Mountain Collective product on August 14. For $349, the pass offers skiers and snowboarders two free days at each destination, with a 50 percent discount on every subsequent lift ticket purchased at partner resorts.Aspen/Snowmass, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Jackson Hole, and Alta launched the
"It's a product that has a place not just in the market, but in the hearts and minds of our consumers," says Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. "We want to give them what they're looking for and more."
The resorts involved conducted independent market research and gathered customer feedback, finding that passholders would respond to a product offering access to premier destination resorts. "We looked at adding more value and more benefit for skiers," says Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing with Aspen Skiing Company. "We definitely wanted to work with iconic resorts. That was key." After collecting data last spring, Knapp says, Aspen approached other resorts about the partnership. Together, the four resorts provide access to eight mountains, plus more than 16,000 acres of terrain, and over 100 lifts—not to mention legendary powder days and some of the most storied ski terrain in the U.S. A pass for children ages 12 and under costs $229, and Mountain Collective passholders receive exclusive lodging offers. The current prices are vaild through November 19, 2012.
The initial out-of-pocket cost coupled with a pay-as-you-go model is designed to deliver value for destination visitors. "We believe this will resonate with customers in Birmingham, Alabama, but also with customers in Birmingham, England," Wirth says. "It's truly a global product that delivers the best of American ski resorts." It also serves people close to home. Wirth says research shows Tahoe's Northern California customers are likely to visit Aspen/Snowmass once during the winter. Now they'll have a new tool for planning ski vacations. "We don't see it directly competing with anything," Knapp says. "We're really trying to offer something different." —Olivia Dwyer