Aspen ski pass prices midpack among major ski resorts |

Aspen ski pass prices midpack among major ski resorts

ASPEN – The Aspen Skiing Co. is in the middle of the pack when it comes to season ski-pass pricing among destination resorts in the western United States.

Among similar resorts, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Taos Ski Valley and Steamboat are charging less than Aspen for full-season passes this fall. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Sun Valley Resort and Telluride Ski Resort are charging more than Aspen, according to the ski areas’ websites.

Vail Resorts also is charging less, although it’s a slightly different beast: Competition for skiers from Denver and the rest of the Front Range is part of the driving force behind its pricing.

Destination resorts typically don’t draw the mass crowds of ski resorts closer to metropolitan areas, so their prices often are higher.

For the comparison, The Aspen Times looked at the best preseason deals for the passes that offer unrestricted access to the slopes. Each of the resorts offers discounts for purchases before a fall deadline. The deadlines vary.

The Skico announced Thursday that it will charge $1,139 for its full-season Premier Pass, which provides unlimited days on the slopes, when purchased by Sept. 16. That rate is for skiers and riders who work for a business that belongs to a chamber of commerce in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Skico’s rate for non-chamber buyers is $1,549.

Vail Resorts also sells a variation of the Epic Pass that restricts access to Vail and Beaver Creek to 10 days but offers unlimited skiing at its other resorts. That pass sells for $499.

Taos sells its full-season pass for $799 if purchased by Oct. 1 and $999 after that date.

Crested Butte offered locals a $999 pass for the 2011-12 season if they purchased it by April 3. The price for that pass now is $1,099.

Steamboat is selling its full-season pass for $1,029 as long as it is purchased by Aug. 15.

Other destination resorts are charging more than the Skico’s chamber rate. Jackson Hole is priced higher at $1,195 despite dropping its pass price from $1,255 last season.

Telluride is charging $1,298 for its unlimited pass but it also offers a discount that is pretty easy to achieve. If four adult buyers team up, they can purchase their passes for $998 each.

Sun Valley charges the most for a season pass at $1,549, the same as the Skico’s non-chamber rate.

Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said Thursday that the company feels that its passes offer good value. Skiers and riders get a lot for their money because of the uncrowded slopes and short lift lines, he said.

Skico officials don’t pay attention to what the competition is doing when it sets its pass prices, he said. The resorts apparently keep an eye on one another when it comes to perks. Several resorts are offering discounted lift tickets to full-pass buyers this season, touting the lift tickets as a treat for family or friends.

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