More Resorts Offer Multi-Area Pass Options

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SAM Magazine-Homewood, Calif., Nov. 9, 2011-The multi-area season's pass concept, which gives customers access to other resorts that are not corporately related, has been catching on in recent years. The strategy has been most aggressively pursued by Monarch, with its 26 partners, but many other areas East and West are following Monarch's lead, and are also expanding the ranks of their reciprocal resorts.

The latest: Red Lodge Mountain Resort, Kirkwood, Durango Mountain Resort, Alpine Meadows, and Homewood are offering reciprocal ticket privileges to their passholders. Kirkwood and Durango are new to this program this year. The three Tahoe-area resorts and Red Lodge offer free skiing at the other resorts to their passholders, with some blackout dates, and from three to 10 free days at Durango.

Durango passholders, in return, get 10 free days at Kirkwood, and three days at the other resorts. Other Durango reciprocal deals add three days at Loveland, Powderhorn, Monarch, and Taos, and half-price tickets at Crested Butte, Alta, and Arizona Snowbowl.

In the Mid-Atlantic, West Virginia's Snowshoe Mountain Resort is joining the Resort Swap program that includes Pennsylvania's Seven Springs and Hidden Valley and Maryland's Wisp Resort. Each resort's unlimited passholders receive one complimentary full-day ticket, and a 50 percent discount on subsequent visits. Hidden Valley is also launching a similar swap program with Blue Knob, Pa., as well.

All these reciprocal arrangements help individual areas compete against multi-area conglomerates, which often offer their own multi-area privileges to passholders. Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved.