Bloomberg Businessweek has a great write up on the competing ski pass offerings. It’s a very interesting read that you can also listen to as an audible (link at bottom of article).
“Skiing isn’t necessarily a bad business—it’s just lumpy and volatile, given natural cycles both economic and meteorological. (Industry lifers jokingly refer to it as “snow farming.”) As a result, ski resorts have historically attracted two types of owners: affluent families willing to ride out some tough years and investors looking to leverage chairlifts to sell condos. But in 1997, a third approach emerged when Vail Resorts bought nearby Keystone and Breckenridge in Colorado for $310 million and prepared an initial public offering. The plan was to make skiing a viable business on its own rather than a convoluted real estate gambit. Vail would buy ski areas and improve them, attracting more (and more affluent) skiers.”