Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Ski Area has announced that for the second straight year, the cost of an unlimited season pass would increase by $20. However, this year value cards will go up by a bigger margin.
Avid Steamboat skiers and riders who purchase a season pass for the 2002/2003 ski season prior to Aug. 15 will pay $885. The price goes up to $1,125 on Aug. 16. The early season rate compares to $865 last winter and $845 two years ago.
Value passes, which offer 10, 15, 20 or 30 days of skiing a winter, will go up by as much as $54. A "20 and 10" value card will cost $699 through Aug. 15, then go up to $799 on Aug. 16. Last year, the early season price was $645. Two years ago it was $630.
The 20 and 10 card allows skiers to visit the slopes 20 times during the regular season and 10 times combined in the early and late value seasons.
"We're constantly managing and monitoring yield," Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Vice President of Marketing Andy Wirth said of the decision to increase value card prices. "We believe a modest price increase is warranted. We still think they are priced very, very well."
Wirth said one noticeable trend is that Front Range skiers who are turning away from ski areas on the I-70 corridor and driving the extra distance to Steamboat, are beginning to upgrade from free Steamboat Cards marketed in Denver, to the value cards. Although the ski area gives up a little bit of "yield" or profit, when those Denver skiers convert to value cards, it's well worth capturing the additional market share from the Front Range and building the loyalty of those skiers and riders, Wirth said.
"We are very encouraged by the growing popularity of the value passes, particularly within the Colorado Front Range market," Wirth said.
However, he said there is no direct link between that trend and the decision to bump the price of value cards a little more aggressively than that of full-season passes.
The 10 and 10 cards will cost $479 (early season) this year compared to $455 last summer. The price of 10 and 5 cards goes up to $429 from $390 and 5 and 5 cards increase in price from $280 to $299.
The family pass program returns for its 17th season this year. It offers children 12 and under a free season pass with the purchase of an adult season pass by their parent or legal guardian.
The ski area will also renew the merchant pass program this year, however details won't be finalized until July 15. The program offers employers a payment plan on pass purchases in advance for their ski season employees. Employers are required to make a deposit at the time of purchase. Again this year, there will be two price tiers a lower price for businesses participating in the Steamboat Springs Transportation Support fund program, and a higher price for those not contributing to the direct jet program.
The price of a lift ticket for people walking up to the window and purchasing a single day of skiing this year will be $64.
Again this year, skiers and riders may opt to purchase their passes online at the early season rates. Interested season pass purchasers may go to www.steamboat.com.