Uh oh. Fast Tracks at Powdr resorts is coming

newfydog

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Similar sentiment in the Bend Bulletin:


Sorry, I thought that was clear. Does the link to the quoted article show up on all formats? I see it above in nice color on my screen, but maybe it doesn't display the same on others. If not, my apologies.
 

François Pugh

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Like many here, I am not a fan of Fast Tracks.

I do want to respond to Senator Wyden's letter to POWDR asking them to suspend Fast Tracks at Mt Bachelor. Again, while I don't like the idea of Fast Tracks, framing the issue around "equitable access" to U.S. Forest Service lands feels a little bit absurd. Aren't Mt Bachelor's $159 weekend lift tickets or $999 season pass (if bought before June) prices way more of an equity issue than a line that gives people preferential line treatment but still lets everyone who has a ticket ski? What about the disposable income it takes to get all of the equipment to go skiing, or the money and time required to become a good skier, or realistically speaking having a car and gas to get to the slopes? It feels like the equity issues around a Fast Tracks line pale in comparison to the myriad forms of inequity that would prevent a person from even being in a position to be upset at there being a Fast Tracks line.

It seems like a lot of people here, myself included if I am being honest, would rather the ski areas potentially make up for the revenue that Fast Tracks would generate by instead raising day ticket/season pass prices accordingly and treating all customers equally with an exception for ski school. Great, but aren't those slightly higher ticket or pass prices now causing an equity issue by pricing some people out of the sport?

I would argue that a far more important metric for measuring equitable access to U.S. Forest Service lands would be to look at uphill policies for ski areas and whether they allow for free or cheap (having a nominal fee to help cover plowing, grooming, avy control, patrol, is fine with me) uphill access. That way, people can still ski and enjoy their public lands without having to shell over $159/day or $999/season. There is no Fast Tracks equivalent for the skin track, although I don't want to give POWDR any ideas!

I know this is my third time saying it, but I don't like the idea of Fast Tracks. I do feel like it degrades the wonderful feeling on the slopes of it not mattering if the person next to you in the chair is a CEO or ski bum, and I will 100% be less likely to ski at a place where Fast Tracks seriously affects lift lines on crowded days. But at the same time, let's acknowledge the truth that every one of us who stands in that lift line is privileged in some form or another to be standing there. Without bringing politics into this, I hope we can also acknowledge that there are serious equity issues in our society that deserve more attention, which is why I am surprised that my senator is wading into an issue like Fast Tracks at a ski area when there are much bigger fish to fry (realistically speaking, an intern on his staff wrote the letter and he just gave it the stamp of approval, but still).
I see a big difference. The people who get the Fast track end up making you wait longer - not fair.
I don't think they should be milking the ski school cash cow either, but that's just me.
If they charge more for day tickets or season passes, at least they are not hiding the cost, but with Fast Tracks they are hiding the cost and cheapening your experience if you decide not to buy one, and insulting your intelligence as well, thinking you won't notice that you are getting less for your money (just like shrinking produce sizes instead of raising prices).
If they want to charge more for different types of lifts, that's fine.
 

AmyPJ

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I didn’t want to read 12 pages so apologies if this has been posted but y’all might want to sign the petition…
That write up for that petition could have been describing our home mountain(s).
 

DanoT

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That write up for that petition could have been describing our home mountain(s).

I don't think the petition is worded very well but it doesn't matter as it is unlikely to have any effect on a corp that is not interested in listening to it's customers. Powdr will listen to revenue losses only and getting folks to protest or boycott is not as easy as getting signatures on a petition.
 

givethepigeye

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I see a big difference. The people who get the Fast track end up making you wait longer - not fair.
I don't think they should be milking the ski school cash cow either, but that's just me.
If they charge more for day tickets or season passes, at least they are not hiding the cost, but with Fast Tracks they are hiding the cost and cheapening your experience if you decide not to buy one, and insulting your intelligence as well, thinking you won't notice that you are getting less for your money (just like shrinking produce sizes instead of raising prices).
If they want to charge more for different types of lifts, that's fine.
How do you feel about CLEAR then at the airport? I pay extra for it, I walk up and get escorted to the front of the line and in front of you. I don’t have to get to the airport 2 hours early, basically it’s a leisurely stroll from curb to gate. Same, same.

I get the salt, but this model is place virtually everywhere.
 

Marker

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With fast pass implemented at Killington, I'm trying to imagine how they will manage the singles line. These are highly abused, but perhaps no longer an option. Now you have to pay to be a single!
 

crgildart

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With fast pass implemented at Killington, I'm trying to imagine how they will manage the singles line. These are highly abused, but perhaps no longer an option. Now you have to pay to be a single!
Some of the MidAtlantic resorts have a special lane in the corral for property/condo owners. There's a different singles lane for peasants..
 

slowrider

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Bachelor has noted that chairs will load to capacity this season. That should help with lines. Fortunately most riders will stand in line and not ski a lower lift that has no line. Works for me.
 

dbostedo

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How do you feel about CLEAR then at the airport?
I can't speak for Francois, but I don't like that scheme either.

There is some difference, in that in the case of Clear cutting in front of TSA Pre, or any other line, people are generally waiting to get through security, just to wait more at the gate. I.e. you're not dimishing something I paid to be able to do, you're just shifting where my time is spent waiting. Whereas someone cutting in front at a lift is delaying you from getting to the activity you've paid for - the actual skiing - and may diminish that activity.

If Clear just went to the back of the TSA Pre line, or had it's own line, I think it would mitigate that concern. Right now, I think that issue is not raised (IMO) because there are not that many people using Clear at any airport. It could certainly change. (Likewise, as noted elsewhere, these kinds of things have existed at several ski resorts for a long time - but again haven't raised too many folks ire because they are generally lightly used.)
 
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TheArchitect

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How do you feel about CLEAR then at the airport? I pay extra for it, I walk up and get escorted to the front of the line and in front of you. I don’t have to get to the airport 2 hours early, basically it’s a leisurely stroll from curb to gate. Same, same.

I get the salt, but this model is place virtually everywhere.

I think we can all agree that this model exists all over the place. When it was introduced in other aspects of life I'm sure people were up in arms then as well but we've gotten used to it over time whether we like it or not. Skiers have been very lucky that it hasn't hit our sport until now but the jig is up. We don't have to like it but eventually we'll get used to it and mumble under our collective breath.
 

Jwrags

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Maybe the Bend locals will chime in but I ski a handful of days there each year. I believe the Fast Pass line will make any sort of difference only a handful of days a year, surrounding Christmas/New Years week and the holiday weekends as well as possibly spring break. Any other time of the season there are just not enough people there to care.
 

Philpug

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Maybe the Bend locals will chime in but I ski a handful of days there each year. I believe the Fast Pass line will make any sort of difference only a handful of days a year, surrounding Christmas/New Years week and the holiday weekends as well as possibly spring break. Any other time of the season there are just not enough people there to care.
And many of the locals aren't skiing those days anyway.
 

eok

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Maybe the Bend locals will chime in but I ski a handful of days there each year. I believe the Fast Pass line will make any sort of difference only a handful of days a year, surrounding Christmas/New Years week and the holiday weekends as well as possibly spring break. Any other time of the season there are just not enough people there to care.
Perhaps. But winds are often a big factor on the mountain. Wind holds happen all the time and can affect multiple lifts. Similar thing when we get "unfrozen precipitation". Either situation will push people to lifts that service runs with less exposure ('Bach is a dormant volcano with access to all sides).

So, on the days when winds/conditions limit usable lifts, the Fast Track lanes at those lifts could make things worse. I said "could" there because some of those days a lot of skiers will just go (or stay) home and lift lines don't become crazy long.

But if it's a big snow day things will be a sh*tshow as usual. The mtn will be packed and most skiers will likely brave super long lift lines that are now even longer. Many folks in the normal lift corral will likely become hyper-sensitive about folks in the Fast Tracks slot passing them by & making the wait even longer for everyone else.
 

Marker

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Some of the MidAtlantic resorts have a special lane in the corral for property/condo owners. There's a different singles lane for peasants..
Blue Mtn has a fast lane for season pass holders on their big lifts at the base. At Killington, the singles line is regularly abused by groups that will then try and load together unless the liftees are paying close attention. In fact, I've seen them wave large groups (of their friends?) through to same gondola. So I would hardly call them peasants. But I can't see the logistics of managing the regular corral plus a fast pass lane plus the singles line. Something has to give.
 
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