With a 25% reduction in the All Mountain Pass (Grand Pass) last season, itâ€™s surprising that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is able to reduce their price by another 5% ($1,195) for the upcoming 2011/12 ski season. Not only will the overall pass price go down, but the number of skier days will increase to 135 with a 2011/12 winter season currently scheduled to go from November 26th – April 8th.
With hugely successful season pass sales last year; JHMR sold over 100% more passes than for the winter of 09/10.Â Granted, a lot of these passes were the uber-affordable Junior and Student Passes that went along with each Grand Pass purchase, but still, skiing JHMR seems to be getting more affordable and in line with other resorts across the west, and about a third less expensive than it was just a few years ago. Here are some other factual tidbits about the JHMR season passes sold last year.
â™¦ There was a 7% increase in total number of passes sold in 2010/11, than in 2009/10.
â™¦ 67% of all passes sold were Grand Passes, vs. 40% in 2009/10.
â™¦ 30% of the total number of visitors last year were pass holders.
â™¦ 2010/11 pass-holders averaged 40 ski-days, with 141 skiing over 100 days.
â™¦ There was 5% increase in destination visitorship in 2010/11.
In addition to the longer season, JHMR is moving the old East Ridge chairlift to a location just north of Thunder. It will connect South Pass to the Bridger Restaurant and allow for easy downloading from the upper mountain during early and late season snow conditions. Rumor has it the newly dubbed Marmot Chairâ€™s route up the mountain was altered during its construction in order to protect a â€œplusâ€ white bark pine tree. â€œPlusâ€ trees are high value trees that are resistant to disease and essential to the existence of the species.
Other improvements include 20 acres of increased snowmaking in the upper Easy Does It area on Casper, as well as on Saint Johns and Buck runs off of the AprÃ¨s Vous chairlift. The Kids Ranch also gets a $1 million dollar investment that is said to improve flow in the now booming segment of JHMR Ski School sales business. Not surprising considering the number of little dudes my friends seem to be producing.
I heard some chatter about zip lines, tree-canopy rides, increased mountain biking trails and via ferratas possibly in the future for JHMR, but Iâ€™m sure these additions have a long road ahead of them through the permit and approval process before anything could be constructed. Hard to say if any of these things will be pursued, but a tree canopy ride from the top of the Bridger Gondola to the base area sure sounds like fun!
With decreased pass prices, improved upper mountains access, an extended season, and a big jolt to itâ€™s day care facilities, it seems like JHMR is doing all the right things for locals and visitors to Jackson, in what Iâ€™m sure is a very competitive destination ski resort market. Passes go on sale in August, check them out here.