. market. I moved to the west coast in order to conduct market research, while the rest of the team stayed in Israel to expand our R&D efforts. Based on extensive market research of the U.S. market, my team and I came up with the concept for Arctivity: a personalized one-stop-shop for recreational activity-travel, providing a simple, intuitive planning and booking experience.
How is it different from the competition?
Our competitors present the user with a single question: ‘Where would you like to go?’ Most people have no idea where they want to go. They know what kind of vacation they want to have, but not which resort offers their desired experience.
Arctivity is unique in that it determines which resorts are best suited for you by asking two questions: ‘Who are you going with?’ and ‘What are you looking to experience?’
There is no one else in the market that provides a simple, consolidated solution for arranging every aspect of a ski vacation. Even if somebody knows what resort they want to go to, they still have to sift through a myriad of sites in order to arrange the remaining travel components. The few sites that do claim to provide a top-to-bottom solution, are quite limited in their supply of these crucial elements.
To put it simply, a good ski vacation should satisfy your desired experience. Our mission at Arctivity is to help our customers fulfill each one of their wants and needs in an effortless and even fun way. We provide a variety of destinations, accommodations, and discounted lift tickets (for preferred resorts powered by Liftopia) based on what each user is hoping to find.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been simplifying the complicated and time-consuming process of planning a ski vacation. Rei-magining this process has been rife with hurdles and speed bumps:
- Developing the technology that provides accurate results based on each user’s desired experience has been a definite challenge.
- Providing all the necessary bookable components, as well as price comparisons, has required great research and inside knowledge of the industry.
- Creating the UI – Displaying so many details in in one place while trying to maintain the design as simple and clean as possible.
What should people love the most from the site?
The simplicity! We took the tedious, headache-inducing process of booking a ski vacation and created an intuitive, simple and pleasant experience. You can spend less time arranging your trip, and more time enjoying it.
As seasoned skiers, my team and I have dreamed of planning and booking a vacation uniquely tuned to our desired experiences, and I believe that with Arctivity, we have accomplished this. We bring our users’ dream vacations to life in the simplest way imaginable.
We have many exciting features coming soon. Here are some that we expect to release this year:
- Adding services to our platform: More accommodations, flights, rental cars/shuttles, rental equipment, ski/snowboard instruction, and more.
- Implementing advanced core features on our platform that will allow for an even better planning experience. Stay tuned for these new features in the coming weeks!
- More destinations, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, for those looking to ski in the summer months.
- Additional activity-travel options (such as summer sports/activities).
And just in case you’re wondering….
We received no compensation for this article – we just think it’s great to see some passionate, creative skiers and boarders find a way to turn that into a new creation and occupation. Great job guys!
Learn more and plan your vacation on the Arctivity website.Article by Kim Hull
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