Aspen Skiing Co. announced its pass prices for the 2013-14 season on Thursday, with rates on most options representing a modest increase over last year’s amounts.
Skico public relations manager Meredith McKee said the price increases help the company to offset capital improvements at its four mountains that have totaled more than $80 million over the past six years — $66.5 million at Snowmass alone.
“There are very slight increases over last year,” she said. “There’s the cost of doing business, operating the resort and the cost of staying competitive with other resorts. ... With the on-mountain improvements and the expanded terrain, such as the Burnt Mountain area at Snowmass, we feel like the experience and the value is better than ever for our guests.”
The highest increase, $50, is reflected in the Premier Pass for those who aren’t affiliated with a local chamber of commerce. That pass will cost $1,649 compared with $1,599 last year if purchased by the “super early” deadline of Sept. 13.
Other prices under the “super early” category, for some of the most common alternatives, are anywhere from $10 to $40 higher. Those include:
• The Premier Pass for chamber members, which went up $20 from $1,179 last year to $1,199 for the coming season.
• The Double Flex Pass for nonchamber members, good for two days of skiing per week, which rose $40 from $1,289 last year to $1,329 this year.
• The Double Flex Pass for chamber members, which increased $20 from $1,029 last year to $1,049 this year.
• The Flex Pass for nonchamber members, which allows one day per week, and went up $20 from $879 to $899.
• The Flex Pass for chamber members, which rose $25 from $754 to $779.
• The 7-day Classic Pass, which is $10 higher, from $339 to $349 if purchased by Oct. 13.
• The 4-day Classic Pass, also $10 higher, from $209 to $219, also if purchased by Oct. 13.
Skico said extra days for the Classic passes can be purchased at 30 percent of the one-day, walk-up lift-ticket rate, which has yet to be announced. Last year’s window rate for much of the season was $117.
Extra days for the Double Flex and Flex passes can be bought at 50 percent off the one-day window rate.
Passes go on sale Monday. They can be purchased at the Aspen Mountain ticket office and the Snowmass gondola ticket office, online at www.aspen snowmass.com and by phone at 970-923-1227 or 877-282-7736. Prices will be higher during the “early” period between Sept. 14 and Nov. 8. There also is a “regular” category in which prices will rise again starting Nov. 9.
As always, the passes are good for skiing on any of Skico’s four mountains: Aspen, Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk. Opening day for Aspen and Snowmass is Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day. Highlands and Buttermilk open Dec. 14.
In a statement, Skico emphasized “more than $1,000 in added benefits” through the Premier Pass. Those benefits include discount vouchers on lift tickets and instruction for friends and family as well as reduced prices at on-mountain restaurants before noon and Limelight hotel discounts.
Another benefit of the Premier Pass is a 50 percent discount on the one-day rate for lift tickets at all of the resorts under the Mountain Collective program, which includes Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Calif.; Alta/Snowbird, Utah; Mammoth, Calif.; and Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia. Snowbird, Mammoth and Whistler Blackcomb are new partners to the Mountain Collective Pass offering, which also can be purchased separately.
“It’s hard to believe another ski season is just around the corner, but the entire team at (Skico) is already gearing up to welcome you back to the mountains,” David Perry, senior vice president of Skico’s mountain division, said in a prepared statement.
“We are pleased to be able to offer more added value to the Premier Pass than ever before yet keep it priced lower than it was in 2007-08,” Perry added, referring to pre-recession rates.
McKee pointed out that for the diehards who are able to ski frequently, the Premier Pass is relatively inexpensive when looked upon as a daily average. For those without the chamber-of-commerce connection, paying the full $1,649, the rate works out to little more than $16 per day — if the passholder happens to ski 100 days out of a typical 150-day season.
Skico said its Escape Silver Pass, for seniors 70 and older, is returning. The cost is $229, and the pass offers pay-as-you-go access to all four mountains for $24 per day.
For more details on ski-pass prices, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/seasonpass.