Don’t be duped by pass scams |

Don’t be duped by pass scams

summit daily news

COPPER MOUNTAIN ” Skiers and snowboarders beware. If a last minute deal on one of Copper Mountain’s popular ski passes seems too good to be true, it probably is, said Copper spokesperson Carlos Garcia.

Copper Mountain’s four passes are being resold in abundance on the internet and in local classified ads, but the purchaser might end up wishing they’d gone to the ticket window instead.

“From our estimation, 60 percent of pass sales that are happening outside of Copper are involving some type of scam,” Garcia said.

Four passes are typically sold during the early season for anywhere between $69 and $89, and entitle the buyer to four days on the mountain, with some blackout dates, Garcia said. They are not transferable.

Most of the problem takes place on eBay, where a quick search for “Copper Mountain ski pass” brings up a long list of four passes for sale.

The scam involves people who bill the pass as a four-day deal when they’ve already used a portion of the allotted days, or people who sell the pass, then call Copper to report it lost. The resort will send out a new pass and cancel the pass the person just sold on eBay.

“They’re selling nothing and screwing over (the buyer),” Garcia said.

Copper Mountain prohibits people from reselling its tickets anywhere on its property. It’s also illegal to resell lift tickets from any ski area ” be it on eBay, in the classified ads or via a different venue ” if the voucher is being sold for a profit, he said.

Illegally reselling a ski pass is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $300 fine, said Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Paulette Horr.

While Copper has had to call in the sheriff’s office on occasion to cite scalpers, the resort is attempting to handle the problem on its own.

It has contacted eBay about pulling the illegal ads off its website, and has been in touch with local newspapers with the same request.

The resort is also contemplating requiring photos on the passes in order to cut out some of the resale problem, but that move would eliminate the ease of the pass, which is what makes it so popular, Garcia said.

Requiring photos would increase the complexity of purchasing four passes, and would prevent places like grocery stores from selling them, Garcia said.

The four pass is sold in various Front Range locations, such as King Soopers. It’s a quick transaction, although people are required to register the passes later through Copper Mountain.

The bottom line is pass buyers need to know what they’re getting themselves into most likely by staying as far away from cyberspace as possible, he said.

“It’s one thing if you’re face to face with someone, but if you’re jumping on eBay trying to get a last minute lift ticket, you’re probably going to be the victim of a scam,” Garcia said.

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