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Powder Mountain Removes Longtime Season Pass Cap

Powder-Cover Known for freshies all day long, Powder Mountain has just lifted a 50-year-long cap on season passes. (Image via Powder Mountain Facebook)

A Utah ski and snowboard mountain that has religiously limited season passes sales to prevent crowding will now sell as many passes as it can.

The new owner of Powder Mountain announced that a cap on season pass sales will be lifted for the 2023-2034 season. Day ticket sales at the nation's largest resort will continue to have a limit but now will be sold with dynamic pricing; that is, the cost of a ticket varies according to day of week, time of season, and how far in advance it is purchased.

The new policy appears to be in response to new owner and Netflix founder Reed Hastings' desire to prop up lagging real estate sales to stabilize revenue used for the operations on the 8,464-acre mountain. Earlier this season, Hastings said Powder will become semi-private by setting aside Mary's and Village chairlifts that serve Lefty's Canyon and Mary's Bowl -- plus a new high-speed in the Rain Tree-Cobabe Bowl sector -- for homeowner-only skiing and riding.

This move is aimed at jump-starting the resort's real estate portfolio, which has long targeted the ultra-wealthy who treasure their privacy. Recently, however, apparently not enough of them have bought homes alongside the slopes of Powder.

Renowned for its massive terrain and variety of uphill transport, Powder Mountain's three previous owners have restrained crowding that plagues other Utah mountains by limiting day and season pass sales. Season passes have been capped since Powder opened in 1972. Because it sits on private land, Powder can manipulate access without U.S. Forest Service oversight.

Sitting out on its own above the town of Eden, Powder has promoted its exclusivity -- both for serious powderhounds who eschew fancy facilities and the uber-rich who want a McMansion the hill. The owners just previous to Hastings took it farther by envisioning a social and philanthropic think-tank retreat -- a "Davos for millennials." The nouveau-riche ownership put in a couple of new lifts, but that vision soured lately.

Nowhere can you more assured of fresh tracks than at Powder Mountain. Since opening in 1971, "Pow Mo" has been a well-kept secret powder stash above Ogden that averages 350 inches a year and harnesses all manner of transport -- high-speed and fixed-grip, shuttle buses and snowcats, skinning and boot-hiking -- to get powderhounds into the largest inbounds acreage of any resort in the U.S. It was the first Utah mountain to allow snowboarding, and has had minimal grooming and snowmaking. Powder Mountain accepts the Indy Pass but no other mega-passes.

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