Aspen Premier Pass sales up by ‘double digits’ |

Aspen Premier Pass sales up by ‘double digits’

ASPEN – Sales of the full-season pass jumped by “double digits” by the time the early deadline – with the best prices – ended on Friday, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.

“We feel this is due to two things, the $200 to $270 decrease in price and the Pass Guarantee program that we launched,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle.

The price of the full-season Premier Pass dropped to $1,099 from last season’s $1,299 for members of chambers of commerce in the Roaring Fork Valley. For adults who aren’t chamber members, the Premier Pass fell by $270 to $1,499.

The Skico reduced its pass options this season, eliminating some popular alternatives like the two-day-per-week pass. Skico officials said many customers who bought the two-day pass didn’t use it much and paid for days they didn’t use. Customers who did use that pass well were better off with the Premier Pass, the company said.

The pass options for regular skiers boiled down to the Premier Pass or the Flex Pass, which entitles buyers to one day on the slopes per week and the option to purchase additional days for $49.

Skico was stung by criticism they received over the new pass system. They reached out to those critics with the Pass Guarantee program, which allows Flex Pass buyers to upgrade to a Premier Pass at any time in the season for a $50 processing fee. Any extra days purchased at $49 per pop get applied to the upgraded price.

Conversely, buyers of the Premier Pass can downgrade to a Flex Pass by Jan. 8 and get a refund for the difference in pass prices.

Hanle said overall pass sales went as the Skico expected during the “super early” purchase period. They are “flat to slightly below last year in number of passes sold and down in revenue.”

The decrease in revenue is partially a result of lower pass prices, Hanle said. And loss of revenue and lower pass sales is also a result of later deadlines for some of the passes. Students get the same rate throughout the season. Seniors ages 70 and older have until Nov. 13 to buy a Premier Pass at the best rate. Escape Passes, another new offering this year, will be sold at the same rate through Dec. 18.

Hanle said sales of those passes will pick up as the deadlines and ski season approaches, so it is unknown as this point how pass sales will compare to last season.

“We are generally right on target with pass sales at this point,” he said.

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