Startup sees new app as lift for skiers

BOULDER – Startup company Slope Squad LLC is promoting a mobile application to help skiers track their days on the slopes, compete for prizes and upload photos.

Boulder-based Slope Squad’s mobile application – – offers statistics similar to the Epic Mix application – – from Vail Resorts Inc., a ski-resort operator based in Broomfield.

Slope Squad is funded by founders Jody Shepherd, Rachel Vecchitto and Taylor McLemore. The company’s collected data will be offered for free to ski areas this year, Shepherd said. The mobile application is free for skiers to use. In the future, the company may charge ski areas for data and seek corporate sponsors.

The three founders were introduced to each other by Joel Gratz, a meteorologist who founded Cloudnine Weather LLC, the company that runs, a Boulder-based website that has gained national attention for Gratz’s correct predictions for powder snow days at ski resorts.

Gratz told each of the three founders that they were working individually on similar projects, and that they should meet, Shepherd said. Vecchitto built the online “backbone” for the application, McLemore and Shepherd were working more on gaming aspects of it, Shepherd said.

With the launch of its mobile application, Slope Squad also is featuring a contest – a chance for skiers who log the most days at Eldora Mountain Resort before Feb. 15 to win a ski rack from Rocky Mounts Inc. in Boulder.

In the future, Slope Squad plans to add more functionality to the application, including messages from ski areas to people using the application, crowd control and restaurant information, Shepherd said.

Information generated by skiers can give ski areas “rich customer analytics, generate social media impressions and brand equity, and drive incremental revenue,” Slope Squad says on its website.

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