Loveland the latest to test ski area loyalty
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
LOVELAND SKI AREA – Loveland Ski Area is the latest to reward ski-pass infidelity in an effort to drum up business this season.
The Clear Creek County ski area, located just over the Continental Divide from Summit County, is offering $30 single-day lift tickets to anyone with another resort’s 2009-2010 season pass until its closing day, May 2.
Both Copper and Crested Butte employed similar strategies this year. Loveland first offered the late-season discount at the end of the 2008-2009 season.
“Last year, there were a number of people who took advantage of that deal,” said Loveland group sales coordinator Dustin Schaefer. “For some of them, it was their first time up to Loveland, and they ended up falling in love and buying season passes.”
Crested Butte held a promotion in January and February in which passholders from other mountains received a free lift ticket if they showed their pass and purchased a night of lodging. In mid-March, the ski area offered half-price lift tickets for anyone with another area’s season pass.
“It was designed to get some interest from Front Range skiers and help stimulate the economy a bit,” Crested Butte spokeswoman Laci Wright said. “We feel there’s a big market coming from Denver and Colorado Springs, and we were really trying to get skiers who hadn’t been here before or hadn’t been in here in several years to start thinking about us.”
Wright said advertising for the promotion targeted skiers and riders who normally visit such resorts as Breckenridge, Vail and Winter Park.
Copper Mountain introduced the Swinger’s Pass this season, allowing guests with another company’s season pass to receive a $39 single-day Copper lift ticket. The ad campaign included television commercials urging skiers and riders to “sneak over to Copper Mountain” and “end mountain monogamy.” The deal also included 10 percent discounts at food and beverage outlets on the mountain.
Copper offered the Swinger’s Pass intermittently during nonpeak times during the season. Spokeswoman Lauren Pelletreau said in March that the promotion had generated significant interest and succeeded in getting skiers and riders to visit Copper for the first time – a coup of sorts, since Vail Resorts offers season pass products that give riders unlimited access at all of Summit County’s other three ski areas: Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin.
Wright said the strategy proved successful at Crested Butte, too.
“Based on word of mouth from people in the Front Range, it seemed like it definitely stood out and piqued some interest, which is what we were hoping for,” she said.
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The blizzards of January and February seem like distant dreams to Colorado water managers. What started as a promising year for water supply — with above-average snowpack as of April 1 — ended Sept. 30 with the entire state in some level of drought.