Vail looks to make tracks in Glenwood | AspenTimes.com

Vail looks to make tracks in Glenwood

Jeremy Heiman

Vail Resorts is making tracks into the Aspen Skiing Co.’s newly expanded turf by extending the benefits of its merchant pass to Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association members and their employees.

The move comes on the heels of a decision by the Skico this fall to, for the first time, offer discounted ski passes to chamber-member businesses and their employees in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Previously, the chamber discounts were only available to members of the Aspen and Snowmass Village chamber resort associations.

Vail’s discounted passes include a full-season pass, 20-day pass and a 10-day pass. The passes are affected by holiday blackouts, but are considerably less expensive than comparable Skico passes sold to members of the Glenwood Chamber and other business organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Vail’s offer will allow business owners and employees in the Glenwood Springs area to purchase a full pass good at Vail and Beaver Creek for $849, with blackouts Nov. 26-27 at Vail and Dec. 26-31 at both Vail and Beaver Creek. Employees can qualify to buy the same pass for $599 by participating in a training program in customer service and skier safety.

Passholders may use the pass at Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin from Jan. 3-31, 2000, and from April 2 until closing.

The new 10- and 20-day passes, offered only at Vail and Beaver Creek, also provide significant savings to skiers and snowboarders. The 10-day pass for adults costs $269 and the 20-day pass is $499. These passes are not good Nov. 26-27 at Vail or Dec. 26-31 at both Beaver Creek and Vail.

Comparable Aspen Skiing Co. passes offered to Glenwood Chamber Resort Association members and their employees are higher in price, but are not affected by the holiday blackouts.

Aspen’s Premier four-mountain pass was sold to chamber members for $979 through Oct. 2, and can be purchased for $1,149 until Oct. 30. After that date, the full pass will cost $1,349. This pass is also good if Aspen’s ski mountains should open early or stay open later than the scheduled closing date, and is good for summer lift rides on Aspen Mountain and at Snowmass.

The Skico doesn’t offer a 10-day pass, but its 20-day pass is $779 through Oct. 30 and $939 thereafter. That pass is also good during holiday weekends.

Bill Jensen, Vail Resorts senior vice president and chief operating officer for Vail Mountain, said the prices were not aimed at undercutting Aspen’s prices. “Everybody makes their pricing decisions in a vacuum,” he said.

Vail and Beaver Creek have had a long-standing merchant pass program, aimed at helping businesses achieve staffing during the winter season, and the inclusion of Glenwood Springs is simply a continuation and extension of that program, Jensen said.

As for offering the additional $250 discount to locals who attend the customer service/skier safety seminar, Jensen said the corporation decided there needs to be an added focus in those areas. He said the company feels the $250 discount will be a strong motivating factor for people to attend the programs.

“In a certain respect, we’re putting our money where our mouth is in respect to guest services and safety,” Jensen said.

Vail Resorts considers Glenwood Springs to be a part of the Eagle Valley, said Jensen, who believes extending the merchant discounts to Glenwood businesses and employees is certain to work to Vail’s benefit in the area of regional good will.

Officials at the Aspen Skiing Co. were not available for comment yesterday.


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