Active Network Opens Trail to Online Ski Reservations with Colorado Deal

11/10/11Follow @bvbigelow

In financial results for the quarter ending Sept. 30, San Diego’s Active Network (NYSE: ACTV) said it paid $21.5 million in cash to acquire RTP, an Avon, CO-based IT company that provides online registration services for Vail and other ski resorts.

While the deal is consistent with the Active Network’s basic strategy, it is the first acquisition the company has made in winter sports as well as the destination resorts market, according to Alan Cole, a senior general manager at the Active Network. The San Diego company provides online registration services for a variety of sports leagues, marathons, and other recreational sports, as well as reservation services for campsites, community activities, business conferences, and other events.

The Active Network has more than 2,600 employees, and processed more than 70 million online transactions last year for 47,000 customers around the world, including Ironman, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and the US Tennis Association.

RTP began in 1998 as part of Vail Resorts, providing IT services as well as a point-of-sale commerce engine for Vail and several other Rocky Mountain ski areas. The business was later spun out of Vail Resorts, and now provides software as a service that enables skiers to book resort accommodations, buy lift tickets, ski school classes, and register for other activities. RTP says it also has integrated a host of other services for its customers, including back-office administration and reporting; customer relationship management; RFID access control; interactive marketing; website development; mobile apps and promotions; and augmented reality mobile application development. The integrated set of technologies captures customer transactional data for analysis and marketing.

RTP currently serves 20 of the top 30 ski resorts in North America, including the Aspen Skiing Company, Intrawest, and Powdr Corp., as well as Europe’s SkiStar, and VERBIER-St-Bernard.

Cole says RTP also has begun to develop other interesting opportunities in unrelated markets, including online registration services for Colonial Williamsburg, the destination resort in Williamsburg, VA, and for several water-parks, which he did not identify.

It was the Active Network’s second quarter as a public company. The company narrowed its third-quarter loss to $1.4 million (from a loss of $10.9 million during the same quarter last year) loss on total revenue of $89.6 million, (a 23 percent increase over the $73.1 million generated during the same quarter last year.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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