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Mountain News: Intrawest responds to Vail pricing



STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Several weeks ago Vail Resorts announced a new ski pass, the Epic Season Pass. At a cost of $579, it is to be good for all five of the company’s ski areas, including its flagship mountain plus Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge, all in Colorado, and Heavenly in California.

The pricing strategy potentially challenges Aspen Skiing Co., but also Intrawest, which operates Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and Steamboat.

In response, Intrawest has dropped the cost of the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus, from $470 this season to $439 next season. It provides unlimited skiing at Winter Park and Copper, plus six days at Steamboat. An unrestricted pass at Steamboat, meanwhile, will cost $979.


Slowing economy evident

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – It took a while, but now evidence of the slowed economy is becoming apparent in the mountain resort valleys of the West.

In Crested Butte, the ski area operator has announced it is postponing construction of a higher-end 95-unit condominium project at the base of the ski mountain. Prices of the units ranged from $875 to $1,500 per square foot, respectable in any ski town, but perhaps precedent-setting in Crested Butte.

The long and short of the story is that the ski company didn’t have enough commitments from buyers to move forward, explains the Crested Butte News.

“We wanted to be somewhere between 70 per cent and 80 per cent under contract before we pulled the trigger. I think we’re around 45 per cent — that is, of the dollar volume,” said Michael Kraatz, the vice president of real estate and development for Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The Cimarron is to take the place of the former Gothic building. This is part of the resort’s renewal process launched by Tim and Diane Mueller, who bought the resort in 2004 from the Calloway and Walton families. They are looking at going forward in 2009, reports the Crested Butte News.

Proceeding this summer, as originally planned, is construction of a 22,000-square-foot on-mountain restaurant called Red Lady Lodge.


Vail cops following Aspen

VAIL, Colo. – It’s a by-now familiar pattern. First something happens in Aspen, and then 5 to 10 years later, in Vail, and 5 to 20 years later at yet other resort-based mountain towns of the West.

The formula holds true in the case of police cars. It used to be that police in both Vail and Aspen drove Saabs. Then, a few years ago, Aspen police switched over to Volvo. Now — you guessed it — Vail has taken possession of four Volvos at significantly discounted prices.