Is The US Ski Industry Becoming A Duopoly? If So, Will It Mean Higher Or Lower Priced Passes For Seniors?

Denver-based KSL Capital Partners recently joined privately owned Aspen Skiing Co to acquire Intrawest’s six resorts and four in southern California owned by Mammoth Resorts.

It’s the newest 800-pound ski resort gorilla. The other is Vail Resorts.

Two gorillas. Twenty-two major resorts across the continent.

A recent report in the Denver Post suggests the possibility they may be flirting with federal anti-trust regulations, something that occurred in the late 90’s when Vail was forced to sell Arapahoe Basin.

Vail is reported to have sold 650,000 Epic Passes last season; a 20% increase in sales over 2015-16. Word is, the new KSL/Aspen/Intrawest/Mammoth coalition will develop a pass to rival Vail’s Epic.

The Denver Post article states that a market dominated by cheap season passes could pinch independent resort owners relying on day-ticket sales.

With the exception of a few local versions, Epic Pass has no senior discount, something readers find irksome, as indicated in recent reader surveys.

A duopoly means two giants in competition for market share. Will they compete on price and/or extra services? Wouldn’t it be great if they competed for the senior market with a senior discount?

New Zealand

Mt Hutt (6800′ altitude) in Canterbury, opens Friday, marking the start of the South Island ski season. Located about 90 minutes from Christchurch, Mt Hutt is the first South Island ski field to open this season. It just received 12″ and extended cold has allowed snow making operations to create a base of 12″-20″. Mt Hutt typically gets about 13′ during season.





  1. Sam Dispenza says:

    Jon you were absolutely right there are less and less deals for seniors all the time. It has seemed my entire life that I was a few years behind the sub the big discounts or even free skiing. For many years I bought tickets at Park city and friends who were only a year or two older we’re skiing free. Now that Viele has taken over there are no deals whatsoever

  2. palmettoski says:

    No matter if you are 25 or 75, it will cost the ski area the same to haul your butt ip the hill. Yes, discounts are nice, but they are not entitlements. If you don’t like the price, vote with your wallet. I’d love fre or heavily discounted lift tickets, but technological advances cost money. So pack a lunch, car pool to the slopes and frequent smaller and privately owned areas. Keep them viable!

  3. Rusty Edge says:

    Schweitzer Mountain Resort in North Idaho has a unpublished Senior rate.
    One must be a member of The Prime Time Group.
    Annual Membership: $35.00
    Net savings is about 20%
    Regrettably the resort does not make the public aware of this discounted pass opportunity

  4. Skiers at Monarch here in Colorado ski for free if they are 69 or over. Pretty hard to beat that deal.

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