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Mt. Bachelor’s addition of ‘Fast Tracks’ passes for new season sparks criticism, petition

(Update: Adding video, comment from resort, season pass-holder)

Move at 4 Powdr resorts draws mixed reaction from locals; tubing won't return this winter

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With a fresh dusting of October snow, Mt. Bachelor is getting set for the upcoming winter.

The resort has announced its operating plan for the 21-22 season. 

Leigh Capozzi, Mt. Bachelor’s brand and marketing director, told NewsChannel 21 on Monday, “There’s going to be a handful of new guest experiences.”

One drawing eyeballs: the new Fast Tracks pass.

“It’s a daily upgrade, so when I say limited, that means there’s only so many of them that will be sold every single day,” Capozzi said.

The new Fast Tracks pass allows anybody, on the day that they purchase it to skip the regular lines on all but three lifts here at Mount Bachelor. The passes start at $49 a day, with dynamic pricing based on the mountain conditions, peak periods, holidays and day of the week.

The express lines will be at all but three of the mountain's lifts, Alpenglow, Rainbow and Early Riser, the latter which will now be a free lift.

That doesn’t sit right with Dan Cochrane, who started a petition this weekend to ask Bachelor and Powdr, the resort’s owner, to cancel the pass.

“The last thing you want to be is a local standing in that line,” Cochrane said. “Because they’re not going to be viewed very kindly.”

Cochrane, who has snowboarded at Bachelor for 37 years, said the pass promotes profit over the local community.

“You get up at Dawn Patrol, you see all the guys, you see all of the locals up there that are dedicated to the mountain,” he said. “This is our passion, this is our love. Now you’re going to have guys coming up at 8:59 (a.m.), getting in line next you, cruising in front of you, to take the first lines.”

Capozzi said with the resort returning to fully loading lifts this year, wait times will be more like years past.

“It’s going to return to a more traditional skiing experience that they’re used to,” she said.

She added that Red Chair will now operate seven days a week, to help alleviate the crowd at the Pine Marten lift.

With opening day set for Black Friday, it won’t be until then that folks see the pass in action.

According to a Saturday article in the Wall Street Journal, Powdr, the resort's owner, is implanting "Fast Tracks" at four of its most popular resorts, including Mt. Bachelor, Copper Mountain in Colorado, Snowbird in Utah and Killington in Vermont.

Here's Monday's news release from Mt. Bachelor about the upcoming season and changes including a new Mt. Bachelor app:

MT. BACHELOR ANNOUNCES OPENING DAY, WINTER OPERATIONS AND NEW GUEST SERVICES FOR WINTER 21/22

  • Mt. Bachelor Alpine and Nordic winter operations begin resort-wide Friday, November 26
  • Mt. Bachelor Ski School Lessons and All Nordic Center Programs now available
  • Track Your Turns, Lift Wait Times and more available on the new Mt. Bachelor app
  • Mt. Bachelor single-day lift ticket and multi-day lift tickets are now available
  • New for winter 21/22, Mt. Bachelor launches Fast Tracks, a dedicated fast access lift line

(BEND, Ore.), October 11, 2021 – Mt. Bachelor, a year-round POWDR mountain resort located at the heart of Bend, Oregon, culture, today announced its 63rd ski season Opening Day is Friday, November 26. Mt. Bachelor’s daily winter activities, experiences, and amenities will include skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, Woodward Mountain Parks, snowshoeing, dog sledding, Gravity Ski School, dining, retail, rentals, and slope side RV camping. Adventures await at the Pacific Northwest’s largest resort playground!

"Weather forecasters are predicting back-to-back La Nina's, and she owes us a big one this year," said John McLeod, President and General Manager of Mt. Bachelor. "With some exciting new programs like the Mt. Bachelor app and Fast Tracks, and an anticipated return to a full events lineup, the Mt. Bachelor team is ready to deliver another great season for you."

Guests are invited to come Outplay All Day! The winter 21/22 winter operations plan includes:

  • Mt. Bachelor’s 63rd season will celebrate a scheduled Opening Day on Friday, November 26.
  • Plan for the opening day, holidays and beyond; single day, multi-day dynamic lift tickets now available. Booking online and in advance offers the greatest savings.
  • Nordic Programming, including the ever-popular She’s on Skis, and multi-week programming that runs on our 56 km of daily, groomed Nordic trails are now available for sign-ups.
  • New for 21/22 is the Mt. Bachelor App. Available for download starting on November 1, allows guests real-time information like Weather and News Alerts, Lift Wait Times resort-wide, Find My Friends, and tools like Track My Turns, Leaderboards, among other information. Whether guests are visiting for one-day or a 100 Day Club, Mt. Bachelor highly recommends downloading the app for use in resort.
  • New for 21/22, Mt. Bachelor launches Fast Tracks, a new, daily upgrade product available on a limited basis for all guests, offering guests access to dedicated fast lanes at all chairlifts, besides Early Riser, Alpenglow, and Rainbow. Beginning November 1, Fast Tracks can be purchased three ways: online, in-advance at resort websites, at the resort’s ticket window, or guest service locations day-of; anytime using a smartphone. Learn more here.
  • Mt. Bachelor Ski & Gravity Ride School will offer a full lineup of lessons this winter, including our award-winning Ski or Ride in 5 Lesson Package, as well as private lessons, multi-week lessons, and group lessons.  Gravity School will follow all COVID guidelines set by Oregon Health Authority.
  • Woodward Mountain Parks at Mt. Bachelor offer guests a network of featured terrain zones that offer terrain parks for all ages and abilities. From learning zones, large freestyle zones, and everything in between Woodward Mountain Park offers a progression and fun guest experience.
  • Complementing the learning terrain adjacent to Sunrise Lodge, Early Riser beginner chairlift, and the Woodward Start Park in the Sunrise Base Area will be FREE for winter 21/22.
  • Pick Up Boxes (PUB) minimize ticket window wait times, allowing guests to print lift tickets or passes outside at Sunrise Lodge, Mountain Gateway, and new for the winter season are two locations will be in Bend. Passholders and guests can pick up in town and head direct to lift!
  • Uphill Travel will be allowed as ‘unpatrolled and uncontrolled’ on Mt. Bachelor permitted property through Sunday, November 21.
  • Mt. Bachelor will not offer tubing and daycare for winter 21/22

Learn more about detailed operations plans, tickets, passes, pricing, and purchasing at  www.mtbachelor.com.

About Mt. Bachelor: Mt. Bachelor offers 4,323 acres of lift-accessible terrain with 360-degree descents from the 9,065’ volcanic peak, served by three surface lifts and 12 lifts, eight of which are high-speed quads. Mt. Bachelor also features Woodward Mountain Park with beginner, experiential and performance terrain zones, 56 km of groomed cross country trails, snowshoeing, tubing, sled dog rides and summer attractions including downhill mountain biking, ZipTour ziplining, and whitewater rafting with Sun Country Tours. Mt. Bachelor is part of POWDR, a family owned and operated adventure lifestyle company. For weather conditions, news, and events visit www.mtbachelor.com.

Article Topic Follows: Outdoors
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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

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