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Old 11-14-2012, 10:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default WTF - Midwest Season Pass Prices

So I'm a Chicagoan and spent most of last year in WA, which has arguably some of the best ski/snowboard terrain in the country. It was my first season snowboarding and I became hooked instantly and bought a season pass out there at two different mountains. And I'm talking about real "mountains", not f'ing Wilmot Mountain in WI, for example.

Anyways, wtf is up with the prices for season passes out here?? Wilmot for example is $555??!! I paid about $350 for a season pass at the Summit at Snoqualmie in WA, which I assure you is God like compared to anything out here.

What is up with this?? I can't believe people pay this much for such lame terrain, which I agree is better than nothing, but still...

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's even worse on the east coast.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's what you get around Chicago, city skiers who think a ski hill is a country club, it's the same around the twin cities.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You are showing how little time you have been in this game. In the 90's a season pass at Snoq's would have cost you nearly $1k. All Western ski areas were at this higher rate. Once again, thank Winterpark for launching the pass war prices and bringing down the season pass rates all over the US.

Comparatively, Mid West areas were a bargain back in the day. Western areas have a lot of advantages over their mid west and east coast counter parts. I would imagine that offering a much cheaper pass would likely mean that your little area would have to stop spinning the wheels. It sucks, but those are just some of the realities with it. Running a ski area ain't cheap, that's for sure.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought about getting a pass this year but they have priced it so high it just isnt worth it. And with the terrible weather we had last year who knows how much use I would get out of it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
You are showing how little time you have been in this game. In the 90's a season pass at Snoq's would have cost you nearly $1k. All Western ski areas were at this higher rate. Once again, thank Winterpark for launching the pass war prices and bringing down the season pass rates all over the US.

Comparatively, Mid West areas were a bargain back in the day. Western areas have a lot of advantages over their mid west and east coast counter parts. I would imagine that offering a much cheaper pass would likely mean that your little area would have to stop spinning the wheels. It sucks, but those are just some of the realities with it. Running a ski area ain't cheap, that's for sure.
I really think its just a matter of charging what people are willing to pay and taking them for suckers.

I'm struggling to see how the resorts in the Midwest have anywhere near the operating costs that the much larger all mountain resorts out West do, but I'm open to hearing about it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgunzalez View Post
I really think its just a matter of charging what people are willing to pay and taking them for suckers.

I'm struggling to see how the resorts in the Midwest have anywhere near the operating costs that the much larger all mountain resorts out West do, but I'm open to hearing about it.
Nature isn't as helpful, the resorts here make more snow? Have less visitors?
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  • Crystal Mountain: 2
  • Bittersweet: 1
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B. View Post
That's what you get around Chicago, city skiers who think a ski hill is a country club, it's the same around the twin cities.
This sounds about right to me although I have yet to experience it first hand.

It was awesome to experience the hospitality of the people I interacted with in the mountains out West. Definitely some of the most welcoming and helpful I've ever met.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
I would imagine that offering a much cheaper pass would likely mean that your little area would have to stop spinning the wheels. It sucks, but those are just some of the realities with it. Running a ski area ain't cheap, that's for sure.
Bingo.

Figuring a 3 month season, 4 if we're really lucky, they're probably blowing snow on average 4-5 days a week from late November through February. That shit ain't cheap.

Most of these places also operate 12+ hours per day instead of 7-8 hours per day out West where only a handful of mountains operate after 4pm.

Most of these places are also located a stone's throw from major metropolitan areas. There are 4 ski areas within 30 minutes of my house in fair weather, and there are 1.5 or 2 million people in the same situation. So there's a very captive audience of people who dno't ski maybe 5-7 times per season, but they ahve to price high enough to keep these folks buying day passes instead of season passes, etc.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgunzalez View Post
I really think its just a matter of charging what people are willing to pay and taking them for suckers.

I'm struggling to see how the resorts in the Midwest have anywhere near the operating costs that the much larger all mountain resorts out West do, but I'm open to hearing about it.
I'd wager the costs/acre are higher than they are out West. We average 60-80" of snow per YEAR. Utah or WA or CO can get that, and often does, in a weekend. It's quite expensive to make snow, and because of the warmer temps and lower elevations, we don't get much help from Ma Nature either.


Just a hunch, though, I could be completely wrong
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