Expect to see more locals on slopes at Aspen, Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Expect to see more locals on slopes at Aspen, Snowmass

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A nice bluebird day on Sunday brought the locals out to the slopes of Aspen and Snowmass.

While most people would have preferred to see a minor storm materialize over the weekend, as expected, no one complained about the sun and warm temperatures.

Aspen Skiing Co. Vice President of Mountain Operations Rich Burkley said last week that the opening conditions were better than they are about 80 percent of the time for openings. Top-to-bottom skiing was possible on Aspen Mountain because of all the snowmaking. Conditions were particularly delightful in Spar Gulch below the F.I.S chairlift terminal.

Early indications are that Roaring Fork Valley residents might be seeing more of long-lost friends this season. The Skico has sold more passes than last season, according to Senior Vice President David Perry. That was expected since the price of the Premier Pass fell by between $200 and $270 if purchased by the earliest deadline. Sales of the Flex Pass, comparable to last year’s one-day-per-week pass, are also strong, Perry said.

While the number of passes sold is up, revenues from pass sales are down, according to Perry. Both developments were expected, he said. The Skico restructured its pass options this year, reducing the choices. The premier pass is good every day of the season without restrictions. The Flex Pass entitles the buyer to ski once per week. Additional outings, on monster powder days, for example, can be purchased for $49 per day. The Flex Pass purchases can be applied toward an upgrade to a Premier Pass.

The Skico also introduced the Escape Pass, designed for second-home owners and frequent visitors who can ski eight or more times per season.