Sun Valley Gondola Closure

Sun Valley cut the local ski season short by nearly a month this year, but is now preparing for the 2020-21 season.

COVID-19 cut short Sun Valley’s 2019-20 ski season by nearly a month—and now the resort is trying to make up for the lost time.

Because of the early closure, Sun Valley will take 20 percent off the price for customers renewing their 2019-20 season pass for 2020-21, the company announced on Wednesday. It also rolled out a new pass protection program insuring skiers against outbreak-related closures and stay-at-home orders that keep them off the hill, as well as injury, pregnancy, or military service.

Sun Valley extended its spring sale, too. Initially scheduled to end on May 31, the lower price will last until July 1.

“In these unique times we are particularly grateful for all of our loyal season pass holders who share our passion and love for Sun Valley Resort,” Sun Valley President and General Manager Tim Silva said in a statement. “We know right now times are unsure, but we look forward to our guests joining us next winter on the slopes to enjoy all that Sun Valley has to offer.”

Right now, a full season pass for adults over 30 costs $1,799—or, $1,439 for existing passholders after the 20 percent sale. (Click here for a full roster of pass options on Sun Valley’s website.)

Anyone who renewed prior to the announcement will be refunded the 20 percent, according to the announcement. Plus, eligible buyers working off a payment plan will see the discount applied equally across all payments. Current passholders that opt not to renew for next year can get a free lift ticket instead.

Feeling generous? You don’t have to take the savings. Upon checkout, purchasers can choose to donate the 20 percent to the Hunger Coalition—a Bellevue-based food pantry that has seen demand triple since the pandemic began.

“We are thrilled with this new partnership with Sun Valley Resort,” Hunger Coalition Executive Director Jeanne Liston said in a statement. “At the Hunger Coalition we work to build a healthy community through access to good food regardless of economic circumstances. We hope Sun Valley season pass holders will choose to donate the 20 percent discount towards our mission, so we can provide more free groceries and support to the community.”

Sun Valley’s decision falls in line with both Vail Resorts and the Alterra Mountain Company, two ski industry giants. Alterra’s knocked 20 percent off its full multi-resort IKON Pass, bringing the price from $999 to $799 as of Wednesday. Vail is offering a sliding-scale credit on renewals of its Epic Pass, providing a maximum of 80 percent off for people who didn’t use their 19-20 pass at all, and a minimum of 20 percent of for those who skied five times or more. Both are offering some form of insurance, too. With Alterra, buyers can defer an unused 2020-21 pass until the following season. Vail’s “Epic Coverage” looks like Sun Valley’s, with an added provision covering job loss or transfer.

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