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Ski resorts offer deals on passes for next season

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

People who purchase midweek season ski passes now have a chance to buy at extremely cheap prices for next season.

Northstar-at-Tahoe’s recently announced its price for the 2000-2001 mid-week season pass which is the cheapest in the resort’s history. A Monday through Friday mid-week season pass sells for $199 and can be purchased through April 30.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Northstar had sold approximately 700 mid-week passes at that price.

“We’ve never had a pass this inexpensive,” said Erin Bernall, Northstar’s Communication Manager. “It’s an experiment. So far, we’re pretty pleased.”

Bernall said the main reason Northstar began the promotion was to help get the word out to skiers about new advanced skiing terrain that will open next season for the first time. North Lookout Mountain which faces Highway 267 on the north side of the resort, will offer 1,200 vertical feet of steep terrain, comprising four runs that are currently being used for snowcat tours. A new quad chairlift will be constructed in that area this summer. Bernall said the majority of this area will be tree skiing.

“One good way for people to experience this and learn about us is by offering this low pass price,” Bernall said. “It’s making us a little more competitive with more advanced mountains.”

Of those buying the early season passes, approximately 80 percent have never had season passes with Northstar in the past.

“What’s interesting is we’re getting other Northstar pass-holders who are buying this in addition to other North Shore passes,” Bernall said.

The early mid-week pass for the 1999-2000 season offered last year cost $399, which was valid Sunday through Friday. That deal is again available this year, but in addition to the Monday through Friday midweek pass for $199.

Other resorts are presenting low-priced season pass packages as well for the 2000-2001 ski season.

Alpine Meadows marketing representative Andy Goggins said resort is hoping to release its early season pass deal by May 1.

“We’re working on finalizing a really good deal,” Goggins said, though details could not yet be released. “It’s going to be one of the better deals in the Tahoe Basin.”

Summit resort Donner Ski Ranch is offering a 2000-2001 season pass for $169 (adult price), that – if purchased now – can be used for the remaining 2000 season as well. The passes are unrestricted and may be used on all weekends and holidays. The price stays at $169 until May 31. For children, the price is $69.

Sugar Bowl has not yet announced a preseason deal, according to its ticketing department, and is currently working on establishing prices for next season. Passes for next season will most likely not be available until July.

Squaw Valley USA has not yet announced preseason pass deals, according to Sales Manager Becky Moore.

“We’ve got big plans for next year, but none of the rates have been set,” she said. Moore said Squaw is currently focussing on springs deals. Midweek tickets now include the use of the pool and spa at High Camp Bath and Tennis Club, and prices will be reduced to $32 on May 1 for the remaining ski season.


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