The snow in Tahoe has been awful this season, with the current snowpack sitting at record-low measurements, and ski areas closing early every week. For most of the winter, ski area marketing managers deliberately ignored the problem, touting "bluebird days" on social media and ignoring the meager conditions. It's refreshing to see a ski area acknowledge that sometimes poor snow causes you to cancel your ski vacation, even if you've already bought a ski pass. This week, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows launched an unprecedented "worry-free guarantee" program that provides credits for unused days that can be put towards the following season. Think of it as extra insurance for injuries or just plain bad weather.
The 2015/2016 Tahoe Super Passes, include "rollover days" for silver and gold level passes purchased before May 7. The Gold Tahoe Super Pass costs $789 and provides unlimited access to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, plus four additional days at both Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, and 50-percent off tickets at the Mountain Collective resorts.
But here's the cool part: if a person is unable to ski at least four days during the upcoming season for any reason, they get a $100 credit for each unused day towards next season's pass. Don't ski at all one season? That means a $400 credit towards the following winter.
While it's possible to buy pass insurance for Vail's Epic Pass and other local season passes, insurance never accounts for Mother Nature. Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows' decision to allow credits from one season to the next is trendsetting. And it's likely that if the program works, it could spur other resorts outside of the drought-stricken Tahoe area to adapt similar measures. Whatever happens, it's a sure bet that this announcement will boost spring season pass sales for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows.
· Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows [Official Site]
· Competitors Take Aim at Vail Resorts With New 22-Ski Area M.A.X. Season Pass [Curbed Ski]
· The Worst Winter Ever? Sierra-at-Tahoe Closes Due to No Snow [Curbed Ski]
· Inside the High-Dollar Fight to Save California Skiing [Curbed Ski]
· Ski Industry Expert Says 31% of Today's Ski Areas Are Dying [Curbed Ski]
· Checking in on the Snowpack After the West's Latest Storms [Curbed Ski]
· NYT Writes Incredibly Depressing Article on California Drought [Curbed Ski]