Archive for August, 2013

Utah ski resorts align, meaning consumer-friendly prices on passes

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

By Jennifer Napier-Pearce
The Salt Lake Tribune
August 27, 2013

There have always been healthy yet competitive relationships between Utah’s 14 ski resorts, but the arrival of Denver-based Vail Resorts Inc. has injected a whole new dynamic into the marketplace.

Since Vail inked a deal to operate Canyons Resort in Park City last May, the landscape of the state’s $1.173 billion ski industry has fundamentally shifted, prompting fresh alliances between resorts and a full slate of new products. Utah resorts are banding together and looking beyond state borders to create novel types of ski experiences meant to entice both local and out-of-towners to hit the slopes.

All of this amounts to good news for skiers and boarders looking for a bargain.

Take, for example, the Big Cottonwood Pass, which allows one to ski or board all 2,250 acres, 15 lifts and 130 named runs of both Solitude Mountain Resort and neighboring Brighton Ski Resort. The pass can be used any day of the season and includes the popular night skiing option at Brighton. All of this for $999.

“Competition creates opportunity,” said Solitude general manager Dave DeSeelhorst. “With all the other passes [coming on the market], we felt compelled to do something we’ve talked about with Brighton for years.”

The collaboration also involves a new joint ticketing system that allows visitors to roam unencumbered between the resorts. DeSeelhorst said it’s the first time this type of hands-free revenue-sharing model will be used in North America (apparently, it’s common in Europe).

“From a consumer standpoint, we are two uniquely different resorts, so being able to offer [this pass] really gives everybody the best of both worlds for a pretty low price,” DeSeelhorst said.

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