In 1998, gas was $1.09 per gallon and season passes at Bogus were $199. In 1998, Bill Clinton was president, a stamp was 32 cents and Bogus had just one high-speed detachable quad. In 1998, Mike Shirley introduced the first year of "affordable pricing" at Bogus and the Valley went wild with its new found price-based winter recreation accessibility. Now, 15 years later, and out of necessity, Bogus is finally asking the community to support an increase to $229.
We understand that an increase in the pass price impacts everyone differently; and please know that this increase is the minimum needed to maintain and retain our entire infrastructure. We've done a pretty good job of absorbing increased costs, but after 15 years of cost absorption, we're running about as thin as we can get. Just adding inflation to the consumer price index from 1998 to now, that same pass you bought in 1998 would now sell for $280.
To be certain, everything Bogus buys has gone up in price - everything - from diesel for snowcats to circuitry for high-speed quads. Every operating department at Bogus, including lift maintenance, ski patrol, lodge maintenance and equipment maintenance, has dealt with prices increases - everything has gone up.
And although our costs have gone up, we've also had our "Partners in Affordability" step up to help keep Bogus affordable: St Luke's, Jacksons and Pepsi Bottling Ventures. We also greatly appreciate the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation helping fund our new Mountain Dew Terrain Park. Many other community partners have stepped up as well to keep Bogus affordable. Every dollar of sponsorship is important.
Again, to be certain, Bogus remains committed to affordable recreation and that community commitment will never change. In all of ski-dom, $229 is the best price, and in fact, a comparable mountain with three high-speed detachable quads and 2,600 acres would easily be priced at $500 for a season pass, but that's not what's best for our community.
This community owns Bogus. And, when you tell us "My Mountain is Bogus" we're listening and doing everything we can to retain your support and trust. We're not increasing the pass price for a stock dividend; we'll be spending every dime of positive incremental cash flow on the community's mountain; your mountain.
Alan Moore is the general manager of Bogus Basin Recreational Association.