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Super-Mega Pass Buyers Sue Resort Corps.

by The Editors on April 22, 2020

Several skiers who bought super-mega passes from North America’s two major ski resort operators (without apparently reading the fine print which we warned our readers about last spring) are now suing these same companies for not offering refunds when the resorts closed early due to COVID-19, according to a story in the Summit Daily.

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Vail Resorts on April 10 claiming false advertising, fraud and negligent misrepresentation, among other counts, due to lost mountain resort access without pass refunds. Four days later on April 14, a similar lawsuit was filed against Alterra Mountain Co., citing that by retaining revenue generated from Ikon Pass sales, the company holds tens of millions in unjust profits as the ski areas and resorts were closed prematurely. 

Obviously, ski resorts are not the only businesses currently facing lawsuits over COVID-19 shutdowns. Nearly every business that sells passes, like theme parks, gyms, and sports courts, are feeling similar pressure.

Seeing as we are not fans of the super-mega passes in the first place (unless you’re riding over 20 days a year at the same resorts) part of us feels the pass buyers got exactly what they had coming by agreeing to assume all risk for the upcoming season. Then again, the way resorts sell these passes is a classic example of corporations taking advantage of their customers by offering something for sale that the buyers obviously don’t understand. Guess we’ll have to see whose lawyers are better. We’re betting on the resorts’. 

[Link: Summit Daily]

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The Sinister Plot Behind The Super-Mega Pass

by The Editors on March 5, 2019

It’s barely March, and already the resort industrial complex is inundating us with marketing for their super-mega season passes for the winter of 2019-2020. Really? Already? Why are they doing this, and what does it all mean? We’re glad you asked.

Before we dive in let’s make one thing clear — obviously if you ride 20 days a year or more at the same few resorts owned by the same corporation then buying a super-mega pass is a no-brainer. Spend the $950 and get on it. If, however, you enjoy controlling your own money, waiting for good snow, and riding different resorts all season long, here are a few things you might want to consider before shelling out hard-earned cash on an Epic or Ikon pass.

The corporations that run ski resorts in North America (Alterra Mountain Company and Vail Resorts) have very sound business reasons for selling super-mega season passes, and they have nothing to do with giving you a good deal. They’re not interested in saving you a boatload of money. And it’s not because they’re putting their guest’s needs first. It all comes down to three main goals:

  1. They want your money now. Not next year. Now!
  2. They want ALL your money. Resorts don’t want you to spend a dime with their competitors (or competitor as the case may be in North America).
  3. They want to offload all their weather-related business risks to you so they won’t have to worry as much when a bad snow year strikes.

Once you understand this, the whole mega-pass gambit makes more sense — for the resorts. Look at the way they promote their mega-pass sales. It’s like they’re setting up a con. First, they manufacture scarcity to increase perceived value: “This special deal is available for a limited time only.” We’ve all see the emails, “You have one more week to lock in savings.” “Hurry, this deal won’t last forever.” Why won’t it last? Good question. It could last all season. Nothing is stopping the resorts from selling super-mega passes all season long. It wouldn’t even be that bad a deal for them. People who bought passes later in the year would have fewer chances to use them. You’d think resorts would do that. But selling passes further into the season doesn’t get your money a year in advance and lock you into their resort for the entire season, and it certainly doesn’t protect resort owners from the specter of a bad snow year.

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Steve Astephen: Mega Agent To The Stars

by The Editors on December 5, 2008

Steve-Astephen-LNot getting enough of action sports super-agent Steve Astephen darting here and there in front of the TV cameras with a cellphone to his ear? Well then, Entrepreneur.com has just want you’re looking for in the Entrepreneur Insider: Marketing That Takes Flight.

Steve Astephen’s legacy is everywhere. It’s in the oceans. It’s in the mountains. It’s on the street. But more than anywhere, it’s in the air, where his clients’ exploits inspire the next generation of action sports stars. Ten years ago, Astephen revolutionized the action sports industry when he recognized the marketability of its larger-than-life athletes and created an agency focused on turning them into brands. He has since partnered with Wasserman Media Group and become one of the biggest names in the game, but he still remembers when his biggest asset was the sort of infectious energy that comes only from someone eager to break the mold.

Not sure “revolutionized” is the right word, but he certainly brought a circus-tent load of commercialism. We just hope Steve’s “legacy” doesn’t run us over the next time we go outside; ’cause that thing is apparently everywhere.

[Link: Entrepreneur.com]

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Mountain High Labor Day Pass Sale

by The Editors on August 25, 2022

It’s currently the warmest part of the year in Southern California and maybe that’s why Mountain High is offering their hottest deals on 2022-23 season passes. For SoCal snowboarders there are many reasons to love Mountain High. It’s real. It’s real close. And it’s not part of some super mega resort run by a massive Colorado corporation. Here’s the deal they’re serving up for Labor Day weekend.

Snowy days are on their way and this Labor Day weekend, skiers & snowboarders save up to $350 on 22/23 Season Passes to Mountain High, Southern California’s closest winter resort. Guests who purchase by 9/5 receive a FREE Buddy Ticket worth $129. It’s the best season pass deal in Southern California and pays for itself in just 4 visits. . . “For the cost of a handful of tickets, you can enjoy an entire season of skiing and snowboarding at Mountain High, Southern California’s closest winter resort,” says John McColly, Mountain High Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Ride local and leave the super mega passes for the tourists. For the official details from Mountain High, please follow the jump.

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Olympic Surfing Officials Visit Teahupo’o

by The Editors on August 21, 2022

When France hosts the Olympic Games in 2024 their surfing venue is going to be a short 22 hour plane ride away in French Polynesia a.k.a. Tahiti, home to the monster wave Teahupo’o. Of course you already know this and we just watched the mostly boring contest from there last week. That said, the leaders from the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (including Owen Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Tony Estanguet, Italo Ferreira and Jean-Philippe Gatien, pictured above) visited Tahiti during the contest to officially check things out.  According to the ISA:

The ISA and Paris teams held productive discussions on key elements of the surfing competition in Tahiti and toured core elements of the planned Olympic surfing location. Agenda items for the meetings covered major topics such as the 2024 event format, competition schedule, infrastructure, sustainability, athlete accommodation and broadcast services.

Nice work if you can get it. For the rest of the official details, please follow the jump.
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At The Top Of The Action News List Tonight

by The Editors on March 24, 2022

This was going to be the Ides of March news listers. Then the Holi lister, now it’s just the late-in-March list of news stories that caught our eye and might be of interest to you. That’s all. No snide asides, no out-of-context comments, no misinformed snark, and no 200 word headlines. Just links to stories that are at the top of the news tonight.

Follow the jump for all the stories.

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Pre-Holiday November News Lister

by The Editors on November 8, 2021

Lots going on here in the world of news headline lists. This one is a big one because, well, we’ve been doing other stuff lately. But here it is anyway. Sharks, COVID, and all that jazz.

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A Mid-February New News Blast

by The Editors on February 19, 2021

Blast? Cold blast? Arctic air freezing you pipes? As a warm up, please check out the latest news stories that caught our attention since the last time we posted a list of headlines. And that was a while ago. Admittedly.

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The Now Monthly List of News Stories

by The Editors on September 14, 2020

Yesterday (September 13, 2020) marked the six month anniversary of the current now. Hard to believe we have been mired in this situation for half of 2020. On the one hand we’re blown away by all the calamity that we’ve been faced with, on the other, we’re thankful for all those oblivious deniers who keep on keeping on like there’s nothing wrong. Kudos to them for showing us that it is entirely possible to live a normal (albeit angry) life with your head firmly mired in the sand and/or up your own butt.

With that out of the way, here’s the news that caught our clicker in the past month (thought we were doing this weekly, but my how time flies). Follow the jump for the whole list.

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Alterra Wants Your 20/21 Pass Money Now!

by The Editors on April 14, 2020

Last spring when we warned snowboarders that by purchasing a super-mega pass they were assuming all risk for the coming season (The Sinister Plot Behind The Super-Mega Pass) we never could have imagined that all the resorts would close in March and that pass holders would be left holding the empty bag. What was even funnier is how quickly the super-mega pass sellers were to point out to their customers that they had no obligations related to refunds because the passes were “non-refundable and not transferable to another season.” 

Now, Alterra (the uber resort conglomerate that owns Mammoth Mountain et. al.) is pressing snowboarders to buy IKON passes for the 20-21 season even though most of North America is in COVID-19 lockdown and no one knows when or if ski resorts will be able to open next year. In fact, they want your “non-refundable” money so badly that they are extending their early purchase discounts. Isn’t that kind of them?

As we look ahead, we invite you to join the Ikon Pass community for next season. For winter 20/21, we are giving you more time to take advantage of spring discounts and consider your purchase until May 27, 2020.

But what happens if you buy a 20/21 Ikon pass and the resorts don’t open for the 20/21 season? Here’s their answer:

At this time, all Ikon Pass destinations plan to be open for the 20/21 winter season. All Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass, and Ikon Base Plus Pass purchases paid-in-full are non-refundable.

Ha, that’s right. They keep your money and you get nothing. How you feeling about that deal now? For answers to all your IKON pass questions and to see just how tightly Alterra holds on to your money click the link.

[Link: IKON COVID-19 Update]

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