Ski pass offering provides boost for Basalt chamber |

Ski pass offering provides boost for Basalt chamber

There’s nothing like a discounted ski pass to put some oomph in the membership drives of chambers of commerce.

Businesses have flocked to the Basalt Chamber of Commerce since the Aspen Skiing Co. announced about one month ago that members would be eligible for discounted passes for the first time this season.

“It’s growing so fast I haven’t been able to keep up with it,” said Basalt Chamber of Commerce director Elizabeth Phillips. “It’s brought out people who are new to the area or weren’t as involved in the community.”

Phillips estimated recently that 30 to 35 new members had signed up because of the availability of the discounted ski passes. She expects another 30 or so to sign up by ski season. That will push the Basalt chamber’s membership list to more than 180.

The Basalt chamber is a voluntary organization that charges a $250 membership fee for businesses with 10 or fewer employees; $500 for more than 10.

Phillips said the reduced-price ski passes were unquestionably the catalyst for the membership surge. Plus, it’s a benefit many existing members jumped to capitalize on.

“It’s something that people from downvalley have wanted for a long time,” she said.

In a move designed to lure more customers and award employees throughout the valley, the Skico extended its discounted passes to businesses that belong to the chambers of Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. The discounted pass has been a benefit offered to members of the Aspen and Snowmass Village resort associations for several years.

Edith Rhodes, director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, said she’s enlisted 18 new members since the Skico made its announcement. They joined “only because of the ski pass, which I hate to say,” she said.

In addition, 18 existing businesses signed up to get discounted ski passes for their employees, according to Phillips.

She expects the pass opportunities to lure more new members and be used by more existing members before ski season.

“It’s been great. It’s been a long time coming,” Rhodes said.

An official from the Glenwood Springs chamber said only a handful of its new members indicated they joined to score the discounted Skico passes.

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