Merchant Pass pricing announced |

Merchant Pass pricing announced

Cliff Thompson

Vail Resorts has announced its 2003-2004 Merchant Pass price, with a few new options designed around user convenience.The 2003-2004 Merchant Pass offers skiing and snowboarding in Eagle and Summit counties for $729, a $30 price increase over last season.”We feel the customer is demanding more flexibility,” said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We would like as many locals in the community to participate as is possible and that’s why we’ve added a new category and created new options.”Those options include a new $649 Eagle County-only Merchant Pass, valid seven days a week at Vail and Beaver Creek that does carry some weekend restrictions. A $699 Merchant Pass, up $50 over last year, is valid seven days a week at Vail and beaver Creek with limited restrictions.There’s also a new Merchant “Ski-With-a-Friend’ discount ticket program. The unrestricted ski-with-a-friend coupons provide up to six days of skiing or snowboarding for family or friends at the discounted Ski-With-a-Friend rate. Merchant Pass holders can stop by any lift ticket office with their vaild pass to redeem one or all six of their Ski-with-a-Friend coupons.”As a company, we believe we need to make skiing as affordable for the locals as we can,” Jensen said. “We measure success on participation as opposed to gross revenues.”Securing a Merchant Pass requires participating merchants to send an owner or manager to a Turn It Up! customer service class co-sponsored by the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau and the Vail Chamber and Business Association. The classes will be conducted by Paul Kuzniar, a marketing executive with 15 years of experience at Eastman Kodak and 20 years training experience in advertising, branding, positioning and customer service.The classes aim to remedy the perception of guests – who were surveyed while on-mountain- that customer service levels are declining.Two separate classes will be offered: a session for guest-focused businesses. such as retailers, hotels and restaurants; and another for professional services providers, such as builders, doctors and consultants. Each session will run for two hours and will feature dialogue, role-playing and interactive discussions.There will be 30 classes offered in November, which cost $35 per-person and will start Nov. 3. Morning, afternoon and evening sessions are scheduled at the Vail Library and at the Inn at Riverwalk in Edwards.Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 479-3080 or by e-mailing: more information on the Turn It Up! program, the Chamber and Tourism Bureau at 477-4034 or the Chamber and Business Association at 477-0075.Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or

Support Local Journalism