Outdoors Blog

Bogus Basin sells more than 16,000 passes for next season

Bogus Basin has had a good snow year and it paid off in strong season-pass sales for 2016-17.
Bogus Basin has had a good snow year and it paid off in strong season-pass sales for 2016-17.

Bogus Basin customers didn’t flinch at the ski area’s highest season-pass price since the 1990s.

Bogus sold 16,075 season passes for 2016-17 during the annual Presidents Day sale that concluded Sunday, according to management.

That’s below the five-year average of 18,000, which included free passes for seniors and young children until recently. It’s far above the result of last year’s sale, which netted 11,000 pass holders.

Bogus ended up with about 20,000 pass holders for 2015-16 as riders bought higher-priced passes when it was clear this would be a good snow season.

The season passes for 2016-17 were $299 during the sale — ending an 18-year stretch during which the passes primarily were sold for $199. They were $229 for 2015-16.

Bogus also offered some new products, including a $99 nights-only pass. The total sales include all types of passes.

Adult passes are now on sale for $329 through March. The full price list is here.

New General Manager Brad Wilson made his pitch for the higher prices directly to customers, letting them know the ski area needed to increase revenue to sustain itself.

The sale went “exceptionally well,” he said.

“It was tough. Tough for me,” he said. “I joke, I’m the poster child for price increases. But I had to personalize it. It had to come from me because I truly, truly believe in order to create a sustainable business model for Bogus Basin we had to raise season-pass prices. Fortunately for us, our season-pass holders agreed with that enough to spend the additional money.”

Bogus, a non-profit, is about $7 million in debt. Here is our story on the price increase that explains why it happened.

“We’re losing pass holders, for sure,” Wilson said. “We knew that. Because there were a lot of people on that cusp where they could rationalize spending $199 or $229 on a season pass because they were going to ski four or five days. Those people on the cusp, we knew we were probably going to lose a portion of those and we likely will. But because of the price increase, the revenue still will be where it needs to be.”

Bogus will offer some deals later this year for customers to buy a pack of day tickets for a discounted price aimed at people who ski a handful of times a year, Wilson said.