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A little competition among resorts in Colorado has paid off for skiers and boarders in the form of a price war on season passes. Winter Park, the resort owned by the city of Denver, started the price war by offering a package of four full season passes for $795. The Friends and Family pass package is available to any combination of four people, be they friends, family or complete strangers. Winter Park’s move prompted Intrawest-owned Copper Mountain, Vail Resorts and Berthoud Pass to respond with similar deals. Last week Copper began offering a four-person pass package for $795, while Vail Resorts packaged three of its resorts — Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin — for the same price. Reduced season pass prices for Vail and Beaver Creek are not being offered. Berthoud Pass, a small ski area just down the road from Winter Park, is offering a limited number of $200 adult season passes and $50 kids passes. The $200 per person passes are between $300 and $600 off the full price of a season pass last winter. A Winter Park spokesperson said the ski area started the pass discounting to get people back into the sport, and it appears to have worked. "We really hit a nerve by offering the Friends and Family pass because no product existed for single people or married couples without children. We looked at our demographics — that’s 60 percent of our skiers," Joan Christensen said. At the $200 rate it will take less than six days to pay off a Winter Park season pass, even fewer days to pay off a pass at Copper or Keystone-Breckenridge-Arapahoe. Those kinds of numbers are expected to move out-of-state skiers and boarders to purchase season passes. An adult unlimited season pass for Whistler/Blackcomb is $1,159 (CDN) to the end of September.

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