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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.

Author Profile Photo

Jack Hirsh

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

Comments

51 Comments

    1. Yea Brother, I heard them Liburullls like to ski. Thanks for being a patriot and blaming everything we can and them stinkin liburullss. We are “alloud” to.

    2. Yea bro… When 20% of the ODOT Staff doesn’t plow your precious highway because they quit, we will see how well your stupid Subaru does in those winter conditions.

  1. So those of us who have been loyal season pass holders and provide the majority of Bachelor’s business will be pushed back in the line by those with money to burn. In other words, to keep the wealthy from cutting in line ahead of us, we have to spend more money to be line cutters as well. Not really a good way to show your love for the customers who have provided most of your business for years. All I ask is that if you are going to do this is that you also follow the science and ride four people per chair so that we avoid the absurdly long lift lines caused by the two people per lift policy of last year. A policy that put people in crowds of hundreds waiting in line while we saw only two people per chair and often one “Karen” per chair. That policy only increased people’s exposure to Covid hazard instead of reducing it. It was almost like it was a policy instilled by a politician with no real-world experience who thought they were a queen or something. Four per chair please, so we can reduce our Covid exposure hazard. BTW when you are riding a ski lift you are moving through the air and airflow is the best way to reduce your exposure to Covid. Standing in line with hundreds of people around you, not so much.

    1. Honestly dude, I feel a little sketchy just being here in the forum with you. Please avoid riding a chair with me if at all possible. I will just keep an eye out for old angry men on skis. Yikes.

          1. You certainly do not understand the Mt. Bachelor family. Check out the comments on the petition page to get an idea as to how you will be viewed at Mt Bachelor when you use the fast track. Then you slip in a promo for a snowboard company after insulting a local who has helped many people over the years up on the mountain including visitors. Please go ride somewhere else.

  2. Another wonderfully sourced article from such places as Reddit and a Facebook group. Great journalism, KTVZ. I’m all for bashing Bachelor, but how about get a quote from them before running the article instead of just putting that you’ve reached out?

    1. They put out official info, we reported on /linked to it and added context, including people both supportive and critical of the move. There was no reason to wait for further info from them, though we will be following up in coming days, of course.

      1. Using posts from an anonymous social media site, and a social media site known to have fake accounts as your sources. Brilliant journalism, KTVZ. I realize that Russian bot farms are probably not astroturfing the Mt Bachelor Conditions page, but do you maybe think that having your main sources be from social MIGHT be a bad idea???

      1. Buy a pass at Hoodoo. Powdr speaks one language. $$$. A petition won’t do much to sway them. Seeing Hoodoo growing like a weed, while their season pass holders flatline or decrease will wake them up. As the season pass holders grow disillusioned, Powdr can count less and less on favoritism from the local political elite.

  3. This is yet another slap in the face of locals. I’ve been riding here since the 80’s and POWDR has continued to let us all down since they took over. Time to fight back. Please consider signing and sharing this petition to say enough: https://www.change.org/p/force-mt-bachelor-and-pwdr-corp-to-cease-and-desist-fast-passes?recruiter=32051323&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=G%3ESearch%3ESAP%3EW-EN%3ENonBrand%3ERLSA%3EAll-Match-Types&recruited_by_id=c73e0160-fee8-012f-2adb-404067ca6a7a&utm_content=fht-30996403-en-us%3A0

  4. It will be interesting to see what a “limited number of “Fast Tracks” passes available each day” means in the real world. Limited to a reasonable amount so as not to radically slow the main line? Or limited only by the maximum number they can expect to sell?

  5. Lets see only those with Privilege will be able to afford this so it won’t be Inclusive. Gotta be racist. Lets tear down the Bill Healy statue at the Pine Mt. Lodge. No wait Kate will put a moratorium on the Mt. and require so many free Fast Passes to be distributed to those users that are not working and choose not to work.

  6. As Bend native and 30 year lover of Mt.B. I REFUSE to give Pwdr Corp. ANY more of my hard earned money. Bachelor has been my happy place year after year and where I have taught my 3 kids to snowboard. I have paid 10’s of thousands of dollars on passes for all of us over the years and they could care less that they are smashing out locals that have had a deep love and emotional connection with MY mtn. I also agree that it is a pretty **** move to announce this “fast track” option AFTER the pass price jumps.

    1. Hope you signed the petition CHT. I am right with you and so upset by all this, but we started a petition and KTVZ was kind enough to gives a small voice to fight this. They need to know this is not ok in our town. It is linked in the article if you can’t find it.

  7. You know that the people who pony up for first tracks will be bragging about it on the lift on powder days shortly before artfully steering the conversation to their international vacations, golf and second homes.

  8. Great idea. I can see how this idea might be incorporated into local institutions as well. A fast track in to have your ailment tended to at the emergency room might be just the ticket to increase hospital revenue while giving me the opportunity to slip past those pesky heart patients. Not so bad of an idea either for drivers who are often in a bit of a hurry and wouldnt mind going 90 between here and Redmond. Safeway could open it’s

  9. Like other businesses it seems the locals are the ones who complain about prices/services and feel they are entitled to pay less while others visiting are grateful and don’t complain. To ski is not a cheap hobby or sport so if you could afford it before then crying about it won’s make it cheaper. Now employees will have to deal with the cheap people complaining while they sip on their $6 coffees and driving up to the mountain in gas guzzling trucks and SUV’s Guess the Covid situation didn’t teach the self centered much?

    1. Not sure you understand what this is. Locals are upset because the mountain is offering visitors an option to cut in line in front of us despite the fact that we paid $1,000 for a pass, for a daily fee of $49. That is called cuts, snaking, and a ****head move in all sports, but to do it in such an elitest way, and the day after we all bought our passes and not before, and after so many have suffered so much in this outrageously expensive town is absurd. More than that, it an insult and unbelievably disrespectful.

    2. Your rants are usually hard to follow, but this one is on another level! It’s like you weaved every single complaint cliche into one enormous pot of diatribe stew, the added a scoop of COVID moralization on top just for good measure. Not your typical word salad, I’ll give you that! But who, exactly, are you angry with this time? Locals who live in a ski town who have the audacity to want to go skiing without some rich a—– from Cali cutting them in line?

      1. stoner and caboose clearly do not understand the Mt Bachelor family. View the comments on the petition page to get a better understanding of why people are upset. And don’t forget to sign the petition. Good companies listen to their loyal customers. Let’s hope Mt Bachelor management shows us that they are a good company and eliminates the fast-track fiasco or you can expect countless issues daily from this poorly thought out program.

    3. Try to imagine a really long line at the dispensary. Pretend there is only 1 dispensary for miles. Pretend someone pays the doorman at the dispensary to cut the line and get first shot at the edibles. Now imagine you finally get to the front of the line, and all the tasty edibles are gone, and all that is left is some dirty shake. Feeling compassion yet?

  10. “Profits over community”, well it is a for profit business. Pretty sure most theme parks have an express pass as well. Surprised that the term equity isnt being thrown around on this one.

  11. The Mt. Bachelor Ski community was just that. We all had each other’s backs and we help visitors as a family does. We were all in it together and you can feel it when you are up on the mountain. Now the fast pass program is going to damage that “we are family” feeling of Mt. Bachelor. I can afford the fast track, but I would feel like a jerk if I used it over other members of my “family”. Others have expressed the same feelings. I am glad to hear the lifts will be loaded to full capacity as the vast majority of those I rode with last year also thought it was an absurd policy that greatly increase the wait times.

    1. We still do brother and thank you for your participation in fighting this absurdity. People outside the family will never understand because they don’t even want to try. Those that complain like the guy above are just jealous that they don’t have so an awesome group of their own. The family is still in tact and I can not tell you how amazing it has been to see the outpouring of support for this petition and our community.

  12. Anyone else notice the part of Fast Track START at $49 will have “dynamic pricing” dependent on snow conditions, holidays and day of the week? So, if it dumps 20 inches the day after Christmas (holiday, weekend and good snow conditions, the trifecta) does that mean a Fast Track pass will go up to several hundred dollars?? Maybe this is the year I ski with poles…just for the lift lines. Guess I will see all of you down there at the base of Skyliner at 8:30 with me waiting for freshies like we have all done for years (and as it should continue). Economic inequality indeed. It takes me all year to save up for my pass (not complaining)…I just don’t have extra cash to spend on this, as I believe is the case with many of us that love this sport. Sigh

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