The video surveillance solution also makes chairlift maintenance operations easier for employees.

The security and IT departments from Vail Mountain - the largest ski resort in the United States with more than 1.6 million visitors each winter - recently analyzed the resort’s existing technology infrastructure and significantly improved the video surveillance capabilities.

To help evaluate various manufacturers’ analog and IP cameras and equipment, the Vail Mountain security team turned to Anixter International. Together, Vail and Anixter concluded that a complete video solution from Bosch Security Systems would be the best fit for the complex resort environment.

Now, a large network of cameras provide surveillance capabilities throughout the resort both on and off the mountain, including the restaurants, retail shops, conference space locations and lodges. Bosch AutoDome and DinionXF Day/Night cameras with enclosures that can handle any Colorado weather, from snow and sleet to rain and direct sunlight, also capture video at key areas around the mountain.

Thanks to security video, security personnel at Vail Mountain are better equipped to apprehend shoplifters and deter theft of ski and service offenses.


Single-channel video encoders convert the analog camera signals into digital format and transmit them across Vail’s network to DiBos digital video recorders. At Vail’s 24-hour communications center, an employee reviews video from several DVRs, which display camera alarms in live viewing mode, alert personnel if they detect a camera has been tampered with, and enable staff to search for motion across 100 video channels.

The communications center personnel also monitor intrusion alarms from Bosch G Series systems that protect some of Vail’s outlying buildings.

“The resort at Vail Mountain spans 5,289 acres and encompasses a mixture of buildings, chairlifts and remote mountain areas – presenting a challenging environment for a security installation,” said Eric Roybal of Bosch Security Systems, Inc. “A hybrid analog and IP installation is a great fit for this type of setting. IP cameras can be used where connectivity between camera and recorder is not possible using traditional coaxial cable.”

Since installing the new video surveillance solution, security personnel at Vail Mountain are better equipped to apprehend shoplifters, deter theft of ski and service offenses, such as fraudulent use of ski passes, and analyze video for potential security concerns.

The video surveillance solution also makes chairlift maintenance operations easier for employees. If a chairlift stops, personnel can utilize one of the pan-tilt-zoom cameras to determine the cause. By inspecting the chairlift remotely, Vail personnel save the time required to travel to the chairlift location – helping to restart the lift more quickly and improving the guest experience.

During the late spring and summer months, cameras on remote areas of the mountain help Vail employees monitor these sections without disturbing the wildlife. By detecting motion, the cameras alert employees to people traversing parts of the mountain that are closed for the season.

Working together are Mark Gordon, Vail Mountain security foreman, left, and Vail Mountain Security Manager Neil Colclough on the mountain. Both view a hybrid video system as essential.


“Combining our staff’s technical knowledge and the vendor’s video expertise, we were able to design a system that not only meets our current needs but can also be expanded and enhanced as Vail is in the midst of a major community renaissance with significant projects being completed currently and over the next few years,” said Neil Colclough, security manager for Vail Mountain.

Future plans for the system include covering a larger area at the base of the mountain with IP cameras and installing a video management system for more extensive alarm handling, sophisticated playback features and automated touring or patrolling functions.

As the flagship location among Vail Resorts’ five mountain properties, the security installation at Vail Mountain has become a blueprint of success for other sites. Vail Resorts’ additional mountain locations, its development company and even the town of Vail police are learning from the accomplishments of the security staff at Vail Mountain.

SIDEBAR: The Resort and Security

Vail Mountain is one of the most visited ski resorts in the U.S. with more than 1.6 million skier visits during the 2006-2007 season. As a leader in the travel industry, Vail recognizes the importance of providing state-of-the-art technology. New for the 2007-2008 season guests can take advantage of two new POMA high speed quad chairlifts that replaced the Highline and Sourdough Lifts over the summer. Both new lifts will expedite the trip to Two Elk Restaurant, China Bowl and Blue Sky Basin. The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort, is set to open in January 2008 at the foot of the gondola at Vail Mountain. This new premier property will offer a luxurious hotel experience featuring 36 hotel rooms and up to 50 additional condominiums. Security video plays an essential role throughout.