Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area announced Thursday that current season-pass holders can purchase a 2017-18 pass during the annual Presidents Day sale for $299 — the same price as last year.
However, people who didn’t buy a pass last year will face another price hike this year to $329. That’s $100 more than the price for 2015-16. New pass holders get to ski for the rest of this season, too, once they purchase a pass.
The family pass stayed at $999. The sale will run Feb. 20-26.
“It really comes down to the fact that our annual season-pass holders, the people that sign up every year, don’t really get that advantage of in this case 50 additional days of skiing,” Bogus Basin General Manager Brad Wilson said. “Basically, it’s showing loyalty to our annual pass holders. And then those people who buy every other year, there’s still huge value but maybe they’ll have a second thought that it would be better to buy annually.”
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Going forward, returning pass holders will get a preferred rate each year, Wilson said.
Bogus Basin has about 20,000 pass holders this season. Wilson doesn’t know how many people buy on an every-other-year basis to take advantage of the Presidents Day sale but “we know it’s a fair amount,” he said.
Other prices for 2017-18: $239 midweek/non-holiday, $199 junior (12-18), $69 child (7-11), $29 preschool (6 and under), $99 nights only, $199 senior (70-plus), $999 family and $109 Nordic adult.
The junior pass returned to $199 after jumping to $229 last year.
“We just thought that there was too big of a jump from (a child rate),” Wilson said. “We heard from families that addressed that issue. We were amenable to their concerns.”
Bogus Basin also will continue to offer discounted buddy passes and perks at other ski areas. Those perks add up to $1,695 in added value if you’re able to take advantage of all of them, according to Bogus Basin. This year’s perks:
▪ One free Bogus Basin summer chairlift ticket for individuals, four for families.
▪ Two half-price Bogus Basin winter alpine lift tickets for individuals, six for families.
▪ Tamarack Resort: One 2016-17 lift ticket (March 1-April 2), One scenic lift ride without a bike this summer, one lift ticket for 2017-18 (Dec. 8-25 or Jan. 2-7).
▪ Soldier Mountain: Two lift tickets for 2017-18, Thursdays and Fridays only.
▪ Plus several discounts at out-of-state ski areas. Full benefits list here.
Last year, Bogus Basin increased the price of an adult season pass from $229 to $299. That ended an 18-year run of selling passes for $179 to $229. The move was designed to stabilize the non-profit ski area’s finances and help Bogus Basin save for key improvements, including expansion of summer activities, adding snowmaking and improving the winter facilities.
The result: Bogus Basin expects to set a record for revenue this season and could surpass the 2010-11 record for skier visits (356,000), Wilson said.
“The bottom line is people understood at $299 it’s still an incredible value,” he said. “In 1998, when it was $199, it was a huge deal that the entire ski industry kind of followed. If you just use cost-of-living increases in the last 19 years now, that $199 would be roughly $299. It’s still as incredible of a deal as it was in 1998.”
(If you put in the numbers here, Wilson’s math is right.)
Bogus considered raising the price this year, Wilson said, but wanted to give its pass holders a chance to adjust to the higher amount from last year. He isn’t sure what will happen next year.
“We have to take into consideration the increased cost of doing business,” he said. “We just can’t ignore that anymore because that’s what got us in trouble before.”
“That’s really our goal, to be able to do more philanthropic work,” Wilson said. “That’s easier when you have some stability.”
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Today is not a great day to go skiing. Rain is in the forecast across the region. But it’s supposed to cool down for the weekend, and there’s snow in the forecast Friday at Bogus Basin, Tamarack and Brundage. Check out detailed conditions by ski area in the map below.