Ron Wyden, a Republican, and skiers concerned about upcoming Mt. Bachelor fast pass
Dan Cochrane, a longtime season pass holder at Mt. Hood, is presently enrolled in the MTS. Bachelor, who was upset when he learned of the ski resorts intentions to introduce a new fast-pass ticket system this winter that allows people to pay extra to skip the line at certain chairlifts.
Hundreds of other skiers and snowboarders shared Cochranes concern on the Facebook group, Mt. Bachelor Conditions. Members of the group have said the new pass is unfair for those who cant afford it and will make the wait times longer in the regular chairlift lines for the next week.
Cochrane said it feels like a slap in the face as the situation is described. This is a clear target for out of towners and the uber-rich who have recently moved to town, he added.
Sen. Ron Wyden, meanwhile, asked Mt. Rainier to return to Oregon. Bachelors parent company scrapped its intention to adopt the pass.
At a minimum, POWDR must delay implementation until it adequately explains to the public how the Fast Tracks initiative wont increase equity issues that already exist in outdoor recreation, Wyden wrote to John Cumming, the ski resorts parent company spokesman.
Snow sports are already so expensive that equity issues have been persistent, and financially disadvantaged families have long been unfairly priced out of access, something a Fast Tracks policy is certain to only make worse, Wyden stated later in his letter.
According to the ski resort, the new pass, Fast Tracks, costs $49 and will be priced based on high-demand days. Mt. Bachelor is describing the ski pass as an upgradable experience that allows visitors to get in more ski runs each day.
Cochrane, a 49-year-old real estate appraiser in Bend who loves snowboarding at Mt. Hood, is regarded as one of the finest in the area. Bachelor, who started a petition on Sunday to have the resort stop its fast passes. The petition had more than 3,700 signatures as of Tuesday.
The response to the question demonstrates how much the local ski and snowboard community felt at risk from Mt. Cochrane. According to him, Bachelors decision was a "highly anticipated" outcome. Cochrane is questioning the timing of the unveiling of a fast pass, which was announced Monday.
The pass was not included with any season-pass packages and comes after the resort eliminated the 12-day pass option, according to Cochrane.
They are continuing to strip away local options for people to ski affordably and instead going the other direction to cater to the wealthy and offer expensive add-ons to cut past the local pass holders, said Cochrane.
Leigh Capozzi, Mt. Captozzi's director of brand and communications, is an associate at M. The Fast Tracks pass will be the same for season-pass or single-day ticket holders, according to Bachelor. According to her, Fast Tracks ticket holders will have a dedicated lane at each chairlift.
Fast Tracks will have a capped inventory each day, and we anticipate that the limited quantity sold will not have any impact if any on wait times, Capozzi said.
Capozzi did not specify how many fast-pass tickets would be available each day.
In a press release on Monday, the ski resort said its opening day for the winter season will be Nov. 26 and that it will begin selling its fast-pass tickets on Nov 1. The pass will be available in advance online or in-person at the resorts ticket window or guest service locations.
The pass allows guests to skip the line at Pine Marten, Sunrise, Skyliner, Cloudchaser, Outback, Northwest, Summit, Red Chair, and Little Pine chairlifts. According to the resort, the Early Riser, Alpenglow, and Rainbow lifts will not have a Fast Tracks lane.
Mt. Cochrane is a company that owns Ms. Bachelor also introduced the fast pass at its other resorts.
Those resorts are more geared towards tourists and lack the same passionate local crowd that has been coming for decades, Cochrane said.
Weve had a lot of growth in the last 20 years, but its still largely populated by small towns with fewer people than I do, Cochrane said.
Cochrane fears the fast pass will create division on the mountain. Hes already heard from people who are threatening to block the fast pass lanes and blow air horns in protest, he said.
They are really creating some very unpleasant feelings on the hill, Cochrane said. Its splitting the community at a time when we need community more than ever before, he says.
Kyle Spurr, The Bulletin, Kyle Tottenham,
The Oregonian/OregonLive contributed to this report.