Originally Posted by tball
I'm absolutely fascinated by the business deal aspects of all these season pass relationships between the ski areas. How did Silverton get 5 days at Loveland for 1 day unguided in return? Are there dollars changing hands too? What's to keep Silverton from setting up a booth at Sniagrab and selling the snot out of those passes for $199? It would be the best deal on the front range. Crazy...
I don't think money changes hands in most cases.
I think it is usually a straight up trade, the standard 3 days for 3 days swap.
In cases like this one where there is a disparity between the trade, prestige and number of passholders tend to drive it.
In this case, I think the 5 for asymmetry in this deal is driven by the fact that
1. Having a Silverton day built into your pass serves as kind of a halo. I've heard countless people at both Loveland and Monarch bring up that their pass included Silverton, and at the same time, I've only met one girl from either mountain that actually used it. People talk about Silverton a lot differently than they talk about say, 3 days at Purgatory.
2. There is a TINY base of Silverton passholders compared to Monarch, Loveland, and Abay. Combined, those mountains have enough visitors in a single day to match Silvertons entire season. It wouldn't take many free-skiing Silverton visitors to absolutely mob the place, while the number of Silverton passholders visiting these other places wouldn't even register.
Another example of Asymmetry is Monarch and Copper/Winter Park. Monarch passholders get 1 day, Copper and Winter Park get 3. This may be a bad deal for Monarch if many RMSP holders took up the offer, but many Denver skiers consider Monarch too far, so they may not. On the flipside, it may be a great deal for Monarch as Monarch's main skier base is Colorado Springs, and CS skiers would be wiling to drive and use the Copper and WP days. Still, imagine the shitshow if Monarch gets the snow and RMSP holders mob the area...
Wolf Creek cited this kind of issue as the reason they have stopped partnering with anybody- Partner area passholders tend to use their Wolf Creek passes a lot more than Wolf Creek skiers did the reverse. They used to share days with Taos, but stopped after having a capacity lot filled with New Mexico plates on big storms crowding out the paying crowd. Considering the number of Summit County and Denver skiers that come down on weekends that a big storm is forecast, I believe it.
Silverton has been offering the 15 days for several years. the difference is the pass is usually $400, so this is the first year they seem to be getting attention outside the local market. I think the biggest thing that keeps them from running Denver TV spots on their pass is that if they took steps to actively poach business, the agreement would end.
One question I have: I don't show on Arapahoe Basin any mention of a Silverton day? What are they getting out of the deal?