A new ski pass that allows people who pay more to bypass most chairlift lines at Mt. Bachelor in Bend is a major source of controversy among skiers and snowboarders and now Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is requesting a halt to the program over equity issues.
The Seattle Times reports the so called “Fast Tracks” pass starts at $49 and allows buyers to use a dedicated lane at each chairlift. Mt. Bachelor calls the pass an “upgradable experience” on top of buying a ski/snowboard ticket that allows for more ski runs each day. Leigh Capozzi, brand and communications director at Mt. Bachelor, said she anticipates the limited quantity sold will mean minimal impact on wait times for non-upgraded guests.
Skiers and snowboarders in the Facebook group, Mt. Bachelor Conditions, have said the new pass is unfair for people who can’t afford it and will make wait times longer in regular chairlift lines. Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden has requested Mt. Bachelor’s parent company scrap the plan:
“At a minimum, POWDR must delay implementation until it adequately explains to the public how the Fast Tracks policy will not exacerbate equity issues that already exist in outdoor recreation.” Wyden wrote to John Cumming, chair and founder of POWDR, the ski resort’s parent company
Dan Cochrane, a 49-year-old Bend real estate appraiser who snowboards at Mt. Bachelor, started a petition Sunday urging the resort to trash the idea. As of Wednesday evening, the petition had over 7,900 signatures.