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Case Study: Animating a Village with Music

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The Village at Winter Park Resort is a vibrant commercial area adjacent to the Winter Park Resort ski area. With shops, restaurants, and a wide range of services from a spa to snowmobile tours, The Village draws guests of all kinds. The Village Company, a board-governed association that runs The Village, sought to enhance the area by giving guests better opportunities to interact with The Village, and attracting them to stay longer and visit the businesses within.

Five instruments have been strategically placed throughout the Village, and it has been amazing to see how people interact with the instruments and with each other. The instruments have successfully integrated animation across The Village as they guide guests through, playing as they meander from one end to the other. A unique challenge the Winter Park Resort faces in a mountain ski resort is that the instruments are in a very harsh environment year-round. The team has been creative and proactive with their maintenance planning and as a result, visitors are able to enjoy the playful amenity all year long. Installing retro-fitted bases on heated pavers protects the piping for the heating systems and extends the usage of the instruments. In addition, custom signage helps promote usage while also reminding guests to respect  evening quiet hours.

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Given the close proximity of the commercial area and the residential lodging, placement of the instruments and signage were important site-specific considerations during the planning process. An alto/soprano xylophone, alto/soprano chimes, soprano chimes, bass xylophone, alto/soprano bells, and drums are scattered around the commercial area of the park. Children and adults alike enjoy exploring the beautiful sounds while also appreciating the aesthetic benefit to the overall landscape. Administrators  comment, "it is exciting to see children running to the instruments and parents trying to peel their kids  away as they move to their next location." None of the guests have to be a musician to make music. The instruments were placed throughout the area since the sound is never too loud or obtrusive that it bothers nearby people. Sometimes, while guests are playing the instruments, it sounds as if background music was being piped in.

"I love seeing kids race to the instruments! And it's great that there are multiple mallets at each one, so the musicians can literally make beautiful music together."
- Carrie Hanneke, Winter Park Resort, Winter Park, CO

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