Are there any East Coast resorts using the Axess hard lift ticket system or some thing simlar.
It seems like a nice system but it also seems you could swap passes pretty easy.
They've had them in Europe for a number of years. Yes, you can swap passes but the lift operator can "mine" the crowd and make no-notice checks, with the violators subject to confiscation. Actually, just about all of the European ski apparel designs and many of the US designers incorporate the hidden pocket for the RFID chip. My old Spyder suits have the little outside black spider with the hole for the wicket. New ones don't.
There's talk about using the Axess system at Killington next year. POWDR Resorts uses them in limited capacity at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, so it's possible that Killington will get the same system.
Otherwise, outside of Europe I've really only seen the system used at Solitude, Utah, where it's a godsend: easily managed lift queues, and the ability to buy tickets by number of lift rides (which is really, really cool for a resort where uphill transport can be minimal if you ski a lot of backcountry that leads back to the resort base).
As far as swapping is concerned: at the Ski Amade resorts in Austria, they put a digital picture of the pass holder on the Axess card, so they could, if need be, catch pass swappers.
Big Sky uses a variant of them, you can literally go through the turnstile without stopping, which in Big Sky it is a plus because they never have lines anyway.
Every resort realizes that a reasonable amount of graft and dishonesty will occur. I really don't think it is such a big problem. Honor systems do tend to work even in the US.
95 percent of the people will do the right thing. 5 percent of the people who may be tempted into dishonesty can be dwindled to say, 2 percent by aggressive enforcement, such as ski ticket forgery in Colorado, where it will guarantee you at least a night in jail. That's a wonderful tactic. The 2 percent who evade at the risk of spending time in the clink, well, that's an affordable loss.
I don't know of anyone still using it, but Attitash had something like that the last time I was there. Probably 10 years ago. At the time it was a swipe card rather than an RFID.
Also, when Montage in PA changed owners and became Sno Mountain, they used an RFID system for a few months. The lift ticket was a paper bracelet with an RFID tag. They were having the liftline attendants check them with manual scanners that were too bulky and it was abandoned after a couple months for standard paper tickets. Probably would have worked great if they'd installed the turnstyle type scanners.