Ski pass prices going up; lift ticket to hit $82 | AspenTimes.com

Ski pass prices going up; lift ticket to hit $82

Janet Urquhart

Sept. 8: That’s the date by which locals need to scrape up $1,179 for a full ski pass for the 2006-07 season.The super-early price reflects the discount available to employees of Aspen Chamber Resort Association-member businesses. Without the ACRA discount, the “early-bird” price is $1,649.The cost of the Premier Pass – the one that’s good for unlimited skiing on all four local mountains – is going up $50 from last year’s super-early, ACRA-member deal. And last season’s price for the Premier Pass was up $50 from the prior season. The cost of the pass has gone up in each of the past four seasons.The price of the two-day and one-day passes are increasing, too, as is the cost of a Classic Pass.The single-day, walk-up lift ticket rate will peak at $82 this season, up from $78 last winter. The daily rate generally gets a great deal of attention, in comparisons among various ski resorts, but Aspen Skiing Co. executives have long said that comparatively few people actually buy single-day tickets, opting instead for multiday deals that bring the price down.The Skico unveiled this season’s lift ticket and pass prices on Tuesday. Pass prices generally go up annually, but the Skico pays particular attention to the price of the Premier Pass with the early-bird and ACRA discounts. That’s the one most locals purchase, according to David Perry, company senior vice president.”We give it the most scrutiny, I think, and try to keep it reasonable for locals,” he said.And local skiers and riders feel it’s a good deal, according to Perry.”We get a lot of feedback from passholders – that they get great value out of it,” he said.Those who bought the Premier Pass at the deepest discount last season hit the slopes an average of 34 days – for a per-day price of about $33, Perry noted.”They’re quite pleased with that,” he said. “Most people figure out how many days they can ski or ride, and they do the math.”The second-most popular pass is the Premier purchased by the early-bird deadline, but without the ACRA discount. Last season, those passholders skied or boarded an average of 33 days for a rate that worked out to $47.84 per day, Perry calculated.Anyone who misses the Sept. 8 deadline can purchase a Premier Pass for $1,459 through Nov. 10 with the ACRA discount; after that, it’s $1,629. Without the chamber discount, the pass will cost $1,799 from Sept. 9 through Nov. 10 and then jump to $1,979.The two-day pass (good for skiing or riding two days per week) with the chamber discount is $859 until Sept. 8 – up $40 from last season. After the early deadline, the price jumps to $919 with the discount until Nov. 10 and then increases to $979. A one-day pass with the ACRA discount starts at $649 – up $30 from last season. After Sept. 8, the price bumps up to $679 until Nov. 10 and then increases to $759.Returning this year is the Parent Pass, which the Skico introduced last season, allowing parents with children 12 and younger to share one pass. Once again, it matches the price of the Premier Pass without the ACRA discount – $1,649 by Sept. 8.The four-day Classic Pass will cost $149 this season, up from $139 last season. The seven-day Classic Pass is $239 this season, up from $219.Prior holders of the Classic Pass can renew it online, but new passes will be for sale only at select locations on select dates, locally and around Colorado.Go to http://www.aspensnowmass.com/seasonpass for details on all of the Skico’s pass options and how to purchase them.Snowmass and Aspen Mountain are scheduled to open Nov. 23 and operate through April 15. Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk will operate from Dec. 9 to April 1. When the lifts open, skiers and boarders will find new gondola cars on Aspen Mountain (actually, they’re already in use), the new Elk Camp gondola at Snowmass and additional terrain in Deep Temerity, which debuted at Highlands last season. The Skico is glading and cutting new lines in the popular double-black terrain, Perry said. Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com