I think it's somewhat naive to think that the rich people don't already have some sort of extra special access.
Maybe and that certainly seems to be the direction the industry is headed. The thing about a powder morning is that there is a plenty of evidence if people are granted early access and I haven't seen evidence of it at Snowbasin where I ski the most. I have seen it at Snowbird which has a special club (whose name escapes me, maybe the Summit Club) that gets to go out with the patrol and special acess to the front of the tram line.
If I were a local, I'd feel, these rich guys who are subsidizing my cheaper pass, just like the walk-up foreign tourists who are paying $100 a day for tickets and $300/night for lodging and does 4 runs, goes to the bar and buys $10 beers, then off to the hottub by 3pm.
I never understood the concept that "locals" somehow always feel more entitled to a mountain and deserve some kind of "loyalty" perk even though they have kicked in less financial contribution, and definitely less money/day compared to the "gapers" that they deride. It's not like they're hand cutting and volunteering to maintain the trails in the summer. Yes you deserve the value you got in your pass, but so do the day trippers and people paying $175 for a couple early runs.
I don't think the resorts look at it this way in their pricing model, I.e. that tourists are subsidizing the locals cheap passes. They try to set prices based on what the market will bear. Also, I believe there are so many fixed costs in running a ski resort that the price per day is largely irrelevant, My showing up at the resort today with two of my kids cost Snowbasin almost nothing. The staff that was there was going to be there regardless, the grooming, the snowmaking, etc. all the same. Typically, we will buy something to eat which will involve some variable food costs. We also frequently consume Kleenex, soap, napkins etc.
As a local in Utah, I don't feel some sort of entitlement to better treatment. However, the $2k plus a year I and people like me spend at Snowbasin should not be ignored when determining the programs that are going to offer.