The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

$US189 for a day’s lift pass: would you?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017


When my sister and her family decided to spend two months travelling around the US in December/January, including a month’s skiing, my advice was simple: Get an Epic Pass for everyone.

For $US850 per adult even into late November it was a no brainer and she devised a trip taking in Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Park City, Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. The pass would then be valid for Perisher in Australia for the 2017 Winter.

Even so she was still aghast when she bowled up to Vail this week and saw the walk-up price for a day pass: $189 or $260 Australian dollars. Ouch.

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More pass discounts, please resorts!

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016

Snow Money

How do Australian ski resorts get new and casual skiers and snowboarders into the sport? Mt Hotham is doing a good deal this winter with a beginner pass but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

I don’t fall over myself to simply praise ski resorts – that’s what their social media and press releases are for.

But I will say this: Mt Hotham’s ‘Brand New Day’ $49 initiative to get new skiers and snowboarders into the sport is a good one – albeit only for a day.

If you weren’t aware on Saturday, June 25 they’ll be doing a deal where new riders get a pass and full day lesson as well as all gear (sans clothing) for the above mentioned price. Not bad eh?

But it also got me thinking. Couldn’t we be doing more to get people into the sport and also offer the odd carrot to casual skiers and snowboarders too?

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The future of Perisher

Posted by on May 25, 2016


Perisher – big changes are in the offing. Pic: Perisher Facebook

On a whistlestop tour of Australia, The Snow Gauge caught up with Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz (with a little help from local chief Peter Brulisauer) to talk all things Perisher:

Key points:

  • Expect some significant announcements ahead of next season
  • Snowmaking and new chairs the priorities; refurbed village after that
  • Approval still being sought for Superpipe build – won’t happen this season
  • Not shying away from the season pass philosophy over day visitors
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Ultimate northern hemisphere snow guide

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015

I’m keeping this simple. Real simple folks. I gave myself the task of giving you a 1,000 word rundown of the northern hemisphere snow season that’s full of the things you need to know and all the links but light on the marketing fluff. And without sounding like a total tool, I’ve been to about 90 per cent of the places I’ve listed so I am not cutting and pasting this either.

It will be a fascinating year industry-wise. Will the Vail Resorts pass deal counter the renewed strength of the Greenback? Is Canada set for a surge given it still remains close to parity with the Pacific Peso? How much snow will the predicted big El Nino bring to North America? And will people desert Niseko after an unnamed blogger recently slagged the place off …

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If you build it, they will come

Posted by on May 21, 2015


Because powdie turns on Eyre look much better than a DA for
a chairlift. Video: Kane Mortlock

At the risk of banging on about Vail’s purchase of Perisher, a quick look at the ‘What’s New’ section for Australian resorts in 2015 invariably brings you back to it.

It’s the most significant development of the season by a stretch – which is a good and bad thing in my books.

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