I would like to begin by giving big thanks to Sun Valley Co. for its continued efforts at making Dollar Mountain a viable, comfortable and fun place to ski. Our family loves it.
However, the cost for a local family to ski at Dollar is cost-prohibitive. If you compare the ticket prices at Dollar to any comparable ski area in size, number of runs and number of lifts (basically your small local ski areas throughout the country), the Dollar prices are at least double, usually more. But it is a special circumstance that Dollar happens to be part of one of the great resort communities in the West. So let's work on some realistic prices for the families that live, work and ski here, because our kids are the future of skiing here and the more skiers we grow, the more future pass holders and skiers there will be for Sun Valley. Here are a few proposals to get started:
1) A transferable parent pass for Dollar. Most of the time one parent is skiing with the kids on Dollar while the other is either working (or hopefully skiing on Baldy). Either parent should be able to ski with the kids on the same pass. An adult Dollar Mountain pass is currently $275. If this was spilt between the parents, there might be a hope for some cash to be leftover for any kind of pass for Baldy.
A smart added bonus would be for Sun Valley to allow the price of your Dollar Mountain pass to be applied as a discount for a more expensive Baldy pass—either a 20/20 or a season pass. The transferable parent pass should be instituted immediately.
2) Kids 4 and under ski free. A birth certificate is presented to obtain the pass (a small processing fee could be charged for the cost of the pass itself). The sooner kids start, the sooner they will be buying tickets. But for the first few years, a typical day might consist of a run or two (maybe four now that we have the quads.). This should be free and encouraged. We are grateful for the magic carpet but it is not enough.
3) Kids' season passes: First kid pays full price, all additional kids pay half price.
These are just a few suggestions to start with. I know many people will have more and better suggestions to add. The cost of getting kids into the sport is rapidly getting out of reach. I know Sun Valley wants to remain a world class, successful resort and skiers of all ages are essential. If you have more ideas, please call the administrative offices at Sun Valley at 622-4111 and ask to leave your suggestions.
Anne Marie Gardner