Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vail charges more, encourages trans-desert roadtrips

The season pass hype for next winter has started. Vail announced its new Epic Season Pass. For $579 the pass offers unrestricted, unlimited access to Breck, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek and Heavenly in California.
The up side: no more 10 restricted days only at Vail like the Colorado Pass.
The downside: no A Basin.
The bait and switch: Instead you get Heavenly, which is 1,000 miles away. I'm not sure I'd drive past Breck, Copper, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen and the mountains of Utah to ski in Lake Tahoe. We'll see how it sells.


Bitter McWestminsterer said...

To me this looks to be geared to 'everyone'. Meaning it is not a Colorado only pass. The math of 7 days of skiing is $644 vs. the pass at $579. Most folks do a week and this might encourage them to come back and book more hotel stays, drink more booze, eat more elk.

I could be wrong, though. It may just be Coloradans. Either way I hope they keep the Colorado Pass in the fold.

gaylord mctampa said...

What out-of-stater (or out-of-country skier) is gonna buy their ski pass in November for a trip they take two to three months later and how many of them ski seven days straight? This is lame. I'll wait and see if they dump the Colorado Pass. How many people on the Front-range ski more than 10 days a year at Vail? I think last year's Colorado pass was $419 early season - so you pay $150 more for one less Colorado mountain and a few more ski days that you won't use? Wonderful. Let's see what Intrawest does. It's looking like time to switch.

bitter mcwestminsterer said...

Oh Gaylord, you are so ribald.

I don't run Vail's marketing department, but clearly they saw an opportunity for those repeat visitors that might feel ripped off skiing two hours on $92 lift ticket, but have no problem shelling out $579 to not worry about it and ski like mad (translation: two hours and sip cognac at the fireside bar). Read their press-release - they said exactly that (minus the cognac part).

It is a pre-sale anyhow likely to gauge response and see what their next offer will be. They can clearly see how many Colorado Pass switchovers they'll get early on.

The fact A-Basin is not there points to the fact the Colorado Pass will exist again in the current form. The sentiment you express is all over the blogosphere right now...or so Tucker Carlson told me.

Don't listen to him, though. Fight the power and Ski the Gems!

Vail Marketing Stooge said...

See, we even have it on our website now for all to see.


We just signed up four executives from Tokyo over saki and some sashimi rolls. They say they like American-style ski hill very much.

gaylord mctampa said...

Oh Bitter, maybe you and the Vail execs should get a room.

We'll see what happens to the Colorado Pass. If it's still around, then this is great news. If it's not, well, the front-rangers that will be benefiting the most will be the corporate fat-cats in Broomfield.

Like I say, if you want the sick pow-pow, you gotta earn your turns.

Bitter McWestminsterer said...

How true Gaylord, how true.

There were some 'serious freshies' up 'at altitude' today. An absolutely 'epic' day to be on the 'sticks' and hitting it 'steep and deep.'