Patti and Tom Zehner: Don’t gouge seniors
April 2, 2016
We are responding to the March 10 article "Steamboat ski passes go on sale for 2016-17 season," which reported a 5 percent increase in season pass cost. However, the real story here should be titled "Seniors pay 20 percent increase."
After reading the article, how shocked I was when I checked on ordering my pass for next year, expecting a 5 percent increase and finding a 20 percent increase. Keep in mind the cost-of-living increase is below 2 percent a year and gas/utility costs have declined as well.
In fact, the government decided seniors did not need a Social Security increase this year with inflation below 2 percent. So how does the Steamboat Ski Area justify charging seniors 20 percent more while only charging 5 percent for the general public?
Why not one size fits all?
Additionally, this same scenario happened last year when the senior pass increased by 11 percent but just 5 percent for the general public for a Steamboat ski pass.
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In contrast, Aspen has raised senior rates by less than 3 percent for the past three years, and this pass can be purchased any time during the ski season. You do not need to pay in June to receive this rate after November 2016. Maybe they tend to respect seniors by providing a price increase that is more reflective of the normal inflation rate. In other words, they have decided to not "gouge seniors."
Finally, people don't 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 at least 20 to 50 years.
I am asking the Steamboat Ski Area to re-consider their rate schedule for this year and future years to show they respect the 70-plus aged skiers as much as they do the general public.
Patti and Tom Zehner
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