With the formation of the "Powder Alliance," holders of premier season passes at Snowbasin Resort above Ogden will be eligible for three days of free skiing at 11 other Western ski areas.
Snowbasin is teaming up with other independent resorts across eight states to offer multi-area pass deals, a growing trend in the ski industry. Its partner resorts are:
• Crested Butte in western Colorado
• Sierra-at-Tahoe, China Peak and Mountain High in California
• Stevens Pass in Washington
• Schweitzer in Idaho
• Timberline and Mt. Hood Skibowl in Oregon
• Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff, Ariz.
• Angel Fire north of Albuquerque
• Bridger Bowl near Bozeman, Mont.
"These are all great resorts to associate with," said Snowbasin spokesman Jason Dyer. "We're all high-end, quality resorts. We all have very similar terrain and are family friendly as well. We're not part of KSL or Vail [resorts]. You get that mom and pop feel, but with higher-end amenities."
Joining the alliance is one way Snowbasin hopes to reward its top season pass holders, he noted. "The consumer has gotten so savvy, you want to give them a great value. This gives added value."
There are a few restrictions on pass use, Dyer said, with differences from resort to resort. In general, he said, buyers of a $689 adult premier season pass at Snowbasin may ski three times for free at each of the other resorts, except for "blackout days" on Saturdays and holidays.
"Everyone likes a ski trip during the year. And the other resorts are all reachable," Dyer said. "We also might get some people who might not come here otherwise. We don't see a lot of people from New Mexico, but we may now through this program. We'll have new Snowbasin fans."
Snowbasin is the fourth Utah resort to offer multi-area passes.
Alta and Snowbird are part of The Mountain Collective, which allows passholders to buy another $349 pass good for two free tickets and further discounts at Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Aspen/Snowmass in Colorado, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Mammoth Mountain in California and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.
Park City Mountain Resort passholders have free access to parent company Powdr Corp.'s other resorts Boreal in California, Copper Mountain in Colorado, Mt. Bachelor in Oregon, Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard in Nevada and Killington in Vermont through its "License 2 Ride" program."
Crested Butte sales and marketing vice president Scott Clarkson said that, like those efforts, the Powder Alliance "magnifies the value of participating areas and gives winter enthusiasts the variety, flexibility and affordability to chase magnificent powder at some of the most well-known mountains in the country."
Details about the Powder Alliance are available at http://www.powderalliance.com.