Copper to cut season pass price for next season. (Copper Mountain/Facebook)
The season pass battles are officially on for 2018-2019, and Copper Mountain has fired its salvo with an early-season pass priced about 25 percent lower than this season's top price.
The pass went on sale March 6 for $459 with an undetermined duration. Plus, a child skis or rides free if with a season pass-holding adult. Last year’s pass topped out at $599.
In addition, the Colorado resort announced it will make riding up out of the main Center Village quicker and warmer. The resort will replace the heavily used American Flyer with a six-seat bubble chair, and the American Eagle will become a mixture of six-seat chair and eight-person gondolas.
“These are really our two workhorse lifts,” said Copper’s Gary Rodgers. “With the Eagle, we expect a 40 percent increase in capacity, and the American Flyer in the 30-35 percent range. The American Flyer has affectionately been known internally as the American Freezer, because it can get very cold, and it is our longest lift, so we really wanted to provide this weather protection for our guests.”
The season pass announcement comes in the wake of the first pricing for the new Ikon Pass which includes unlimited skiing and riding at Copper (and Steamboat, Winter Park and Eldora) for $899. The Ikon Pass is the first effort by Aspen-based Alterra Mountain Company to compete in the multi-mountain ticket business with Vail’s Epic Pass.
“We operate in a very competitive marketplace, and we’re constantly looking at how we position our pass products,” Rodgers said. “Obviously the landscape has changed rather dramatically recently with the inclusion of the Ikon Pass, which we will also participate in.”
Tucked in amongst Vail-owned resorts, Copper Mountain has always had to rely upon its independent nature, variety of terrain and a cadre of loyal skiers and riders to compete with its better-financed rivals. Now owned by Utah-based Powdr Corp., the resort has freshened up in recent years, including a Olympic-level half-pipe and freestyle parks and development of the Woodward Copper action sports facility.