A study commissioned by Bogus Basin resort recommends big changes if the ski hill wants to stay in business. Recommendations include buying equipment to make snow and emphasizing opportunities for summer recreation. But one other suggestion may be problematic: raising prices.
An adult can ski all day at Bogus for $54 or buy a season ticket for $299. Ted Beeler says that’s too low.
“They definitely need to move the needle,” he says.
Beeler is president of SE Group, the outdoor recreation and tourism consulting firm Bogus Basin resort hired for the study. He says the resort needs to raise prices because it needs some big capital investments.
He says Bogus charges about half what its regional peers do. But Bogus is different from most other ski venues because it’s a non-profit. By keeping prices low, Bogus takes a sport that is mostly the domain of the wealthy and the upper-middle-class and extends access to more people. Beeler says Bogus needs to remain a community resource.
“Affordability is a very, very key and important ingredient to their future,” Beeler says.
Bogus Basin’s interim general manager, Nathan Shake, agrees that ticket prices need to go up. Shake says Bogus has a commitment to provide access to as many people as it can.
“We have to look at the other half of our commitment to the community, which is to run the mountain and be fiscally responsible,” Shake says. “If we’re offering prices that are not sustainable to the point where we can’t pay the bills and have an inability to open the next season, then we are not doing our part to maintain this asset the whole community has.”
Shake says deciding just how much to raise prices won’t be easy.
“That’s an agonizing decision,” he says. “No one here wants to charge more and we don’t want to exclude anyone from skiing.”
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