Vail cuts ski pass price, but don’t expect Aspen to follow suit
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colo. ” Vail Resorts announced Tuesday it will sell an unrestricted season pass for all five of its ski areas next year for the bargain-basement price of $579.
Don’t expect the cost cutting, however, to affect the prices of Aspen Skiing Co.’s passes next year, said company spokesman Jeff Hanle.
“We don’t compare ourselves with them,” Hanle said. “We don’t try to compete for Front Range traffic.”
Vail Resort’s “Epic Season Pass,” available through Nov. 15, will be honored at the ski resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly for all of 2008-09. It has no restrictions on use and is available to locals and tourists.
The new price is less than one-third the cost the unrestricted pass that Vail sells this year. It’s also significantly less than the price of this year’s merchant pass, which sold for $869 and was restricted on several holidays.
The Skico’s full-season pass was sold this season for $1,699 when purchased by the earliest deadline, or $1,239 for employees of businesses belonging to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.
Skico’s two-day pass was $879 at the most highly discounted rate. The single-day lift ticket jumped from $82 to $87. Next year’s pricing structure will be announced in June or July.
Vail and Beaver Creek had the highest single-day lift ticket in the state this season ” at $92.
Hanle said he doubts that Vail’s discounted pass would induce travelers to California to hit the slopes of Heavenly ” at 4,800 acres the largest ski area in the state ” instead of making the trip to Aspen.
“It’s a long way to travel when you have the best skiing and snowboarding in the country right at your back door,” Hanle said. “I don’t think that will influence Front Rangers much.”
Hanle bristled at the suggestion locals might be unhappy that Vail’s pass is now nearly one-third the price of Aspen’s season pass.
“I think we treat the locals just fine,” Hanle said.
The Aspen City Council directed staff to move forward with the Burlingame early childhood education center, but decided it needs more information on the affordable housing units that are part of the schematic design at a work session Monday.