Mountain Resorts are using their imagination to entice skiers/riders to commit to season passes. In the past, prices and the lure of being able to go to sister mountains has been the typical deals you would find. But, this year things are starting to get a little more interesting. Management companies are starting to work together, we are starting to see a different approach to satisfaction guarantee, and people can lock the price of the pass for life.
Management Companies Working Together
When it comes to season passes, it’s fair to say that Vail Resorts leads the way with their Epic Pass. Pass holders can get access to a number of the world’s best resorts that Vail Resorts Manages. This also includes two of its latest acquisitions: Park City and Perisher Resort in Australia.
As a way to expand its season pass holders, Intrawest, Boyne Resorts and Powdr have partnered up to create the MAX Pass. With these three different management companies working together, pass holders gain access to 22 different mountains in North America with 5 days at each mountain for a total of 110 days of Skiing or Snowboarding. The pass is also available as an “Add-On” where people can continue to get a season pass at one of the resorts, and add-on the MAX Pass option to get access to 5 days of skiing to each of the resorts. The add-on option is available at a very reasonable rate making it a worthy option is you plan on skiing at least 3 days at a different resort. The MAX Pass includes the following mountains (Steamboat, Big Sky, Winter Park, Killington, Sunday River, Stratton, Tremblant , and many others).
Squaw Alpine has started to advertise a “Worry-Free Guarantee” where if a pass holder does not ski or ride at least 5 times during the 2015-16 season, they will be credited up to 4 days towards their 2016-17 pass. With the tough season for snow this past year, this will help people contemplating a season pass be more comfortable in knowing that they can at least get some of that money back if another poor snow season occurs. Although the amounts will vary based on the type of pass, a Gold pass holders, would get discounts of $100/adult, $86/young adult or senior, and $57/child or super senior towards the 2016-17 pass. This means that if you buy one adult gold pass for the 2015-16 season and use it once. You would be credited $400 towards your 2016-17 pass.
The “Forever Pass”
With Bear Valley Resort in California, skiers/riders can lock in their season pass prices for life. The way it works is that if you buy the pass this year (currently $399 for an adult), the pass holder will be able to pay the same price for every subsequent year and as long as the resort is not sold. Granted the resort can be sold at any time, but if you are a 25 year old, imagine being able to pay $399 for a season pass in 2040.
These three new concepts are very creative and it will be interesting to see how successful they are and if other resorts begin copying these promotions in the future.