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SAM Magazine—Beaver, Utah, July 25, 2012—Eagle Point resort is so intent on expanding its market that it’s offering free, unlimited skiing to California residents next winter. And for everyone else, skiing and riding are free on Thursdays in January.

To receive free lift privileges, visitors must simply provide a name and email address (and Californians must add proof of address).

Why free? "We have a truly exceptional mountain that people love to visit,” said Shane Gadbaw, CEO and co-owner of the resort. "Our last remaining challenge is to massively increase awareness in the core markets of Las Vegas, southern California and Utah." The resort is about 200 miles from both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

The Las Vegas casino resorts inspired the “free days” campaign, Gadbaw said. "By owning or controlling all of the restaurants, services and rental properties around the resort and maintaining low overhead," he noted, "we can give lift access away for free yet still achieve a sufficient yield from our guests.”

Eagle Point, nee Elk Meadows, was closed for eight years at the beginning of the century. A New York-based hedge fund assumed control in 2010 after the failed Mt. Holly episode and has upgraded the facilities.

The area is scheduled to open for the 2012-13 season on Dec. 21. It plans to operate Thursdays through Sundays and weekly during holiday periods, and hopes to rent out the area to private groups Mondays through Wednesdays. “We expect more private group rentals, especially from the casino industry in Las Vegas,” Gadbaw said.