Skico pass prices high,but are not the highest |

Skico pass prices high,but are not the highest

Locals who scrambled to scrape together cash for the best prices on season ski passes can take a little comfort knowing that they aren’t hitting the slopes in Jackson Hole or Sun Valley.

They are among about a half-dozen towns where ski bums are paying more for a season pass than they are in Aspen, The Aspen Times discovered Monday through research on the Internet.

However, the research also showed that about 80 percent of the best-known resorts in the country charge less for season passes than the Skico.

In Colorado, only Telluride charges more than the Skico, among the resorts surveyed. Telluride’s Web site said unlimited season passes are now being sold for $1,495. Locals there were able to save $500 if they came up with $945 for the pass by Aug. 1.

The Aspen Skiing Co.’s “super early” prices for unlimited passes were $949 for members of the local chambers of commerce and $1,299 for individuals.

The prices soared to $1,149 for chamber members and $1,499 for individuals as of Sept. 2. Few charge more The Aspen Times checked the Web sites of 24 well-known ski areas in the U.S., as well as Canada’s Whistler/Blackcomb, to compare the Skico’s pass pricing. Only the most recognizable resorts were selected.

Some of them are destination resorts, like Aspen/Snowmass, where skiers and riders take extended trips and stay in local lodging. Others rely more heavily on day skiers from Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles or East Coast cities.

Two resorts that weren’t included in the survey were Crested Butte and Deer Valley, which didn’t list season pass prices on their Web sites. Resort officials couldn’t be reached at either place Monday because of the holiday.

Those who charge more than the Skico for season passes are Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Taos, N.M.; Killington, Vt.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Telluride.

Jackson Hole charged $1,495 for an adult’s season pass in August. That price shot up to $1,675 this month.

Killington charges $1,249 – more than the Skico charges chamber members but less than it charges individuals. Taos’ $1,300 pass also falls between the Skico’s two prices.

Squaw Valley’s price hit $1,495 as of Sept. 1 to match and exceed Aspen’s prices.

Whistler/Blackcomb is charging $1,239 for its season pass through the end of September, then the price climbs to $1,519. However, its prices appear inflated because of the U.S. dollar’s strength in Canada. Cutthroat pricing Most Colorado’s skiers and riders are well aware of the price war being waged by some resorts over Front Range day skiers. That cutthroat competition has sent pass prices plummeting over the last three seasons.

Copper Mountain slashed it price to $239 Thursday. Winter Park is selling passes good for four people for $995. The price had dropped as low as $800.

A Rocky Mountain Super Pass good at Copper and Winter Park is sold for $369.

Vail Resorts Inc. has passes above and below Aspen’s prices. Its Colorado Pass – good at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek – has ranged in price from $299 to $259 this summer.

Vail Resorts’ Web site wouldn’t allow access Monday to the page with information about a season pass for Vail and Beaver Creek only. That pass has traditionally been as much or more than the Skico’s season pass. Cheaper passes across country It’s not only the Interstate 70 ski areas that are charging less than the Skico for season passes.

In Colorado, Steamboat is priced lower than the Skico with a $1,050 season pass. Purgatory, now known as Durango Mountain Resort, charges $699.

In Utah, the Canyons charges $855 for an adult season pass. It also offers a “Locals Ski Bum Pass” for members of the Park City Chamber of Commerce for $649.

Park City ski area charges $850 for its season pass. Snow Basin, the site of the 2002 Olympic downhill and super G races, offers a season pass for $725. Snowbird’s $1,099 pass increases by $100 starting today.

Further west, Heavenly charges $969 for a season pass purchased by Sept. 22. Kirkwood’s season pass climbed to $699 this month. Northstar-at-Tahoe charges $975.

On the East Coast, Mad River Glen charges $580. Stowe currently charges $1,075.

The Skico offered its best prices from August to Sept. 1. Prices climb again on Oct. 29, pushing them even higher than most of the competition.

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