Aspen Ski Plane flies again | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Ski Plane flies again

Janet Urquhart

The Aspen Ski Plane is back.

The $99 deal that brings Front Range skiers to Aspen/Snowmass for a day on the slopes is being offered again this winter, starting today, resort officials announced Thursday.

The Ski Plane debuted last winter through a cooperative effort between United Airlines, the Aspen Skiing Co. and Stay Aspen Snowmass. It proved tremendously popular, attracting more than 1,500 Denver-area skiers and boarders. Most of them flew in first thing in the morning and headed home that evening.

“We’re thrilled to bring back the Aspen Ski Plane for a second year,” said David Perry, Skico senior vice president, in a press release. “It highlights one of the key reasons people live in Colorado – close proximity to the best skiing and riding in the world.

“One of the best parts of the trip will be looking out the jet window down on the snarled traffic on I-70 as you fly by at 350 miles per hour.”

The Ski Plane deal will be available Monday through Friday until April 4, though there will be a number of blackout days during the holidays, as the United Express flights between Denver and Aspen are already sold out.

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The package includes a lift ticket and roundtrip airfare. Passengers take the 8:20 a.m. flight out of Denver and arrive in Aspen at 9:05 a.m. They can head home on one of two flights in the evening, departing at 6:15 or 7 p.m.

The $99 price is identical to last year’s; added fees and taxes bring the total price to $117.50, up slightly from last season’s $113.50.

Once in Aspen, passengers may hop on one of the city’s free buses into town or receive a $10 discount on a High Mountain Taxi ride to the mountain of their choice.

Last year, the Ski Plane promotion evolved after United cut back on flights into Denver International Airport that used to provide an early connection for Aspen-bound passengers.

This winter, some of those connections have been restored, which is why the Ski Plane deal won’t be offered on weekends this time, according to Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass.

Still, many in Aspen and in Denver were hoping to see the Ski Plane deal reactivated this winter. It was hailed locally as a brilliant move to introduce Aspen to many Front Range residents who hadn’t skied or boarded here before and who probably wouldn’t make the long drive past the closer I-70 ski resorts.

“I think there’s a lot of pent-up excitement from last year,” Tomcich said. “A lot of our Front Range guests have been asking about it.”

New this year is an Aspen Classic Pass offer paired with the Ski Plane package. For $199, buyers get a lift ticket and airfare, plus an Aspen Classic Pass for four more days of skiing in Aspen and Snowmass. The pass is no longer available for sale except through this offer, Tomcich noted.

An overnight option is also being offered for Ski Plane passengers. Last winter, the overnight package wasn’t introduced until late January and the least expensive option was $299 per person.

This year, some less expensive overnight stays will be available, according to Tomcich. “Now we’re going to be able to offer some really competitive prices,” he said.

The price depends on the accommodations that are booked as part of the package.

Whether it’s booked as a day trip or an overnighter, the Ski Plane package is only available based on availability. Already blacked out are Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 1-3 because the flights are booked.

The Ski Plane package must be booked 48 hours in advance through Stay Aspen Snowmass, at 877-230-5077 or via e-mail at stayaspensnowmass.com.

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