World-first: Ski Big 3 announces “full-emojification”

BANFF, CANADA – In a world-first, Ski Big 3 today launched a multi-million-dollar rebrand of Banff National Park ski resorts with one bold aim: “full-emojification”.

Ski Big 3 represents Mt Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Banff Sunshine Village in Banff National Park.

From today, the three ski resorts will start rolling out “emojified” trail maps, trail run signage, and food and beverage menus at all on-mountain eateries.

The move follows this week’s Emoji 5.0 announcement by international authority Unicode Consortium, with 69 new emojis on the way by July this year.

Emojified trail signs will make life easier for skiers in Banff National Park. Before and after: trail signage at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Emojified trail signs will make life easier for skiers in Banff National Park. Before and after: trail signage at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Ski Big 3 General Manager Pete Woods said the goal was full-emojification by early November for 2017/18 season opening day.

“Dank memes may melt steel beams, but emojis are the future,” Mr Woods said.

The transition will also include overhauling SkiBig3.com to use emojis instead of plain text, and from today, online visitors can access the website via a new URL: ⛷??.ws

Before and after: emojified trail signage at Banff Sunshine Village.
Before and after: emojified trail signage at Banff Sunshine Village.

Mr Woods said while Ski Big 3 resorts had long been millennial-magnets, a crucial element of youth culture and global communication had been overlooked – until now.

“Independent research into millennial consumer behaviour reveals that emojis speak louder than words – but so often they are shackled to the confines of the digital world,” he said.

“Now the time has come to harness their full potential.”

Before and after: emojified trail signage at Mt Norquay.
Before and after: emojified trail signage at Mt Norquay.

The concept has attracted strong support from local millennials, with hundreds registering their interest as volunteer emoji signage translators for Baby Boomers and tourists.

Jen Young, self-described “Banff ski-bum-millennial”, is convinced Ski Big 3’s emojification will make life easier.

“Emojis are quick, effective and they have immense power. Whether you’re sending a text, email or social media post, you can ruin someone’s entire day with a single eye-roll emoji – or make their whole year with just one heart-eyes emoji,” she said.

“This new approach is a game-changer – and it’s long overdue. Skiers and snowboarders of all ages will be able to navigate the resorts so much more easily. Why read long words if you don’t have to?”

Before and after: emojified trail signage at Banff Sunshine Village.
Before and after: emojified trail signage at Banff Sunshine Village.

But for Jen’s parents and other Baby Boomers, adapting to the new emojified ski resorts may take some adjustment.

Elwen Young, Jen’s father, said: “I was cruising down a groomer when I saw a trail sign which said: ‘Slow down! [winky face emoji]’. I thought it was a joke because of the winky face… but there was a cliff drop.”

While Mr Young was a little shaken after his first experience with the new signage, he was unharmed: “I’ll admit that the only thing I bruised was my ego – I’d refused multiple emoji tutorials from my daughter,” he said.

Before and after: emojified trail signage at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Before and after: emojified trail signage at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

But not all Baby Boomers are concerned about the brave new world of emojification.

Banff Mayor, Karen Sorensen, said she was keen to take Ski Big 3’s lead and steer the Town of Banff towards a similar communication transformation.

“In Banff, we’re always looking for new ways build on our success as a great place to live and a wonderful place to visit – and harnessing the power of emojis is a logical step forward,” Mayor Sorensen said.

Before and after: emojified trail signage at Banff Sunshine Village.
Before and after: emojified trail signage at Banff Sunshine Village.

Regardless of the generational divide, Mr Woods is aware Ski Big 3’s emojification won’t happen overnight.

“We know it’s a bold move. But the English language is continuously evolving – and we want to lead the ski industry to do the same,” Mr Woods said.

To prevent experiences like Elwen Young’s cliff drop confusion, the resorts’ volunteer guides – known as Ski Friends and Snow Hosts – will offer on-mountain emoji translation services to help guests with the new signage.

Customers will also receive a comprehensive Emoji Guide to Ski Big 3 when they book their vacation packages.

Before and after: emojified trail signage at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Before and after: emojified trail signage at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
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Showing 22 comments
  • Mike Larson
    Reply

    Given that there is no universally accepted way to use emojis for ski resorts, I think this is a really bad idea. You want skiers to be able to quickly and easily find their away around the mountain. Forcing them to play a game of emoji-to-actual language translation while on the move is not good. You are also going to create a lot of safety issues and open yourselves up to significant lawsuit exposure. I don’t know how this decision was vetted and ultimately apprived, but you really should rethink this.

    • Lirpa Loof
      Reply

      Date check….

    • Marie
      Reply

      April Fools! LOL Too funny!

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Hi Mike, no need to worry – text on our trail signs is here to stay. Just a bit of April Fool’s fun! :)

  • Ross Dickson
    Reply

    Fantastic !! Thanks for the perfect April Fools…..

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it, Ross! :)

  • Martin Wilson
    Reply

    Nice one, almost convinced a pre-millennial like me!
    Nearly beats the BBC’s Spaghetti Tree report back in 1957.

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Cheers, Martin – we’re glad to hear that you enjoyed it! The Spaghetti Tree report is an absolute classic :)

  • Salvina
    Reply

    April fools! Great article, love it.

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Thanks Salvina, we had a lot of fun with it :)

  • P Ward
    Reply

    This is April 1st (April Fools Day)

  • Kay
    Reply

    ^^^ hahahah Mike, it’s a joke mate, April fools.

  • Emojii-Deficient
    Reply

    Mike, you should probably take a look at the date.

  • Bernie Roseke
    Reply

    Perfect April fools joke. Made me scratch my head for a while before I realized the date. That must have been quite the project to convert all those trail signs to emoji’s in the pictures. Some made me laugh.

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Glad we could give you a chuckle, Bernie! We had a lot of fun with it :)

  • Jim Naisium
    Reply

    this must be an April fools joke…you have to be kidding …a multi-million dollar expenditure on changing signs …this is not English…this is plain stupid…who cares what millienials want…maybe they could learn English…ha ha ha ha…

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      You caught us Jim – just a bit of April Fool’s fun :)

  • Jeffrey Paul
    Reply

    Good one guys. Ya nearly had me, until the first one!

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it, Jeffrey :)

  • Louis Condotta
    Reply

    Probably the best April Fool’s joke I’ve seen so far! Lol. Kudos to the person who thought of this. If this is real, that person is the real fool.

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Thanks Louis! We had a lot of fun with it :)

  • Mark Doing
    Reply

    Happy April Fools Day!

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