Nancy S. Working: IKONic injustice
March 14, 2018
The much anticipated announcement for the IKON Pass turned out to be an IKONic injustice for Steamboat Springs locals and seniors. I've been a full-time resident for 13 years. I am 70 and love to ski.
I relocated to Steamboat to be near what I thought was a great ski mountain with affordable skiing . I looked forward to that day when I could purchase my senior pass, but it was always a year away. Now, that affordable senior ski pass is gone, at least in Steamboat Springs.
My daughter is a single mother with three children, and they can no longer afford to ski. It is challenging to be a teen that does not ski in Ski Town USA. Not all who work in town are offered access to a "merchant pass.” Most of us don't have access to a snowmobile to take us to Buffalo Pass. Many of us don't need, want or can't afford either IKON Pass option.
Many of us will not travel to 26 different destinations, or ski five or seven days at 13 or 15 other resorts outside of Steamboat Springs. We prefer to ski where we live and work. We want to pay a reasonable price. Thankfully, Howelsen Hill opened its slopes to all for free skiing on Sundays.
Why can't the resort provide reduced prices for locals, students who desire to learn to ski but can't their because their parents can't afford it and seniors who are on a limited budget a few times a month? Maybe a three- or four-day pass option that is available at times other than early season or April? Even a cheaper afternoon-only pass would be appreciated. Copper offers a senior pass for $369 with no restrictions, as well as the IKON Pass, and Winter Park also offers a less expensive option and has more skiable acres.
There is money to invest in blazing lights for Night Skiing, which is an environmental impediment to "dark skies," fireworks, a noisy and polluting nuisance, a slopeside coaster, an eyesore on the mountain and an on-mountain food truck.
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What is the return on investment for these extravagances? No visiter I have met has told me that they came to Steamboat Springs for the night skiing, the Friday fireworks or the mountain coaster. What about the return on investment for goodwill for locals and seniors?
In the past, I would eagerly invite friends and relatives for a visit to stay and ski. Now the invitation will be to stay and cycle, hike, fish or soak in the hot springs. I will entreat them to stay away from the resort, which neglects locals and senior citizens. I'll encourage them to ski at Howelsen Hill or one of the fine Nordic ski areas, which are reasonably priced and always welcome visitors.
Maybe, I am just a crabby old Granny, but if you feel the same way, enter your online comments and contact David Perry, president and COO of Alterra Mountain Company, or Rob Perlman, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
Nancy S. Working