Vail to buy Stowe? - Page 5

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  1. #41
    My single concern about the purchase is the overcrowding. On the Friday before New Years it took some people 1.5hr to get up to the hill & then when they got there they couldn't find parking. Unacceptable at any area let alone one charging $100+ for a day ticket. The high prices of both day tickets and seasons passes tend to keep the crowds manageable for most of the season for the most part (other than the parking situation, which is atrocious). MLK Saturday was very busy, but lines were no longer than about 10-15min. Epic pass could blow that up.



    In saying this, it would be nice to be able to afford to ski at my closest mountain. Even the locals' pass is $1300+. And there are blackout days. For slightly less than a Stowe black-out local pass, you can get an unlimited Smuggs AND an unlimited MRG pass. That's just stupid. Yet somehow, people justify the Stowe costs. I just don't see the value in their pass options. But for $809 though I think I'd make it work. I'd just avoid Saturdays which I pretty much already do

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by benski View Post
    Don't you have the Mountain Collective, and Max passes too for mountain owned by different operatores along with smaller local deals like Solitude and Brighton. But i am shocked to here its that cheep. Its not for sale so i can't see the price on there website.
    None of the other passes. $609 was the before April 1st price for Epic Local. We were in the middle of moving and my wife snagged them at the last minute. We also use the Gems Card which I would this would be a great partner for The Ride and Ski Card.

    Back on topic, if Vail buys Stowe, it is more of a reach to increase visits to western resorts with a nice offering for those they would attract to buy the pass from the east. With their pass pricing it would really stir up the apple cart. I do not really see a lot of Colorado folks taking vacations to ski Stowe. I would but that is because I am visiting family so I would consider catching a day while there.

    Some of the Midwest ski areas might travel to Stowe for vacations as well.

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    Last edited by dlague; Jan 26, 2017 at 8:42 AM.
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  3. #43
    We're jumping to conclusions a bit that Vail would simply add Stowe to the Epic pass at the current price if the deal rumors are true. Maybe they would put Stowe on the Epic pass but with restrictions on number of days. Or maybe they would up the price of Epic (although even doing that it would still surely be significantly cheaper than the current Stowe pass). Or maybe they would keep Stowe separate and offer Stowe pass-holders an "Epic Add-On" type of option for an extra cost.

    I do agree though that if they simply added it to Epic that could certainly have an impact to Stowe's skier visits. How big the impact would be is hard to predict.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by 4aprice View Post
    I had heard a rumor that Vail was looking into buying Stratton, so maybe there is more interest in the east then previously thought.

    A couple of areas in the east might cause me to look into it. What I wonder is will moves (or potential moves) like this force some of the "independents" (Smuggs, Bush, Jay etc) to team up for survival? Like I said in the Max Pass thread, I'm loving my season so far and planned the whole thing around those options.

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
    Seems like a smart move. Sugarbush and Mad River so I guess thats not so unlikely. Sugarbush would need to drop there pass prices to compete with an epic pass, probably to below what a Stowe pass is.

  5. #45

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    ......The Balsams and an eventual buyer for Jay/Burke...things may look/feel a little different out this way in the East.
    Are we still Skiing the East if it is all owned by the West?
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  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    We're jumping to conclusions a bit that Vail would simply add Stowe to the Epic pass at the current price if the deal rumors are true. Maybe they would put Stowe on the Epic pass but with restrictions on number of days. Or maybe they would up the price of Epic (although even doing that it would still surely be significantly cheaper than the current Stowe pass). Or maybe they would keep Stowe separate and offer Stowe pass-holders an "Epic Add-On" type of option for an extra cost.

    I do agree though that if they simply added it to Epic that could certainly have an impact to Stowe's skier visits. How big the impact would be is hard to predict.
    I initially thought the same thing- that they probably wouldn't add Stowe to Epic. Why would you if you already have a base of customers paying $1300-$1900 for a pass. The first thing I did is look what they did with their recent Whistler purchase. I believe the Whistler unlimited pass was $1,650. They're adding them to Epic. I think for this year they didn't because I don't think Vail closed that deal until the fall (or maybe late summer??). But they'll be added for next season. So if they're doing that with Whistler I'd think the same may apply to Stowe. Not a definite, but seems likely. Of course, they may raise the price of the Epic pass as well.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by farlep99 View Post
    My single concern about the purchase is the overcrowding. On the Friday before New Years it took some people 1.5hr to get up to the hill & then when they got there they couldn't find parking. Unacceptable at any area let alone one charging $100+ for a day ticket. The high prices of both day tickets and seasons passes tend to keep the crowds manageable for most of the season for the most part (other than the parking situation, which is atrocious). MLK Saturday was very busy, but lines were no longer than about 10-15min. Epic pass could blow that up.
    I gotta assume Vail would have planned a way to mitigate that. My guess would be to use Toll House, stick a new parking lot/garage down there and run a six pack up the hill.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by benski View Post
    Seems like a smart move. Sugarbush and Mad River so I guess thats not so unlikely. Sugarbush would need to drop there pass prices to compete with an epic pass, probably to below what a Stowe pass is.
    I don't necessarily agree that they "need" to drop their pass prices to compete with Epic. Sugarbush has a lot of tiered pricing depending on your age. For anyone under 35 or over 65, Sugarbush's pass prices (at the early rates) were still lower than the Epic pass. That 36-64 range is something Sugarbush would need to look closely at before simply dropping the price. You also have to consider what K does as right now SB and K are very close in price at their early rates for that age range so Stowe isn't their only comparable. There are still a lot of people that would buy the SB pass even if they don't drop the price. I could see SB either simply holding the price at this year's level or dropping it slightly (say $100). But I think it is highly unlikely they would drop it to the point of trying to directly compete with Epic at least the first year. If SB saw a significant drop off in sales, then maybe the year after they would lower the price more.

    And of course we still don't know whether the deal is even real or what pricing strategy Vail would use for including Stowe on the pass. They could surprise people and throw a curve-ball and change their Epic pass structure a bit. Lot's of speculation with little facts at this point.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by tumbler View Post
    I dont think Vail owning Stowe and/or Stratton is going to put anyone out of business. There are only so many beds, parking and so much uphill capacity that either of them can handle. If anything the potential overcrowding of the ski vacation experience will drive people to other mountains.
    I disagree. I am a season pass holder at SB. I would never leave SB but its intriguing to me because you could have a home mountain in New England and then plan a family trip out west and it would be covered under your season pass. There are probably many new englanders that Plan a couple of trips up north and do a trip out west. In terms of market share this would entice the consumer to gravitate towards the Vail product.
    But the crowds you would have a Stowe, OMG

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Keelhauled View Post
    I gotta assume Vail would have planned a way to mitigate that. My guess would be to use Toll House, stick a new parking lot/garage down there and run a six pack up the hill.
    That certainly could help with resort arrival.

    On hill, I'd have to imagine the Mountain Triple gets upgraded to a HSQ at minimum. Crowding on hill would still be insane with a cheap pass without a lot more than just lift upgrades for Toll House and the Triple. Additional uphill and downhill capacity would have to happen or the weekend ski experience would become completely awful.

    Here's a look at the original plan from 2000 with the addition of several lifts, trails and a lot of widening. Note the supersizing of Lookout and Chin Clip. What a travesty that would be after already neutering the Lift Line, National and Nose Dive decades ago.

    Also of relevance to this thread, when this plan was put together you can still see the connector trail coming over from Smuggs.

    http://segroup.com/projects/stowe-mountain-resort/

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