Patti and Tom Zehner: Senior pass, local pass would be IKONic | SteamboatToday.com

Patti and Tom Zehner: Senior pass, local pass would be IKONic

We have read the letters from Romberg, Working and Schrader that were published during March. Alterra, are you listening?

The local families and seniors are not impressed with your new price strategy. Like the other authors, we feel that what Alterra has done with the season pass structure is disappointing to both the seniors and community families.

At the end of 2017 Alterra said they planned to offer a pass competitive with the Epic Pass. We never expected them to alienate the local families and seniors. Instead of providing a way for the community to enjoy our wonderful mountain, they did just the opposite.

The last two years the seniors were slapped with close to a 20 percent increase on their season pass while the general public saw a mere 5 percent increase. Well, I guess that was not enough. This year they stuck the seniors with almost a 30 percent increase. At the same time giving the general public a 20 percent decrease. Unless you have children and then you get to pay more.

Why is it that our ski area cannot respect the seniors who have moved to this area and supported the ski industry for 30 to 50-plus years? People do not wake on their 70th birthday and say "Gee, I think I will start skiing today.” No! If someone is skiing at 70, it is because they have supported their local ski mountain for many years. Most local businesses give incentives to people who frequent their establishment.

Aspen Ski Area plans to have a special pass for locals and seniors as they have in the past. When we called, they indicated that they would have a senior pass that will most likely be near or below $500. They did state that they had not determined the price at the time we talked to them.

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Vail Resorts EPIC pass provides a reduced rate for community skiers who only want to ski the local mountain. An EPIC pass for just Keystone and A-Basin is a mere $349 with restrictions for busy times when most locals and seniors never ski anyway.

Why is it that the other areas tend to provide the locals a reasonably priced pass to ski only the mountain where they live? Why do many of these areas also provide a senior pass that is more reflective of a person on fixed income?

How about money that families and seniors spend on the mountain at restaurants and mountain services. As a senior we are on a fixed income. As a family of two, we are looking at another $400 out of our budget. To keep our budget in balance, we will most likely no longer spend money on amenities offered on the mountain.

In the past two years, as the area increased the senior pass, several of our senior friends dropped out of skiing. They spend money somewhere else.

We are asking Alterra and Steamboat Ski Area to re-consider their rate schedule for this year and future years. Maybe even consider learning what types of passes the community would find attractive. You may be surprised.

  • Please provide a reduced pass for the community people that only want to ski the local mountain.
  • Please provide a reduced rate for the 70-plus-aged skiers who have supported the mountain for decades.
  • Please provide a limited one- or two-week pass.
  • Please provide a way to pay the cost of the pass over months instead of a lump sum.

Patti and Tom Zehner

Steamboat Springs