Passapalooza a success during snowy weekend

It was a great weekend for Aspen-Snowmass on a multitude of levels, according to Aspen Skiing Co. officials.

With as much as 2 feet of snow over the past three days at the four ski areas and a diverse offering of on-mountain and apres activities for the company’s Passapalooza event, Skico’s preliminary local, passholder and visitor numbers showed strong Friday through Sunday.

“It was a solid weekend, for sure. I definitely think our numbers exceeded last year at this time,” said Jeff Hanle, Skico’s vice president of communications on Sunday. “It was a successful way to energize the slower season before the holidays.”

According to Hanle, this was the first year Skico decided to host a discounted ticket weekend with other deals and apres activities to draw visitors to Aspen-Snowmass before peak season.

Through the Passapalooza event — which ran in conjunction with the Snowmassive Celebration in Snowmass Village — art, culture and sports offerings were blended together, including $59 lift tickets per day for anyone with a valid 2019-20 pass from any ski resort in the world; discounted clinics, along with ski and board demo deals; a lights festival in Snowmass and an ’80s-themed apres-ski party in Aspen; and a Snow BikeCross qualifier for X Games in Snowmass.

“We have a rich and very cultural valley, and when we try to bring people here we want to give them the full experience,” Hanle said of hosting a blended on-mountain and apres event. “I think that’s what sets us a part from other resort communities.”

Through partnerships with entities like Snowmass Tourism, Hanle said Skico was able to give Passapalooza visitors and locals that all-encompassing experience in Snowmass Village especially, which preliminary Skico data show had the highest on-mountain numbers over the weekend out of all four Aspen-Snowmass resorts.

The Skico event ran alongside the town’s Snowmassive Celebration, which aimed to recognize the opening of Eye Pieces, Straight Line Studios and The Collective in Base Village.

All three of the new businesses and buildings held grand-opening parties, and locals and visitors were invited to experience over a dozen light and interactive art installations throughout the village; ski and snowboard demo deals on Fanny Hill; Snow BikeCross on Assay Hill; and an ice skating show featuring Aspen-Snowmass and professional skaters on The Rink in Base Village on Saturday evening.

“We were so happy with the weekend,” said Dawn Blasberg, plaza and events manager for Base Village and The Collective.

With help from the town of Snowmass Village, Blasberg said she and her team hope to make the Snowmassive Celebration an annual, early-December event for the entire community, including locals and visitors, and that she’s already working to brainstorm new activities and offerings for next year’s “Snowmassive” event.

“We are open to trying anything and everything. We want to be unique,” Blasberg said.

As for Skico, Hanle said the company would further analyze the on-mountain numbers from over the weekend and discuss the potential for Passapalooza to be an annual pre-holiday weekend experience moving forward.