More On Season Pass Rate Hike

Nobody likes to pay more for what they’ve been used to receiving … especially a significant rate increase (20%).

Although the ski company quietly released their price increase on a Friday (akin to how it’s done in politics) and is overshadowed by the news of the Colorado Supreme Courts decision to allow the Town of Telluride to complete the eminent domain taking of the Valley Floor, they will undoubtedly receive some flak when this news gets back on the radar of the locals & businesses who purchase season passes in advance.

The ski company will probably cite several reasons as to justify a rate increase. My guesses are as follows:

1.) There has not been a significant rate increase in a number of years.

2.) Expansion of hike-to terrain up to Palmyra Peak and further access up the Gold Hill ridgeline; necessitating more avalanche control and additional patrol resources.

3.) The ski are will expand it’s available terrain via Revelation Bowl with a new lift dropping into Bear Creek.

4.) New snowmaking and grooming equipment.

Most, if not all of the above possible reasons for a price increase reflects a more aggressive marketing posture for either increased future returns on ski area operations or with respect to the potential sale of the ski area to a new buyer down the road. Yet locals are being compelled to subsidize infrastructure build out and more aggressive marketing WITHOUT BEING ASKED. I do not recall receiving a ballot or questionaire as to my preferences? Nor, do I recall sitting on the chair lift and hearing about any visitors receiving the same (one can only wonder what the price of the single day lift ticket is going to be for next season?).

Let’s not take our eye off the ball here: the ski area is essentially a steward of public lands via a lease of the majority of land within the ski area boundaries from the National Forrest Service.

Of course there’s an inherent financial risk to being party to such a contract and the ski company ought to be able to have a certain degree of autonomy in so far as steering a course which is most economically viable; however, how far can they go?

more later ….

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