We ususally stay at a hotel in Newport or Lyndonville for around $70 per night. Given we live in the Merrimack NH area, gas is the same with or without a pass because we are always driving somewhere. The main benefit that pass opens up for us is skiing both days rather than one day per weekend. I am sure if we lived near an area we liked, that is where we would get our pass (which is why we want to buy near Jay in the next 5 to 7 years).
The cheap pass prices at ASC and Waterville/Loon are big advantages to those of us who do not live on/near a mountain. Many of us live 2 to 3 hours from the major resorts, but still want to ski every weekend. If one does not mind tying oneself to a specific set of resorts, the cheap pass offers allow us to greatly reduce the overall cost without having to bust our butts all season long trying to work the various deals (Shaw's, Mobil Gas, Ski Map Coupons, Ski Shop Ticket Deals, etc.). Benefit to the mountains: more stable/reliable sales.
$1,000 pass prices are just too much to stomach when you have to figure in the two to three hour drive and lodging. At that price, getting a variety of resorts from working the deals pays off.
From the times I have been to Killington this year, the number of people with the pass is kind of shocking at first, and Killington has been busier than I have seen it in the past few years, even during the horrible weather of January.
While their liftticket $'s per actual skier visit have likely been down, their overall revenues have probably been up due to the pass sales themselves, skiers that now come regardless of weather to get value for their passes, and the resulting full lodges, food courts, and shops despite the weather.
However, I still went with Jay/Burke this year ($480) and will do the same next because after much wondering and comparing that is simply where my wife and I like to ski. Plus, she HATES Killington and its crowds.