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California Resorts Offer Skiing by ‘Subscription’

Skier: Joe Sagona. PHOTO: David Reddick
Skier: Joe Sagona. PHOTO: David Reddick

California Resorts Offer Skiing by ‘Subscription’

Mammoth Mountain introduces new monthly membership ski pass

 In today’s day and age, nearly our entire lives are based on monthly subscriptions and memberships. From streaming music and movies on Spotify and Netflix to your gym membership or unlimited data plan you just got for your phone, everything is based on the pay-per-month model. Now, Mammoth Mountain is looking to offer the same for skiers.

This year, Mammoth introduced their “Work + Play Membership” for $99 a month. With their membership, members receive a 2017/18 Cali4nia Season Pass (which includes lift access to Mammoth, June Mountain, Big Bear, and Snow Summit), additional lift access at Mammoth and June Mountain through January 2019, a Mammoth Bike Park Pass for summer 2018, and unlimited access to the Fort, Mammoth’s new coworking spaces that debuted this season.

“We wanted to create a product in which people can come to Mammoth to work, ski, and bike without seasonality attached to it,” said Matt Jung, who helped create the department at Mammoth that runs the Fort program.

The idea for the membership began early on when looking at the people taking advantage of the coworking spaces. “People aren’t coming to Mammoth just to work,” said Jung. “They’re coming for a specific reason–to ski, bike, hike, and do all the things Mammoth is famous for. We wanted to create something that made visiting Mammoth an all-encompassing experience.”

Signing up for the pass, members are locked in for 12 months, meaning the membership will run you $1,200 a year, which is 65 percent less than it would cost for the individual passes a la carte (a $1,049 Cali4nia Pass; $449 annual mountain bike pass; and $2,000 annual Fort pass). On top of the savings, by making a monthly payment, this new model could eliminate the scramble to scrape together one lump sum for a season pass in the fall.

It’s this kind of freedom that makes the pass perfect for someone like Richard Gerard, who works as a lawyer in Newport Beach, but still commits to skiing 50 days a year.

“Before the electronic age came along, when you came to Mammoth, you were completely disconnected,” said Gerard. “Now, our businesses and clients rely on us being plugged in 24/7. With a coworking space like the Fort, I’m able to go up, get a few hours in, then still answer phone calls and emails in the afternoon. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to get up and ski every weekend like I do.”

For those that are already Cali4nia pass holders, Mammoth is offering discounted rates on the Work + Play Membership for $40 a month, which includes all the extra benefits of the full membership.

While still in its inaugural season, over 100 people have already signed up for the membership, and Jung hopes that this number will only grow as time moves forward. He says that as the ability to work remotely becomes a more common trend, he hopes that this kind of pass structure will allow more and more people to spend time in the mountains.

“It used to be that you’d spend all this money on a season pass and only make it up on the weekends because there was no way to work remotely. Now, you can get in all the skiing you want, and still make that conference call on Monday morning.”

 

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