ASPEN - Aspen Skiing Co. is teaming with three other independent resorts to offer what they call a groundbreaking ski pass.
Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Alta, Utah; and Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, Calif., will be partners with Skico to offer the Mountain Collective Pass for the 2012-13 season.
The Mountain Collective Pass offers two free days at each of the four destination resorts plus a 50 percent discount on an unlimited number of lift tickets at each destination after the complimentary days are used. The pass also entitles buyers to exclusive lodging deals throughout the ski season.
Collectively, the pass provides access to eight mountains with 16,005 acres of terrain and more than 104 chairlifts.
The pass went on sale Tuesday for $349. The pass price for children 12 and younger is $229. The price goes up Nov. 19.
The resorts also are offering discounted lift tickets to one another's buyers of full-season passes, according to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. In other words, someone who buys a Premier Pass at Aspen-Snowmass can buy lift tickets at the three other resorts for half price, he said. Skiers and riders who buy full-season passes at the other resorts can buy lift tickets at Aspen-Snowmass for 50 percent off. That deal is separate from the Mountain Collective Pass.
Hanle said the resorts don't have firm expectations yet on how many passes will sell. There's no way to gauge the popularity of a new product, he said.
Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which operates Squaw/Alpine, said the concept originated from talks he had last winter with Skico CEO Mike Kaplan and Jerry Bland, president of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Corp.
The allied resorts signed a technology, distribution and marketing deal with a company called Liftopia to sell the pass online at www.themountaincollective.com.
"This is a completely new concept for a ski pass and gives winter enthusiasts the freedom to access some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world," said Christian Knapp, Skico's vice president of marketing. "There's been an incredible spirit of collaboration amongst the partners to bring this historic alliance and innovative new product to life."