Neil Bergman: Steamboat’s loss |

Neil Bergman: Steamboat’s loss

I just found out that the Young Senior Season Pass (age 65 to 69) at Steamboat is a thing of the past. The new owners have decided to continue in the tradition of the previous owners and level one more “kick in the teeth” to the long-time Steamboat residents.

Where the Steamboat Young Senior can now pay the full boat (no pun intended) for a season’s pass, the Front Range skier (all age levels) gets a heck of a deal! For about half of what a Steamboat only season pass costs ($949), the Front Range skier/rider not only has unlimited access to Winter Park and Copper Mountain for $479, but gets Steamboat free every Friday afternoon plus six unrestricted days. With this kind of pricing, it’s hard not to feel that the Steamboat skier/rider is footing the bill for all three areas. Just as an aside, the previous owner did a great job of paying the bills on Steamboat’s back. I’m sure the Front Range deal will bring more people to Steamboat as I’m sure that’s what the pricing structure intends. Let’s see: as a Young Senior season pass holder at Steamboat versus Copper or Winter Park, I get to pay three times the season pass price, I lose a valuable senior discount, and I get to watch the lift lines and crowds grow! Such a deal!

I came to Steamboat in 1970. I worked my three jobs for many years, paid a higher cost of living than any Front Range citizen and helped provide a loyal and stable labor pool to make this town what it is today. Through my longevity here – and I’ve watched many a friend and many an acquaintance pull up stakes because they just couldn’t afford to live here anymore – I’ve set my priorities based on my scarce resources and skiing was always among the top items. When I retired and my resources became even scarcer, I looked forward to a reduced season’s pass as a reward for having contributed the sweat of my brow to the making of this resort town. Is Intrawest akin to Enron? No more breaks for the old guy? After all, we don’t need him anymore.

Well, I’ve got some news for Intrawest. When I leave, I’ll take with me my wife. You know, the employee you could count on, who was there on New Year’s Day without a hangover, who was there on opening day and closing day for the three years we’ve been retired. Having watched how well the ski area attracts reliable employees during this past season, I would think that losing her might make a statement even if the new owners at Steamboat could care less if they lose one more old-timer.

Neil Bergman

Steambat Springs

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