Mega Pass, Bulletproof Skis, MRG & More

In the hopes of inspiring epic road trips across the Rockies and Sierras this winter, four of the country’s most high-profile ski areas partnered with the online discounted lift ticket service Liftopia.com to offer a unique joint ticket deal.

 

Called “The Mountain Collective Pass,” for $349 purchasers get two days each at Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, as well as 50 percent off lift tickets the rest of the season.

 

“This is a completely new concept for a ski pass and gives winter enthusiasts the freedom to access some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world,” Christian Knapp, Aspen Skiing Company vice president of marketing said in a press release. With window ticket prices at Aspen and Jackson over the $100 mark, the pass pays for itself after four days of riding. 

 
Rossignol Rolls Out Experience Centers
Snow pros across the country will have the opportunity of getting themselves and their students into a Rossignol Experience Center this winter. Rossi has partnered with 14 ski areas in 10 different states to offer an enhanced renting and learn-to-ski experience in the hopes of speeding skier improvement and retention.

 

Each center offers the brand’s Experience range of rockered all-mountain skis, particularly the new Experience rental ski with Auto Turn rocker, which is designed for intermediates and beginners. Going beyond the typical rental offering, however, each center also offers technology tips from the rental crew, and full-service instruction from the snowsports school.

 

“Ski instructors want guests to walk away from a lesson feeling more competent and confident in their skiing abilities,” said Nick Castagnoli, who handles PR and product information for Rossi. “It’s no secret that this is ultimately what promotes more fun and more return visits. Teaching with Experience rental skis has simply proven to make the learning curve shorter and make all skier levels better, faster.”

 

Mountain Resort Lodging is on the Rise
In what looks to be a strong leisure-travel trend heading into the winter, mountain bookings and lodging are showing “solid and consistent growth,” according to Ralf Garrison, director of the Denver-based Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). In the 16 western mountain destinations where the organization monitors mountain resort lodging performance, the average actual occupancy for the month of July was up 4.7 percent compared to last July.

 

The monthly report also stated that August was continuing the trend with on-the-books occupancy up 7.1 percent compared to last August. It will be the fourth consecutive year-over-year increase in monthly occupancy. “This is particularly gratifying given the volatility in leisure travel over the past several years, and a lack of any particularly encouraging news on the economic front,” said Garrison.

 

In Other News . . .
Website fever must be contagious. Not only is PSIA-AASI poised to launch a significant update of TheSnowPros.org in September, Burton unveiled a completely revamped website at Burton.com, with a variety of digital tools to highlight the brand’s 2012–13 gear (which also gets a snow pro-based focus in the upcoming issue of 32 Degrees)…RAMP Sports announced it is using Kevlar for vibration dampening in several of its skis this season. While not completely bulletproof, “Kevlar has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, while still maintaining great flexibility,” according to CEO and Founder of RAMP Sports Mike Kilchenstein…And Vermont’s Mad River Glen became the first ski area in the nation to be listed as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places. The designation notes not just the area’s iconic single chair, but also careful placement of many of it ski runs.

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