Powder Mountain gives locals leg up in buying season passes

Ogden Valley residents will get to cut near the front of resort’s 6,000-skier waitlist.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Powder Mountain Resort, seen here on March 24, 2022, will give locals a leg up in buying season passes next season.

Finally, the people who live around Powder Mountain have a smidgen of hope they will be able to secure a season pass to the ski resort before they die.

Powder, which famously caps sales of both its season passes and its daily lift tickets, on Thursday extended an olive branch of sorts to locals. In announcing the upcoming sale of its 2023-24 season passes, its management said it would allow residents of nearby Eden, Liberty and Huntsville to basically cut in line, giving them a better chance to lock down one of the coveted passes.

“We’re just trying to cater to our locals first,” resort spokesperson J.P. Goulet told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The resort is not disclosing how many passes it will put up for sale in 2023-24. This season, the limit was 3,000, according to Powder’s website. The waitlist, Goulet said, is at least twice that long.

For 2023-24, an adult season pass will cost $1,259, while a midweek pass is $899. A night pass, good between 3-9 p.m., costs $279.

Locals aren’t guaranteed a season pass. They will be second in line behind current passholders, whose two-week window to renew their passes begins Tuesday. Or third in line if Powder Mountain property owners, who are guaranteed a certain number of passes, are counted. Whatever passes are left after those groups will be up for grabs for Ogden Valley residents who are already on the waitlist. They will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Eden, Huntsville or Liberty [residents] will have priority purchasing,” Goulet said, “if there’s even any products left to purchase.”

In previous years, the number of people who have given up their season passes has been anemic at best. This year, however, Powder is offering a midweek-only pass at a lower price. Goulet said it’s possible some people will choose that option, freeing up more full-season passes. As an incentive, new purchasers of 2023-24 midweek passes will have access to Powder throughout the rest of the season. That does not apply with the purchase of other passes.

The resort began offering a midweek pass just before the start of this season. Goulet said it didn’t gain much traction because it was rolled out after most people had committed to other resorts for the season. He estimated Powder sold about 300 midweek passes. Holders of those passes and night passes are not guaranteed passes for the following season.

This year, skiers and snowboarders with night passes will be third in line to buy season tickets this year. Their window opens April 4.

“We might see a little bit more attrition this year” due to the midweek pass offering, Goulet said. “We’re kind of expecting that, but not that much more.

“We’re never going to be able to please everyone with what we cap it at, but our goal is to have a few on the market there for the people that love Powder Mountain and live nearby and want to spend time up here.”

For those left out of Powder’s season-pass lottery next season, Goulet suggests purchasing a pack of day tickets. The tickets will still require reservations since Powder has long had a limit of 1,500 lift ticket holders per day. However, when tickets are purchased in five-packs, which often go on sale around Father’s Day, they can be had at a discounted price.