Despite Higher Prices, Bogus Basin Prospers from Recent Season Pass Sale 

click to enlarge The nonprofit ski area made $4 million from its recent season pass sale. - SCREENSHOT FROM BOGUS BASIN WEBCAM
  • Screenshot from Bogus Basin Webcam
  • The nonprofit ski area made $4 million from its recent season pass sale.

Bogus Basin
had it bad last year. A marginal snowpack left the ski resort with hardly enough snow to stay open through March 2015, and its March 14 closing was its earliest ever. Such poor conditions took a toll on the nonprofit's large season pass sale over President's Day weekend last winter. The resort sold only 11,000 season passes—down 40 percent.

In an effort to increase sales, mountain employees and volunteers made thousands of phone calls last spring to previous season pass holders, asking them to renew their passes for $259.

"We're out mobilizing the community to help Bogus through a difficult time and recover from a very rough year," said Bogus Basin Director of Development Susan Saad at the time.

This year, no phone calls will be needed. After the seven-day President's Day Season Pass Sale, which ended March 21, Bogus Basin sold 16,075 season passes—despite a $70 price raise for 2016-2017 adult season passes. 

"We were anticipating with the price increase that we would sell fewer passes," said John Hart, Bogus Basin communications director. "We are down close to 2,000 over our average but because the passes cost more, our revenues are way higher. We came in with almost $4 million from the sale."

Adult season passes went for $299, while family season passes were $999 and youth passes (ages 12-18) were $229. Now those same passes cost $329, $1,099 and $269 respectively, with another price raise on Friday, April 1. Those who bought passes during the sale also received a handful of lift tickets to area resorts including Tamarack Resort, Soldier Mountain, Diamond Peak near Lake Tahoe, Calif., and June Mountain near Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Hart said customers also took advantage of the new season pass offerings, including the mid-week and night-only passes. He said the mountain sold about 1,000 combined. 

"That night pass will be good for six hours a day," Hart said. "If I didn't work for Bogus Basin, I would probably get the night pass myself."

In an effort to save money, the resort closes every night at 9 p.m. this season. After such a decent snow year and high visitor rates, however, the resort will be open until 10 p.m. starting next season.

"It's been a very good year for Bogus Basin," Hart said. "We need another one next year. We're already starting to look at long-range forecasts at the NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] Climate Prediction Center show that La Nina will follow El Nino, which always brings good snow years to Bogus Basin. They're predicting below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation, which is a recipe for snow."
click to enlarge Credit El Nino for this year's good snow year, and La Nina for (hopefully) an even better next year. - NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
  • NOAA Climate Prediction Center
  • Credit El Nino for this year's good snow year, and La Nina for (hopefully) an even better next year.

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