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Ski pass deadline is Friday

Aspen Skiing Co. officials said Monday they can’t say yet whether their decision to “hold the line” on season pass prices is spurring new sales or just enticing past customers to buy earlier.

The Skico is offering passes at last year’s prices – as long as purchases are made by 5 p.m. Friday.

Although sales have been “solid” up to this point, the big push is anticipated this week as the deadline looms, according to Skico director of ticketing John Rigney.

He said the only definitive trend he’s noticed so far is that the premier pass “is a hit.” The Skico has promoted its most expensive pass by dropping prices $30 for members of the local chambers of commerce and $100 for individuals.

When the “super early” deadline expires Friday afternoon, prices will climb as much as 21 percent on some passes for the “early” deadline, which lasts from Sept. 2 until Oct. 28.

People who buy passes during the “early” period this season will pay more than during the same early-bird period last year. (The Skico didn’t offer “super early” pricing on any pass but the premier last season.).

Pass prices will soar to the “regular” price after Oct. 28. Those prices are as much as 42 percent higher than the “super early” level.

Rigney said he won’t know for sure until Oct. 28 whether the Skico’s strategy resulted in greater sales. Skico officials said when they announced the prices Aug. 6 that their main motivation was thanking their customers, not necessarily generating additional sales. Pass use was down significantly when snow conditions were less than stellar in November, December and part of January.

“It’s kind of a give-back,” Skico Chief Operating Officer John Norton said at that time.

So can customers expect a big jump in prices for the 2001-02 season if conditions are great and pass use is high this season? “I expect nothing but a modest gain next year,” replied Norton Monday.


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