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Early birds get the discounts



Mountains release pass and Express Card pricing for 2001-2002

There are a few increases, a few bargains, a few customer loyalty incentives, and a few new perks to consider when deciding how you?re going to get up the mountains this season.

Whistler-Blackcomb has released its pass prices for the 2001-2002 ski season. Not included are the prices of day passes and Ambassador Passes, which had not been announced as of press time.

The price of an Adult Unlimited dual mountain regular season?s pass has increased to $1,556, a modest $37 increase over last year?s price of $1,519. The year before a pass was $1,469.

Early bird specials are available until Oct. 8, allowing you to save up to $287 on an Adult Unlimited pass. The early bird is just $30 more than last year, but you will receive three "Bring-a-Friend" day passes absolutely free.

All Unlimited passholders will also be eligible for a number of benefits, including two-for-one Fresh Tracks Breakfasts (until Jan. 15, 2002), special passholder weekend ski or snowboard clinics for $89, and 25 per cent off daily group lessons.

Passholders will also be eligible for savings on goggles, gloves and other gear at CanSki Village, and 25 per cent of espresso-based coffee drinks. There are more perks, which will be listed in the Season Passholders? Guide. Special offers will be e-mailed to passholders throughout the season.

The Parent Pass is back this year, which allows you to put two photos on an Adult Unlimited pass, provided that you also purchase a children?s pass. Only one parent is allowed to use the pass at any time, and both the cost and the early bird discount are the same as for an Adult Unlimited pass.

The Adult Midweek pass is $799 for early birds or $1,044 after Oct. 8. Midweek passes are valid Monday to Friday throughout the season with the exception of Dec. 27 to 30. During this period and on weekends, midweek passholders will be charged the same rates as Express Card holders.

An Adult 15-day pass is available for $749 before Oct. 8, and for $777 afterwards. That averages out to $51.80 per day for regular buyers and $49.94 per day for early birds.

You can also purchase single mountain passes for Whistler or Blackcomb for $1,105 prior to Oct. 8, and $1,269 afterwards for an earlybird savings of $164.

An Unlimited pass for youth aged 13 to 18 and Seniors over the age of 65 is $629 for early birds and $767 for late comers, for a saving of $138. A single mountain pass is $542 before Oct. 8, and $675 afterwards, a difference of $133.

The $99 Super Senior pass is back once again, allowing seniors over the age of 75 unlimited skiing for one low price.

A Child Unlimited pass, for kids 7 to 12, is $389, or $470 after Oct. 8 ? that?s just $11 more than last year. A single mountain pass is $286 or $409.

Refund options are available for all passes, ranging from $62 for an Adult Unlimited pass after Oct. 8 to $16 for children aged 7 to 12 before Oct. 8.

The Express Card is still a good deal for visitors and occasional skiers, with lower renewal rates ? that can save you up to $36 ? available for returning card holders.

The Gold Express Card is $229 for adults, $189 for Youth and Seniors, and $109 for children, and includes five free days on the mountain.

For renewals, the price is $53 for adults, $43 for Youth and Seniors, and $24 for children.

For early birds, the original Express Card is $67 for adults, $57 for youth and seniors, and $33 for children.

After Oct. 8 the price goes up to $89 for adults, $75 for Youth and Seniors, and $45 for children. Your first day of skiing is free for all original Express Card holders.

Express Card savings fluctuate from $9 to $27 depending on the time of year and conditions. Cardholders are also entitled to discounts on accommodation, from $89 a night with Global B.C. Express Getaways, and discounts on Ski and Snowboard School programs.

You can also add the Resort Card option to your Express Card, which allows you to tie your Express Card to your credit card to make all your Whistler-Blackcomb purchases.

There are also a wide variety of passes available to participants in Whistler Kids Programs, including racing programs and clubs. This includes the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club, Club Kids, Teen Club, Valley Kids, Kinder Kids, the Freeride Club, the Juniors In Training Program, and J4 ski racing programs. For more information, visit the Whistler-Blackcomb Web site at