As a tradition-bound industry, skiing is known more for reliance on what has worked in the past rather than being receptive to change. But two California companies whose founders have Massachusetts roots are transforming the way resorts make business decisions: Liftopia and AlpineReplay are evolving into leaders in snow sports data mining — even though neither set out to do so.
Liftopia launched in 2006 with the goal of selling discounted lift tickets online. Cofounded by Topsfield native Evan Reece, the startup was at first supported by only seven resorts. But skiers embraced the concept, and as the number of participating ski areas climbed into the hundreds, searches for ticket deals soared into the millions.