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September 03, 2006

But Foreign Labor is Only Used to Keep Aspen Affordable, Not to Increase Profits

Aspen keeps their costs low so that they can pass along the savings to low income folks through low lift ticket prices:

The super-early price reflects the discount available to employees of Aspen Chamber Resort Association-member businesses. Without the ACRA discount, the "early-bird" price is $1,649.

The cost of the Premier Pass - the one that's good for unlimited skiing on all four local mountains - is going up $50 from last year's super-early, ACRA-member deal. And last season's price for the Premier Pass was up $50 from the prior season. The cost of the pass has gone up in each of the past four seasons.

The price of the two-day and one-day passes are increasing, too, as is the cost of a Classic Pass.

The single-day, walk-up lift ticket rate will peak at $82 this season, up from $78 last winter. The daily rate generally gets a great deal of attention, in comparisons among various ski resorts, but Aspen Skiing Co. executives have long said that comparatively few people actually buy single-day tickets, opting instead for multiday deals that bring the price down.

The Skico unveiled this season's lift ticket and pass prices on Tuesday.

Pass prices generally go up annually, but the Skico pays particular attention to the price of the Premier Pass with the early-bird and ACRA discounts. That's the one most locals purchase, according to David Perry, company senior vice president.

"We give it the most scrutiny, I think, and try to keep it reasonable for locals," he said.

So if you work at Aspen making $10 an hour (the prevailing wage) for 40 hours per week during the five month season, you would earn approximately ($400 per week x 20 weeks) $8,000. If you don't work at the resort and are just another local, you can simply shell out $1600 for a season ski pass, which works out to 20% of your income for the 5 month ski season. Basically, you either work at the resort, mooch someone elses pass, or better have some serious savings or rich relatives if you want to be a ski bum.

Posted by Justin at September 3, 2006 08:42 PM