To whom it may concern,

As I get older, each year I have to reassess the value of purchasing an annual ski pass. And each year Alterra continues to practice ageism in its pass pricing structure!

You offer NO SPECIAL PRICING for forgotten senior skiers and riders (many of whom are on a fixed income) over 70 years of age who may only ski a few times per year compared to other pass holders. You offer discounts to college, military, nurses, young adult, child, 4 and under but nothing to those of us who have been your loyal bread and butter customers for years. Those of us who have brought up the next generation or two of new skiers and riders of whom you now benefit.

I have noted this discrimination to your company before but my concerns were met with indifference. Apparently corporate greed is more important than fairness in rewarding older skiers who have steadfastly supported the ski industry through thick and thin for decades.

You’re probably thinking why should Ikon offer a senior discount when Epic doesn’t? That’s bad business thinking. Why not be the leader in offering seniors a proper deal like many of the smaller resorts like Loveland do? Not to mention that Snowy Range who offers free lift tickets to the over 70 crowd! Not only would you attract more older skiers and riders but also their children and grandchildren.

Offering discounts to nurses, military members, young adults, etc. demonstrates respect for them and what they do for our society. Seniors have contributed and continue to contribute a great deal to our lives, yet all too often, they receive less respect and are kicked to the curb. Refusing to include seniors with nurses, military, and young adults is a slap in the face and denies them the respect they deserve. Most of the seniors who ski have done so for a large part of their lives and want to affordably continue. They are not the (discount treated) hotdoggers who often endanger the lives of other skiers and riders.

I know that your company doesn’t really care but I felt the need to give my opinion. Maybe by the time I’m 80 your company will give my generation a little respect by offering us the discounted ski passes we deserve.

Avid skier since 1960,
G.S. Wood


  1. Cal Huge says:

    Thanks. I am over 80 and still have to pay full price while my kids and grandkids (military, and young) get discounts which I pay for. Perhaps if enough of us “old guys” start voicing things, something might give.

  2. Marion Murri says:

    I agree with G S Wood. I am 77 years old, have skied several months a year for most of my life all over the world from Antarctica to Northern Europe (have yet to do the Arctic!) and am now really disappointed to see how many resorts do not consider the older skiers, many who wish to keep on practicing their favourite sport as long as possible, but with limited strength can manage far less hours than the younger skiers. Many of these older skiers have given the resorts thousands of dollars/francs/lire etc over the decades so it is appreciated when the resorts offer some recognition. I now spend much of my northern hemisphere skiing the large lifted area of the Grand Massif in France as being over 70 I am only charged a very small fee for my id ski card and nothing for the actual ski pass which is included on the id card. I look forward to being able to continue skiing for many more years but lift prices will make me more selective than when I was younger and I wish the same possibilies for al other senior skiers.

  3. I feel the same about Alterra,,,They could offer a decent priced military pass Veterans who served honorably…( but they wont..) You have to be active or retired…The fact that you gave 2,3,4 or 6 years of your life for your country does not count.. Such a shame…I’ll just have to keep buying my Epic Military pass…

  4. Allan Taylor says:

    I bought an Epic pass for exactly that reason. Saved $1000 for passes for 2 next winter.

  5. Vic Polonski says:

    I agree totally with Mr. Wood. However, this idea is not restricted to Alterra. Prior to the IKON and EPIC revolution, there were so many options for locals, senior skiers and beginners. These passes are great for people that have the option of skiing often. I have been skiing since 1970 and would love to be considered as an “under serviced” group (nomenclature in vogue for today), but more importantly, the “cheper” options are just not available anymore.

  6. Suzanne Fell says:

    I completely agree. WE are the ones who have brought our grandchildren.over the years. . I have stopped buying yearly passes. I figured that a daily costs me less . White Pass in WA State has charged $25 a year for years, to buy a pass for 73 and older. It incudes their cross country and snowshoeing areas, and is recognized in a few other skis areas in Eastern WA. They get my money now, not super expensive Crystal Mountain who barely acknowledges older skiers in their rates. and who are a main support of midweek skiing.

  7. Roger Evans says:

    I skied with an 85 year old retired chiropractor at Squaw about 20 years ago. He said “I don’t know why they give us such a good deal…we’re the ones with all the money!”

  8. Ann Noyes says:

    I couldn’t have said it better and have skied since 1948! And, I continue to ski at East coast ski areas after living in Steamboat Springs – IKON pass- for 30 years, paying full price after working at the ski area for 15 years. Are you listening, Alterra?

  9. Darrell Hirte says:

    I’m 77 and have skied since I was 15. Since I’m not in the “Upper One Percent” the discrinatory pricing policies of most Downhill Ski Areas
    is most distressing.
    I’d like to see (maybe I missed?) Senior publish a nationwide list of Pass/Season pass rates. For starters, here are two areas in the Northwest which offer great deals: Anthony Lakes in Oregon : TEN Dollars for a Season Pass. Mt. Ashland in Oregon: FIFTY Dollars. Kudos to both these areas!

    D J Hirte

  10. Anthony Summit says:

    I am 77 and I skied as many days as my age this year. Typical number since retiring. I do get many and valuable discounts at the smaller resorts. But I do notice at both Ikon and Epic resorts that many weekday patrons are seniors. These seniors are the core of the weekday income, further reducing pass prices would reduce profit margins. Income loss would be transferred to young people and families. The cost of an epic or Ikon pass can be covered by skiing 5 to 6 days at a major resort. I suggest skiing more often to lower your costs.

  11. Suzanne Welch says:

    I’m 70, female and a weekday skier. I’m not rich and live on a fixed income. I buy the pass because it’s less expensive than daily lift tickets. A reduced price pass for seniors would go a long way towards bringing out more seniors and more if my friends would join me…and buy food, gas, and lodging in or near ski areas.

  12. David Wilcox says:

    Totally agree with the lousy policy that ikon has towards older folks. I purchased one 2 seasons ago as I was skiing at one of their resorts and day tickets were 250$ my family member who was in their 80s came along and they purchased their cheapest pass for 500$ for a few days but only skied 2 days as she felt it too dangerous to ski as they have flooded the area with way too many people on the trails. Many resorts offer free or cheap passes to older folks and we will bring our business to them, and I doubt ikon could care.

  13. I’m 71. EPIC does offer a senior rate at least for the Northeast Value Pass. Sugarbush offers a mid week senior rate pass. I agree, IKON can and should offer something for folks that don’t clog up the weekends for them. Ya think?

  14. Richard Kunz says:

    I think that this is a much more complex issue. We are seeing monopoly in the ski industry as we see monopoly throughout corporate America. Greed rules, gouge the customer at every opportunity. When you follow the money you will find the cause of the problem.

  15. Debi Wong says:

    At almost 70, agreed. Was able to obtain a non-restricted Ikon pass as I still am in practice as a nurse practitioner and qualified under their nurse discount. None the less, it was $1000.00 which is steep for those with limited incomes. I will be skiing 7 days on this at Aspen and Alta, so it was worth purchasing again I did not use last year’s Ikon pass and they did not offer a deferral which I had been doing since 2019 due to pandemic closures and such. Now they tightened the deferral option to only areas that close due to COVID, though with the public health emergency ending, not likely to happen, unless some other pandemic occurs.

    I also work as a ski instructor, but as a Level 1, do not qualify with a “letter” at top tier ski areas and if I ski outside of my region, have to find the best deals as a public paying member.

    I do wonder how many areas already have a daily “senior” or “super senior” rate.

  16. Connie Grodensky says:

    Personally, I think many resorts have figured out that our population is living much longer than our parents did, and, we are all in pretty good health, therefore I wonder if they are trying to squeak out every last dollar from our generation. I remember when I was much younger and the pricing was looking good for those over 55–some places offered free passes! Ha, you don’t see that often at all unless you are over 85! Where I ski, there are reduced rates for seniors 65-69, then another for over 70. No free pass here, but I greatly appreciate the reduced rate. On weekdays, you will see a lot of Over-the-Hill gang in our local lodge. There is a list published by the 70 Plus Ski Club that has resorts listed by state; if you have the flexibility to travel, it might be worth exploring. Happy trails to us all!

  17. helen sklar says:

    People over 70 ski for free at Mountain High in Wrightwood (about an hour and a half from Los Angeles). There is also a ski clinic for people 50 and over. Mountain High is a lovely little ski area.

    • Hilton Stemwedel says:

      Hi, for next year Mt High, China Peak and Dodge Ridge have a combined pass (for age > ??). With these 3 resorts plus Brian Head we (my age 79) can ski for free all season. There is also one one OR. (Mt Ashland?) with free pass and reciprocation with a nice selection of other resorts. Do you use the Sr. STARS program at Mt High? It’s a great deal and a lot of fun. Ski you later????

  18. I am 72 and have skied for some 61 years. I’m a long-time ski instructor at Breckenridge, so I ski free at all Vail resorts. I feel compelled to respond to G.S. Wood’s and some of the comments above. It is true that Vail Resorts does not offer a senior discount on Epic passes per se, and we can certainly discuss that omission in light of the various military, youth, and other discounts they do offer. But for those seniors who for whatever reason don’t purchase Epic-series passes, Vail Resorts offers some 19 different resort-specific senior ski passes. Have a look at the the Keystone Breck Senior Pass and the Senior 70+ 10-day Pass, for examples, and next time perhaps do a bit of homework before going off on a rant?

  19. Rick kelly says:

    Bretton Woods has a wonderful senior’s season pass program. I don’t know why other areas don’t adopt a similar one?
    Perhaps they fear the 80+ crowd will create unnecessary hazards on the slopes????
    Most of us 80+ers are 10 × 10ers–ski early, buy lunch, go home for a afternoon nap!!

  20. Cansnowplow says:

    I started skiing in January 1967, 1 year before becoming a teenager and the lift lines were huge, 40 people wide by 80 feet long all trying to fit in a gate wide enough for 2 people to pass through at a time. So, lift tickets prices went up for all, kids and adults alike, and this thinned out those crowds as affordability decided who bought a ticket. Back then, a child rate ended after 12 years of age, 13 and above all paid the same price, the adult rate. Why did a student all of a sudden become a discount rate, as I never saw it as I grew older. Now, certain careers get a discount rate, unheard of during my working career. I’m now a senior, knocking at the 70’s door and guess what, no break in price, I’m still an adult. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines the term “Cash cow” as one regarded or exploited as a reliable source of money. Moo! I’m now turning into Howard Beale in 1976, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” My grandchildren can find another sport, as this one in the USA has been immortally unfair to our cash cow generation. Yes, I do know what happened to poor Howard!

  21. Wes Schimmelpfenniig says:

    I am 80 and my wife 80+ Palisades Tahoe (Squaw Valley) offers free season ski passes for in resort use. The pass does not include the other Ikon resorts if I wanted to travel to other Ikon ski areas. I think that is more than fair for us senior skiers.

    • Hilton Stemwedel says:

      Hi, What’s the age restriction on the in-resort pass… I’m “only” 79 so I have to wait until the 24-25 season for many of the offerings.

  22. John Farley says:

    I am 73 and totally agree with this editorial. I haven’t renewed my IKON pass since the one year I had one, partly for this reason and partly because they screwed me over after two of the trips where I was going to use it got cancelled because of COVID. Yes, I picked THAT season to buy one. They offered no refund even though I was able to use it far less than planned. I now have season passes for smaller, less glitzy, and less crowded areas that offer senior discounts on their passes, and happily skied 43 days this past season without ever visiting a ticket window except to pick up my season pass.

  23. June Idzal says:

    I agree!! I’m 75 and would appreciate the consideration! Most of us ski during the week to avoid the newbies & kamakazi skiers, so it wouldn’t impact busy weekends!!

  24. William Hahnenberger says:

    Every year we talk to the IKON reps selling tickets in the spring and get no answer. Most seniors ski midweek and short hours so their impact is limited. Maybe a senior pass with Saturday and holidays blacked out would work. IKON tracks everything maybe they could share the data with us so we could come up with a solution.

  25. Roger Evans says:

    Wouldn’t “ageism” mean doing something special for seniors?

  26. RJ Schneider says:

    I couldn’t agree more in those of us who have supported the industry for years, brought kids up to ski and now we get stomped on. I’m a disabled skier who also has a heart condition and at the onset of the pandemic my cardiologist strongly advised against travel for skiing because of the onset of corona. After multiple appeals, Vail absolutely refused to refund or at least credit my Epic annual pass to the following season for both me and a special needs child. Now with economical day passes being eliminated, it’s just slamming those of us on a limited or fixed income after a lifetime of support which can only be summed up as mean spirited greed against those of us who don’t matter to them any more.

  27. Here in Australia Vail for example do offer very good discounts for over 70s. These are not part of the EPIC global package, but are offered by the local arm of the company to be used at specific local resorts. The same applies to the IKON resort in my area and they I believe have a deep discount for over 80s. However I am quite satisfied with the lift ticket pricing at my favourite resort. They seem to understand, as others have noted, that we seniors ski fewer hours in a day than young guns. And I for one, like to ski off peak (a vanishing ideal, but…).

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