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For the week of September 20 through 26, 2000

Season pass prices go up

Other Western resorts cut prices


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

While several major Western ski resorts are cutting their lift rates, Sun Valley Co. is boosting its season pass price by $50 to $1,650.

Sun Valley’s daily lift rates are up, too.

For single and half-day lift tickets, prices went up by $1 across the board, and season discount card holders will pay an additional $1 per day ($40) or half day ($28).

At $150, the base cost for discount cards will remain the same.

The prices of season passes at three of Sun Valley’s main competitors are in the same ball park.

Jackson Hole offers season passes during the summer months for $1,495, but that price jumps to $1,830 in October.

Aspen Skiing Co. offers a season pass to Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands for $1,299 until Sept. 1, but that price jumps to $1,699 thereafter. The low price is $100 less than last year’s, and the high price is $100 more than last year’s.

Park City Mountain Resort offers a season pass for $795 during the summer, but it jumps to $1,225 in November, with several price increments based on dates in between.

Other areas, however, are jumping on the marketing bandwagon of trying to make more money by reducing season-pass costs and selling to more skiers.

Copper Mountain and Winter Park are offering unlimited passes for under $300.

Vail Associates in Colorado is offering season passes to Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapaho Basin ski areas for $249. With Vail and Beaver Creek included, however, the cost is $1,299.

The company is offering another deal for 10 days of skiing at Vail and Beaver Creek and unlimited skiing at Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapaho Basin for $299.

Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico offered $400 season passes to locals during a month-long period this summer. The resort’s regular season pass price is $1,445.

This is the first year Taos has offered the mid-summer deal, and office manager Marta Dempsey said the resort will probably continue to offer $400 passes next summer.

Taos’ regular pass prices are unchanged from last year.

Sun Valley spokesman Jack Sibbach acknowledged that Sun Valley’s season passes are among the most expensive in the skiing and snowboarding world, but said they’re worth the money.

"We still think it’s the best value in the ski industry," he said. "The mountain we have with the quality of grooming, the lifts that we have, with the service we provide in the restaurants, with very few people on the mountain compared with other destination resorts, it’s still a great value."

 

Sun Valley’s 2000/2001 lift ticket rates

Regular season

One day $59

Half day $43

 

Early and late season

One day $28

Half day $28

 

Season Discount Card ($150)

One day $40

Half day $28

 

Weekend Discount Card ($50)

One day $40

Half day $28

 

Adult season pass $1,650

Student season pass $320

 

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